Cook, DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine

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1435 First Ave

How much creative license do you get over what dishes you make?

Not too much; the head cook pretty much orchestrates the menu. If I express displeasure over the monotony of what we're making, we'll collaborate on the daily specials.

Is it stressful working in the food industry?

Not here it's not. We've got a pretty solid community; everyone who works here is a friend. In fact, it's the first place where I feel genuinely content with my job and coworkers.

What are the perks of working in a specialty-food store?

I get to work with a lot of high-end foods, like imported cheeses and meats, so I'm not just churning out a bunch of swag I wouldn't ingest myself. I'm pretty proud of what we offer.

What's your favorite dish to make?

The artichoke dip, because it's impossible to fuck up.

Speaking of fucking things up, how many of our four failed relationships would you classify as your fault?

What? Maybe two.

I'd say three. Do you remember when you baked me that magnificent chocolate cake for my birthday one year?

No.

Neither do I. If our rancid love was a food, what type of food would it be?

A hate-tart. Maybe that's just you, though.

What's your favorite comfort food to assuage a broken heart?

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Meatloaf. And bourbon. You are such a freak.

Interview by Cienna Madrid