Mark Strausman: Making the food at Freds as good as the clothes at Barneys


Make text smaller Make text larger


You were at the Art of Food last year.
We were. We had a great time. It was really cool standing next to our art piece: Pablo Picasso’s Tête de Femme. It was a great evening of food and art. I used to be a partner in the restaurant in the Hamptons in the late ‘80s that had a lot of famous artists coming in. Artists really appreciate good food, and if you look at the history of art, especially the impressionists, they were hanging out in cafes and trading artwork for food. So there is this sympatico relationship between food and artists.
Tell me about Freds at Barneys.
It’s on the 9th floor of Barneys and we’ve been her for about 20 years. We try to make it the food mecca of the store: what Barney’s does in clothes, we do in food. We bring in the best ingredients, we do a lot of local, farm-to-table here.
I mean, you can see it--the place is packed on a Friday at 3:30 in the afternoon.
How did you get started?
I have a degree in hotel management from New York City Tech in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. It’s something I always wanted to do--to be a chef. And back then, there were much less chefs, so it was an opportune time to come into the business. I started here in ‘96, I got picked to do this by the original family members. It seemed like a great fit. I’ve always been a fan of Barneys, I love their clothes, and the whole Barneys style and how they host things.
What are some of your signature dishes?
We were the first ones to do Belgium pomme-frites back in ‘96, I brought that to the menu. We were also one of the first ones to bring spaghetti and meatballs to our menu back in the early 90’s. Our spaghetti and meatballs We are also famous for our chopped salads: The Madison Avenue Salad, Freds Chopped Salad.


Photos



  • Mark Strausman at the 2015 Art of Food event




What’s your favorite thing to cook outside of Freds?

Outside of work, my favorite thing is to be cooked for.

See what Freds is serving up at The Art of Food this year by purchasing tickets at: www.artoffoodny.com





Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

Image Casualties of the shutdown
As venomous politics and dysfunction in Washington bring federal governance screeching to a halt, Manhattan absorbs a body slam
Image The metamorphosis of a hospital
It’s eastward ho as Lenox Hill redevelops an entire blockfront on Third Avenue, mulls a big sale on Park Avenue — and ruffles community feathers amid demands for...
Image The unsung art of being ready
Behind every great Broadway star there is another type of actor — the understudy
Image Become a volunteer, you’ll be glad you did

“We always need children’s underwear,” said my hospital guide. “We just can’t have enough.” The packages with colorful images...

Image The ghostly remnant
Or how a 19th-century UES church popped up in all its majesty when a private school razed an old parking garage — and why its resurrection could prove fleeting

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters





MOST READ

Local News
The metamorphosis of a hospital
  • Jan 15, 2019
Local News
Casualties of the shutdown
  • Jan 15, 2019
Features
Winter Education Guide 2019
  • Jan 15, 2019
Local News
The unsung art of being ready
  • Jan 15, 2019
Education Guide
Back to school, after 40 gap years
  • Jan 15, 2019

MOST COMMENTED