Jimmy Bradley and the Role of Confidence in Being a Chef and Creating a Restaurant
[Note: This is our monthly sister post to the Kitchen Time Machine series on Eater. Click over there to read our interview with Jimmy Bradley.]
NEW YORK, NY — A few weeks ago, during a quick visit to the Napa Valley, I caught up with Brian Bistrong, chef de cuisine of Michael Chiarello’s Bottega restaurant in Yountville. As we were talking, our mutual friend, Jimmy Bradley, chef-owner of The Red Cat and The Harrison in New York City, came up.
Brian had cooked for David Bouley before he became executive chef of The Harrison, Red Cat’s sister restaurant in TriBeCa, where we got to know each other. He then returned to Bouley as chef de cuisine after Braeburn, his own restaurant in downtown Manhattan.
We kicked around some stories about Jimmy, then I asked what it had been like collaborating with him.
“I learned a lot working for Jimmy,” he said, without hesitation.
The swiftness with which the answer came made me think that it was something Brian had spent some time reflecting on in the intervening years. For me it was actually a surprising comment because, with no disrespect to Jimmy (who’s one of my best friends), given Brian’s professional pedigree, I wondered what Jimmy could have shown him, culinarily speaking. I asked Brian what he meant.
With zero hesitation, he said: “Jimmy’s very sure of himself.”…