The Citiblog

Celebrated Chef Victoria Blamey Discusses Life Now, Mena in an Exclusive Interview
April 24, 2023, 10:11.17 am ET


Photo: Daniel Krieger

CITITOUR’S Q&A Series with celebrated New York City chefs continues with Chef Victoria Blamey.

When we caught up with Chef Blamey she had just completed a residency in Texas and was traveling to Chile before returning to New York. In a wide ranging interview she spoke exclusively to us about her life at the moment, life after Mena, and her love affair with seaweed.

CITITOUR: You just ended a residency in Dallas at The French Room where you thanked everyone who went along with you on this “crazy ride,” which I believe Included some BBQ. How would you describe the experience?

CHEF BLAMEY: The experience in Dallas went really well. I met incredible people with amazing human qualities. Was really great to be working with different types of meat and grains. The team was always very open to experiment and do fun stuff together.

CITITOUR: You have done several residencies, including Fulgrances Laundromat. Why do you do them?

CHEF BLAMEY: Residencies, it’s something that I started doing during the pandemic. I believe it can be a great experience to see different work places, to travel the country and get to work with many different styles of people and cuisines.

CITITOUR: You wrote that you were glad to be returning to your second home, New York. How important is the city to you?

CHEF BLAMEY: New York is my second home, sometimes even more than that. I have left Chile 20 years ago, so I have spent one half of my life in Chile and the other abroad. There is really no place like NY, that keeps it real, that grinds and that’s so unique because of the individuals that it attracts.

CITITOUR: When your restaurant Mena closed despite getting rave reviews, you vowed that it would return. Are you any closer to making that a reality?

CHEF BLAMEY: Mena lives in me… timing is tricky and to set the right foundations takes time, I want to do this right, not in a rush.

CITITOUR: Out of all the world renowned chefs you have worked with, top-rated restaurants, and your life experiences growing up in Santiago, Chile, which ones do you cherish the most?

CHEF BLAMEY: I cherish my time in England very much. It gave me most of the tools that I still carry with me to this day.

CITITOUR: What would be your advice to young women entering this field?

CHEF BLAMEY: To the young women of today I would tell them to persevere and never ever give up.

CITITOUR: Where do you see yourself one, two or three years down the road?

CHEF BLAMEY: I see myself doing what I love, sharing with my family and friends all the hard work I have put into this career.

CITITOUR: What does Chef Victoria Blamey like to do when she is not in the kitchen?

CHEF BLAMEY: I love going to museums, exhibitions, love working out, yoga, sipping matcha, walking in BK… admiring the world and traveling.

CITITOUR: Finally, we understand you will be cooking up a kelp dinner on April 30th at The Shipwright's Daughter in Mystic, Ct. Why this love affair with seaweed?

CHEF BLAMEY: My love affair with seaweed started in Chile, since I grew up eating seaweed as a child. I believe it is not only a source of nutrients that’s environmentally friendly and sustainable but an ingredient still so obscure with so much to discover with endless benefits.

We’d like to thank Chef Blamey for taking the time to grant us this interview and wish her much success in the future!


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