10 Questions for Chef Anthony Ricco of Spice Market

Chef Anthony Ricco of Spice Market

Haute Living: Hi Anthony, what’s new at Spice Market?
Anthony Ricco: We have updated the Bar menu adding a Cherry Yuzu Old Fashioned and a Fresh Raspberry Mojito. We also added a wide variety of Scotches and Single Barrel Bourbons.

HL: What are some of your favorite dishes at Spice Market?
AR: Crispy pork belly with tamarind nouc cham, XO vegetable fried rice, pork satay with pickled vegetables, nonya seafood laksa and spice chicken samosa with cilantro yogurt.

HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
AR: I have to have pizza most of the time, so I go to Grandma Roses Pizzeria in Brooklyn for my brother’s upside down grandma slice. When I’m not eating pizza I like RYE in Brooklyn. They have a great short rib sandwich and they are the only place that serves Scotch Eggs, which I love.

HL: What’s your ideal meal?
AR: My ideal meal is lechon (Cuban pork with crispy skin), fried plantains, yuca with onions, black beans with rice and a basic salad. That is my favorite composed meal and only when it’s made by my girlfriend’s grandmother Anna Mir.

HL: Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
AR: Jean Georges Restaurant is my favorite special occasion spot. I love the dining room but nothing is as special as the dinner you are about to eat while celebrating.

HL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
AR: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where I was born and raised. I still live there now. The neighborhood has changed greatly but I live on an old school block with old school people. We also have some great restaurants ranging from Polish to Italian and everything else you can imagine.

HL: What do you like to do in the city on your days off?
AR: I like to walk the High Line and walk along the Hudson.

HL: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
AR: Thailand is the best vacation spot. You have to stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok to experience the service and hospitality. It is amazing.

HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
AR: The first time I went to Sushi Seki in Manhattan. The spicy scallop hand roll is and will always remain my favorite single food memory. Then, on top of that we had the toro, fois gras and tempura fried oyster roll which, if you love exotic flavors and textures, this would be your favorite memory also!

HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
AR: Lemongrass, chilis, kaffir lime leaf, garlic, cinnamon.

Spice Market is located at 403 W. 13th St; (212) 675-2322

To make one of Chef Anthony Ricco’s recipes at home, try these fragrant mushroom egg rolls with galangal emulsion.

Visit food + travel writer + Haute Dining columnist Tracey Ceurvels‘ blog, The Busy Hedonist, for more food stories.