Watching and assisting his mother prepare traditional Sicilian Sunday suppers in their Long Island home is what initially inspired Harold Dieterle to become a chef. Dieterle has been a pillar in the restaurant scene for the last 10 years working at a variety of different spots, most notably the 1770 House, which garnered a two star review from The New York Times during his stint there. However, his list of accomplishments only begins there. In 2006, Dieterle competed and won the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”
Inspired by his travels to Asia, Chef Dieterle and his business partner, Alicia Nosenzo, opened Perilla, a critically acclaimed restaurant in the West Village. In late 2010, the business partners opened their second West Village haunt, Kin Shop, which is devoted to contemporary Thai cuisine.
We sat down with Chef Dieterle to ask him a few questions about his current position as Executive Chef of his two restaurants, Perilla and Kin Shop. Inquiring minds want to know!
Haute Living: How did you begin your career in the culinary field?
Harold Dieterle: I started off in high school where I took a home economic class in order to meet girls. My first professional job was washing dishes at a restaurant in Babylon, New York, called The Gull.
HL: What restaurants did you work at prior to your two venues?
HD: They include Della Femina, The 1770 House and The Harrison.
HL: What appetizer, entrée and dessert are your restaurants most well known for?
HD: At Perilla the signatures would have to be The Spicy Duck Meatballs, Grilled Hanger Steak and Doughnuts. At Kin Shop, I would say the Crispy Pork and Fried Oyster Salad, the Goat Curry and Rootbeer Float.
HL: Are you a globetrotter? If so, do you get inspiration for your dishes from places you have traveled to?
HD: I’m inspired by places in Asia and Europe, such as Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Sicily and the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
HL: When you’re not cooking up creations at your own restaurants, where can we find you dining?
HD: You can find me at Muay Thai Kick boxing, or fishing and relaxing with my wife.
HL: What’s your favorite drink?
HD: Gin and Tonic.
HL: What’s your favorite past time?