Photo: Marc Forgione/One Fifth
As we continue to explore the flavors of New York City, we talk to Chef Marc Forgione whose food empire includes his namesake, Restaurant Marc Forgione, Peasant and most recently One Fifth, which opened in the former Otto space in the heart of Greenwich Village. At age 30, Forgione was awarded his first Michelin star and went on to become an Iron Chef on the Food Network. His most recent endeavor, One Fifth, pays tribute to the space it occupies, a near-continuous restaurant operation since 1927 where Italian cuisine and Pinsa (hand-pressed pizza) reign supreme.
In our Q&A Series, CITITOUR had a chance to ask Chef Forgione about his business empire:
CITITOUR: While many chefs and restaurateurs were hunkering down during the pandemic, you were building up. Where did your drive and determination come from?
FORGIONE: I've been working my entire professional life non-stop, so when COVID told us to stop, I didn't know how to do that. I just kept pushing through and trying to move forward.
CITITOUR: Your latest project One Fifth is not only in an historic location, it’s also a project you’ve been working on with your father. What makes this location and this project so special?
FORGIONE: I've always wanted to share the way the Forgiones eat, which is lots of different things spread all over the table, everyone sharing everything. One Fifth seemed like the perfect place to do that.
CITITOUR: You recently introduced an Italian brunch at One Fifth. What can diners expect?
FORGIONE: Brunch is a funny animal. People are more opinionated on how to cook their breakfast so we really wanted to have some fun with it and serve some traditional dishes with a fun and Italian twist. For example, we have a version of a breakfast sandwich that's called a Morty Egg & Cheese that uses a thick slice of mortadella instead of the standard sausage/bacon. (You can see the entire brunch menu here.)
CITITOUR: At your restaurant Peasant you held a “Playing with Fire” series. Is live fire cooking a passion of yours? And what is your favorite dish to cook over an open flame?
FORGIONE: It's not so much one thing that I like to cook over the open flame—I just love with a passion what the open flame does to the ingredient.
CITITOUR: As an Iron Chef, you are very competitive. If you could compete against one New York City chef, who might that be?
FORGIONE: My competitive cooking days are over but I had an amazing time doing it while I did.
CITITOUR: Aside from food, what brings Marc Forgione joy?
FORGIONE: Family, food, music, love. I'm very blessed where I am in my life and I don't take it for granted for one second.
We'd like to thank Chef Forgione for participating in our Q&A series and wish him much success in the future!
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