Marc Murphy’s built a career that most New York City chefs could only dream of, with four popular Manhattan restaurants—Landmarc in Tribeca and the Time Warner Center, Ditch Plains in the West Village, and Kingside in Midtown—a reoccurring role as a judge on Chopped, and a recently released cookbook, Season With Authority.
Murphy is also an avid surfer and a huge supporter of charities like No Kid Hungry, and he spends ample time in his home kitchen, since he and his wife Pamela have two young children, and it’s important to Murphy to sit down for a meal with them as often as possible.
“We try to cook at home a lot, in order to stay connected,” Murphy says. “It’s almost like a test kitchen, too. We do a lot of cooking and it’s a good chance to play with recipes, which I can bring back to the restaurants.”
Read on for what Murphy’s currently whipping up at his summer house on Long Island, with a few at-home cooking tips only a chef with more than 30 years of experience could provide. —Jamie McKillop
Is there anything you don’t eat? Nope. My diet is just good food that’s hopefully as fresh and local as possible. But we like to cook with real food. We don’t cook out of boxes. I also have to have a lot of variety. We aren’t going to eat steak six times per week, it’s just boring. I tend to eat what’s growing and what’s in season.
As a chef, is there anything too “weird” that you make that your kids won’t eat? They’re pretty good about eating everything. My son loves oysters actually. I always say for your kids, as long as the adults don’t start saying “Oh, I don’t eat that,” they’re pretty good about everything. They’ll see you eating something like foie gras and say “What’s that? Can I have some?” It’s just food, nothing scary.
You certainly have lots of rosé. I’m jealous! That’s what they call summer water. But yes, it’s hot out and the rosé is flowing. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. There’s a whole other wine cellar [at our place].
What’s in the clear plastic bags? That’s probably romaine. We have a little garden where we grow lettuce, but I like to supplement with a nice crisp romaine. When it gets on the older side, you can grill it and squeeze lemon juice on top. Even with some leftovers for lunch, I’ll cut it up and saute it with a little garlic, anchovies, and capers. Those are high up on my list as punch ingredients to take something to the next level.
That’s a lot of Dijon mustard on the second shelf. What do you use it for? My wife makes roasted chicken, and nothing is better with that than mustard. I’ll do a lamb and cover it with mustard and roast it, or use it in a simple vinaigrette with with a little Dijon, red wine vinegar, and herbes de Provence. That’s our house dressing. There’s also nothing better than Dijon with cold leftover steak.
What do you do for a quick snack? There are always avocados on the counter. I cut an avocado in half and put salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil in the hole where the pit was. I also love peanuts in the shell. Hummus is always great. My daughter loves it. We have it with some pita chips.
What’s the heirloom tomato sauce for? That was for some pizzas my wife made. I know I should make my own, but I wasn’t here, I promise.
How much do you try to stay away from prepared food? You know, I’m never going to feel guilty about eating. As long as you’re eating real food for the most part, it’s fine to have something processed every once in a while. I might have potato chips or something, so I’m not going to be all high and mighty about it.
For more information, visit landmarcrestaurant.com
(Photo: Marc Murphy)