On The Front Burner: Adin Langill

Executive Chef of fabrick

Entrusted with opening and operating David Burke Group’s brand-new restaurant, fabrick at The Archer, Chef Adin Langille has quickly risen to the occasion. Taking his experiences working at Adour for Alain Ducasse, as chef de cuisine at Junoon, and at Pascal’s on Ponce in Miami, where he was exposed to all sorts of Latin as well as Caribbean and Island cuisines, Langille has created a lively and colorful interpretation of the fabric of New York cuisine.

fabrick opened five months ago. How’s it going? Great. Busier than we ever expected, in fact. I was fortunate to develop my menu beforehand, and initially had help from the other chefs, so the opening was incredibly smooth. Of course, there is always stuff that comes up once you are in a space. We have had to tweak things here and there — let’s serve this sliced, or change the plating on a dish so it sits better on the table — but we ironed out our kinks very quickly.

Do you have a personal goal with each service? I try and touch every table in the dining room when I can. Last night we did 170 covers, and I personally brought amuse-bouche to every table. Initially, we started the amuse just for the VIPs, but after a week I said every guest should be treated like a VIP in the restaurant, so that experience is our goal.

What is the overall concept of the menu? To represent the fabric of New York cuisine by showcasing every different borough and ethnicity on one menu with an upscale twist.

That’s quite a challenge! It is and it isn’t. It’s more about a fusion of techniques than flavor. For example, this fall we are bringing in milk-fed suckling pigs from Quebec. We are going to smoke the pork bellies in Japanese apple wood, so an American BBQ technique using some of the best Japanese smoke bricks. Then we confit them in duck fat, a French technique, and finally deep-fry them chicharrón style, very Dominican. They will be served with Colombian salsa and mini white corn arepas.

What else can we expect on the menu? From those same pigs we are doing pork chops, also cooked in duck fat, this time at 150°F for four hours. We will store them in duck fat — which helps the shelf life — and then sear them, bring them back up to temperature, and you get a perfectly cooked pork chop every time! They will be plated with a brown butter, black cardamom apple puree and a blackberry barbecue sauce with mint oil.

Given your background, you must have a true passion for all types of cuisine. I do. I have always been interested in all inter- national cuisines without holding one above the other. I like to examine each one for how and why it is great. Besides the places I have worked at, it’s my experiences eating out that really help me get a grasp of each. I’m constantly exploring the five bor- oughs for new and different places to try. It might not always be good, but it does make you look at cooking in a different way. For that reason, I also have a very eclectic mix of cookbooks — from fining dining by star chefs to travelogs by people who just love to wander and take photos of the local dishes along the way.

You grew up thinking you might be an artist. So what changed your mind? My mother made me take cooking classes at John- son & Wales against my will. But one day I saw a chef plate a dish, and it dawned on me then and there that food could be art and that this was what I wanted to do. I will never forget the way I felt at that moment. Now, when I look back on how I ap- proached art in high school, always doing the same project over and over again until I got it perfect, I realize it’s pretty much the way I approach a dish.

What is one of the biggest challenges you think chefs face in the kitchen? Keeping it happy — which is what I really consid- er one of my strong points. I don’t allow any negativity in my kitchen. Sure, we are serious, but we have fun. If the staff wants something cool for family meal, we order in the ingredients and they make it. Attitude translates to the front of the house and eventually influences the guest’s experience too, so keep it positive!

And what about you — are you happy at fabrick? Absolutely! I have so much fun here. I can pull from all my experiences and put it in one menu, be creative, and really do what I love. Plus I can basically cook whatever I want to. It’s pretty amazing to be able to offer a sashimi dish as a special one day, and then foie gras torchon sliders the next.

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