Haute Secrets: Celebrity Chef Marc Murphy

Marc Murpy, executive chef and owner of Benchmarc, which oversees Landmarc and Ditch Plains
Marc Murpy, executive chef and owner of Benchmarc, which oversees Landmarc and Ditch Plains

Photo Credit: Cedric AngelAs the son of an on-the-move diplomat, celebrity chef Marc Murphy grew up in Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Rome, Washington D.C. and Genoa. While Murphy originally planned to be a race-car driver, his peripatetic childhood provided an unusually useful background for his ultimate profession as chef. He is likely the only culinary guru who can claim Prince Albert of Monaco was once his babysitter! 

Before branching out on his own, Murphy worked with the food world greats like Alain Ducasse at the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo and Sylivan Portay at Le Cirque.  His Landmarc restaurant, which opened in 2004, was widely praised for its innovative French-Italian fusion menu. TV viewers know Murphy from his frequent appearances as a judge on Chopped and his face-off against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. In addition to Landmarc, Murphy helms Ditch Plains, which has two locations in the city. and Kingside at the Viceroy, where he offers a sophisticated take on American cuisine.

Landmarc at the Time Warner Center
The interior of Landmarc

Where were you born? Milan

How long have you been in New York? Over 25 years

You lived many places when you were a youngster. How did that effect your cooking style? 

I grew up eating in France and Italy so I was lucky to develop a really amazing palette as a kid. The flavors stuck with me and I love to incorporate them into my cooking. Herbs de Provence is a favorite and reminds me of my childhood.

Favorite neighborhood: UWS (Upper West Side)

Best restaurant (beside your own): Baekjeong Korean Restaurant

Best Italian: Crispo

Best French: La Mirabelle

Best steakhouse: The Palm

Best dessert: Caramel Pudding at Kingside

Best bar: Polo Lounge

Best Sunday brunch: Extra Virgin

Night-on-the-town favorites: Broadway or the ballet

Best place for a power business meeting: Landmarc at the Time Warner Center

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Plaza for its own world charm

Favorite labels: Jon Varvatos or Ted Baker

What’s your favorite dish to cook at home? Roast chicken and vegetables

What dish do you recommend for someone who isn’t a good cook to try? Anything slow roasted, such as Beef Bourguignon. The slow cooking time is forgiving and it sounds impressive!

Best gym/athletic gacility: Central Park…no seriously it’s the best place to run

Favorite charity: City Harvest

Best museum/exhibit: The Met, Manus x Machina

Describe New York in three words: Sleepless, eclectic, energizing

Favorite city historic place to see or explore: Grand Central Terminal

What’s best about New York: It’s a melting pot; we have so many cultures and cuisines to experience and it’s a great walking city.

The secret to your success? Passion