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5 Questions For Saratoga Springs’ Top Culinary Minds

'saratoga living' polls our city's best chefs about their favorite food cities, restaurants and more.

Saratoga Chefs
(from left) Brian Bowden (R&R Kitchen and Bar, Upstairs at 43 Phila), Danny Petrosino (Osteria Danny), Tracey Kwiecien (Fish at 30 Lake), David Burke (salt + char, Morrissey's Lounge, The Blue Hen), Jasper Alexander (Hattie's Restaurant), Fabrizio Bazzani (Chianti II Ristorante), Roslyn Riggi (Boca Bistro), Jason Saunders (Prime at Saratoga National). (Fahnon Bennett)

What do you do when you have all of Saratoga Springs’ greatest culinary minds in one place at the same time? You poll them on their favorite local restaurants, foods to cook with, food cities and more, that’s what! Below, find answers from Fish at 30 Lake’s Chef Tracey Kwiecien, Osteria Danny’s Chef Danny Petrosino, Boca Bistro’s Chef Roslyn Riggi, Chianti Il Ristorante’s Chef Fabrizio Bazzani, Prime at Saratoga National’s Chef Jason Saunders, R&R Kitchen and Bar and Upstairs at 43 Phila’s Chef Brian Bowden, Salt + Char, Morrissey’s Lounge and The Blue Hen’s Chef David Burke and Hattie’s Restaurant’s Chef Jasper Alexander. Dig in.

Chef TRACEY KWIECIEN of Fish at 30 Lake

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
My grandmother’s food, especially pierogies.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
Karavalli and the Spring Street Deli.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
Boston, at the moment.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Stay organized and prioritize everyday tasks.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
None.


Chef DANNY PETROSINO of Osteria Danny

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Eggplant.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
Boca Bistro.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
New York City.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Buy the best ingredients and try not to ruin them.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
Molto Mario.


Chef ROSLYN RIGGI of Boca Bistro

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Paella.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
Osteria Danny.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
New York City.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Always lead by example.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
Chopped.


Chef FABRIZIO BAZZANI of Chianti Il Ristorante

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Risotto and pasta, because they’re close to my heart.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
I enjoy a simple barbecue outside.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
New York City is the heart of the food world. I used to live in Los Angeles, and the Asian influence is on another level.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Be simple, stay simple and never use more than three ingredients. Study the nature of products to recognize when and how they’re good, so they can perform at their best.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
I would’ve loved to have traveled with Anthony Bourdain.


Chef JASON SAUNDERS of Prime at Saratoga National

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Steaks.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
Osteria Danny.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
Kennebunkport, ME.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
It could be the greatest food, but if you don’t get it up to the window in time, it doesn’t matter.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
Hell’s Kitchen.


Chef BRIAN BOWDEN of R&R Kitchen and Bar and Upstairs at 43 Phila

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Seafood—usually whole fish like halibut and salmon.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
Home. My wife cooks more often than me.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
New York City.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Work hard, stay focused and above all, stay true to your craft.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
Top Chef.


Chef DAVID BURKE of Salt + Char, Morrissey’s Lounge and The Blue Hen

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Eggs.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
Boca Bistro and Osteria Danny.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
Hong Kong.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Follow the best, not the money.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
Gordon Ramsay’s kids show, MasterChef Junior, as a judge or instructor.


Chef JASPER ALEXANDER of Hattie’s Restaurant

1. What do you cook better than anyone else?
Fried chicken: There’s not only a lot of history to the dish, but also a science to seasoning it. Hattie’s has been using special methods of cooking chicken for 80 years.

2. What’s your go-to spot to eat in Saratoga Springs that’s not your own?
That’s a political question. Let’s say Compton’s.

3. What’s your favorite food city?
New York City or New Orleans.

4. What’s the best advice you were given as a young chef?
Keep your head down, focus on the fundamentals and outwork the person next to you.

5. What culinary TV show could you imagine yourself on?
Does it have to be related to food? Law & Order.

—additional reporting by Madeline Conroy and Gabriella Boschetti

Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is the managing editor at saratoga living.

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