In recent years, fried chicken has undergone something of a renaissance. Last year found people lining up for David Chang’s fried chicken sandwiches at Fuku and midtown’s first Chick-fil-A. This summer, Nashville-style hot chicken has spawned think pieces and sent New Yorkers flocking to try the Brooklyn take on the dish at Peaches HotHouse and Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen.
Whoopi Goldberg and star chef Andrew Carmellini will pay tribute to the bird at the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival with the Chicken Coupe, a fried chicken and champagne tasting, which Carmellini describes as a “high-brow/low-brow kind of thing” with unexpected tastes that go great together.
The event will feature chicken dishes, as well as sides and desserts, from chefs at Root & Bone, Hill Country Chicken, Blue Smoke and Shake Shack, among others.
Carmellini, whose NYC restaurants include Locanda Verde, The Dutch and Bar Primi, says there’s no magic formula for great fried chicken.
“Everyone has their secret,” he said. “It depends on how you like to eat it. I like mine spicy and not greasy.”
In addition to the food, the event will give Carmellini a chance to show off Williamsburg’s William Vale Hotel, home to his new rooftop cocktail bar Westlight, which comes with stunning views, as well as his soon-to-open restaurant Leuca.
“[It will feature] new takes on Southern Italian cooking,” he said of Leuca. “I’m having a blast with it already while we are testing recipes.”
With Italian, American and French restaurants all under his NoHo Hospitality Group umbrella, it would seem easy for Carmellini to spread himself too thin. But rather than try to tie every piece of his empire together with a signature concept, he said success has come from embracing the differences.
“Every place is different and has its own soul,” he explained. “That’s the key — soulfulness in the cooking.”