An a-MAZE-ing Experience!

By Ursula Terlecki   Photos by Filip Terlecki

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had the opportunity to travel to New York City many times. As a child because my grandparents lived in Brooklyn for many years, and throughout my teenage and adult life simply because… I’m in love with the city. It doesn’t hurt that I have great friends who always have their door open and a spare bed waiting.

Because my husband and I have been to NYC countless times and have experienced the typical tourist attractions, we’re always on the lookout for new and interesting things to do. And, if that ‘something new’ is related to food, all the better.

Photo courtesy: thelondonnyc.com

On our last trip to NYC, we had the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience at the Maze by Gordon Ramsay restaurant in The London NYC hotel.

The London NYC is the perfect setting for Maze as it allows guests to enjoy an informal dining experience in luxurious surrounding. As for the location, it rises amid the pulse of midtown Manhattan — blocks from Lincoln Center, MoMA, Carnegie Hall, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, and Central Park.

Chef de Cuisine Markus Glocker Photo by: Matt Simpkins

The 3+ hour dinner titillated all of our sense and left us wanting more. Having worked with Gordon Ramsay at the celebrated Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s in London, as well as Restaurant Eckart Witzigmann in Berlin and in the kitchen of Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago (just a few notches on his robust resume), Chef de Cuisine Markus Glocker created dishes we didn’t want to disturb when served.

Modeled on the small-plates concept of Gordon Ramsay’s British restaurant of the same name offering French-based dishes with Asian influences, every plate that was brought out was more beautiful and delicious than the last.

Dinner started off with the London Red Carpet, the restaurant’s signature drink.

Sautéed sea scallops golden raisin purée, cauliflower beignets, crispy capers – a mouthwatering appetizer that didn’t disappoint.

Warm salad of confit duck leg roasted pear, foie gras butter, bleu cheese, bitter greens.

Pan-roasted halibut olive crushed potatoes, grilled leeks, smoked red wine jus.

Aside from the ambiance and food, we have to give a huge shout out to the staff at the Maze. Everyone from the hostess to the sommelier (Miro!) were kind, knowledgeable, and patient.

My new BFF (and our sommelier for the evening) Miro.

From the chef’s menu: Valrhona chocolate fondant green cardamom caramel, sea salt and almond ice cream.

Vanilla custard with citrus fruits, brown sugar oats, and mandarin sorbet.

Other than inviting us behind the scenes to show us where all the magic happens, Chef Markus took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Maze prides itself on the small-plate model – what is the idea behind this concept?

Tapas style or small share plates is the original way of enjoying food in Spain. The same idea of dining was brought to the table by Gordon Ramsay for his restaurant, Maze UK. Of course we switched the menu into our own cuisine. This makes Maze an innovative, yet at the same time casual dining experience of French/Asian flavours.

A backstage pass to where all the magic happens. A tour of chef’s kitchen.

Maze was modeled after the London based Gordon Ramsay restaurant of the same name– what was his involvement in the New York edition and how do you go about putting your own touch on the restaurant?

The beauty of Gordon Ramsay restaurants is that every concept is unique. The standards of Maze London and Maze NY are the same just the chef’s handwriting is different. Therefore, Gordon is not involved in a day-to-day operation, but he is making sure every dish is in his best interest and flavour profile.

We have visitors! Kitchen staff hard at work.

The dishes are described as French-based with Asian influence – describe this food combination?

French food has always had a history of being slightly heavy; cream, demi-glaze, and butter for instance. Asian ingredients and techniques are perfect for brightening up those heavy French flavours.

Talking shop with the sous chef.

What’s your favorite thing on the Maze menu?

Scallops with cauliflower cream, raisin puree, crispy capers.

What’s the one thing that guests should absolutely try?

Bouillabaisse, it’s our signature dish at Maze.

In a few words describe being a chef at Maze and Gordon Ramsay.

Challenging, but fun!

Who is your culinary inspiration?

Eckart Witzigmann.

What would you have for your last meal?

White sausage, sweet mustard, and Weiss Beer.

Art on a plate.

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