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How One of NYC's Most Successful Restaurateurs Risked $10 Million on Fried Chicken — Mise En Place

Mar 27, 2024
It's 4:30 right now, in 30 minutes we are going to open our doors for the first time. I have $10

million

at stake. You better sell a lot of

fried

chicken

. This is our second concept, so there was a lot of pressure because the goat. It was a huge success, it was much bigger than I could ever imagine and I feel very honored to know who occupies the next table 22, but now they are opening a new restaurant 7 years after they opened and it was really stressful, I think the great risk. What we're taking is that I raised a ton of money to create a

fried

chicken

restaurant and I think a lot of my investors were like Simon, you're crazy, but I believe in it.
how one of nyc s most successful restaurateurs risked 10 million on fried chicken mise en place
I think to create something that's really out of the ordinary, what you need. capital investment, a commitment of hours of mental work, this is still not pretty, it's still not pretty, but I'm going to make it prettier, we pour it and we're ready, so the first step is we eat a lot of different fried chickens, like this that once we get the fresh chicken every day in the morning, we put it on the tray full like this with the rack on, we dry it overnight and then my partner and my chef SK basically asked him to fry the chicken for 9: 00 a.m. m. to 7:00 p.m. 6 days a week for 14 months we have been cooking with this chicken for about a year.
how one of nyc s most successful restaurateurs risked 10 million on fried chicken mise en place

More Interesting Facts About,

how one of nyc s most successful restaurateurs risked 10 million on fried chicken mise en place...

I think we have collected over 1000 chickens so far. We're going to brine this into our perfect solution and we're going to serve it tomorrow, but then we also have our chicken that was ground from yesterday and we're going to fry it a little bit, so as you can see here, it's got enough Grine in here and then it's very juicy. , so the initial frying is pretty quick at low temperature and slow cooking with a longer time makes the chicken super tender after frying two more times it will be fully cooked, so we dip our chicken in our batter, always We drum the Chucks first because this is the largest piece we have, and it takes the longest to prepare.
how one of nyc s most successful restaurateurs risked 10 million on fried chicken mise en place
When we started cooking, we didn't understand it, the

most

complicated part is when we drop them at different times but we take everything out at the same time and there came a point where you know, I put Chef SK aside and said: Hello Chef, what? do you know if this? Fried chicken is not your thing, go ahead, we have to make it

successful

, so this is what we call Go Go Dock, this is the name of the restaurant Coco Do and of course we stick to it and together, you know, try after test, truly testing our result in a product that I'm really proud of when I fried chicken for the first time I thought I was good at cooking it was pretty

mise

rable I'll say something about your culinary career so far yeah oh what's up?
how one of nyc s most successful restaurateurs risked 10 million on fried chicken mise en place
Yeah, these two guys have been here literally frying chicken every day, every day, you're making incremental profits, you know, al

most

imperceptible profits and I'm very proud of them, our mentor, investment partner, and the Holy Grail, uh, from our business, Thomas Keller is arriving with little nerve. you're ready, yeah, so this is our chicken nugget that's been made with a lot of chicken breast and we're just going to dry drag it. Chicken nuggets are super badass. Chef Keller is trying this for the first time. Can't. wait to see his reaction so the preview was a wet dough and we used different types of flour so that it absorbs about 50% less fat than conventional flour to achieve the perfect golden brown color for our fried chicken.
We added some spices which really brought out the flavor. and the color of the chicken when we fry it with turmeric makes the chicken a little bit more golden so it's a secret trick for us so we have two different batters for frying chicken. The original flavor already has special spices in the dough. but our glaze has different spices, so as you can see, it's a little bit lighter in color and here we go, which part of the SEC recipe that we have do you want to share with Chef Keller. I don't think we need to share anything, the goal. is to ask if you like it, thank you very much for coming, how are you?
Chef Keller, we're the ones doing the last frying right now and, uh, there's about 1 minute left. Can you tell someone what the spices are? Let's keep them. secret, keep the secret, fish like cabbage abely like Colonel Sanders, okay, right now we're serving Chef Keller and Simond with original fried chicken, so we have chicken nuggets, wing dyes and drums. I want you to start with the original flavor chicken nuggets first. whole brisket is a mix of brisket and Dy, is there any other fat you're putting in there? Just a chicken skin. All very well. One thing, I would maybe recommend putting a little more fat in there, great to make it a little brown. creamier, yeah right, and then we'll give you a glazed fried chicken that has garlic soy sauce glazed and then glazed, the coating on the chicken itself is less advanced in terms of spices, yes, for Americans, it has the seasonings What are they.
I'm going to add the spice for the guest so he or she controls that. I think that's the important thing. Our main focus is to make people happy. If that is all. You've made it. I'm excited, thank you, thank you Chef, thank you. You have a lot of work to do from time to time, right now is a decisive moment, thank you, we are obsessed with every detail of fried chicken, now with the design we wanted, obviously, to make it the sexiest restaurant to host a fried chicken, so we're about 3 weeks away from finishing our build and we're reviewing our most important design feature.
We got our um, the arc light. We just received shipment this week and these are the beautiful features, all custom made honestly when I wanted. a large arch. I had no idea how they were going to bring it. Do you know what I know about bows? Oh, I'm not a designer, I'm a restaurant guy. I had no idea how complex this build is, so every shape. It's not the same, so obviously there are tons of these shapes, but you see there's a slight angle, so they all have a unique angle on each piece, so it creates this beautiful Arc.
This Arc was supposed to be done a few days ago, but. again like when they arrive you realize how complex they are you can't just say hey why wasn't it done you know once again you have to turn and the piece on top uh we have to fly that in uh that last piece because uh uh It wasn't, it didn't fit, so again, like the construction site is always full of action, it just has to be there. I want the golden arts because every restaurant that truly creates the best value proposition and high quality should have a golden arch.
I haven't seen this thing light up yet so I think we can bribe our electrician to give us some light after 2 years we can finally see this thing light up. I'm almost sorry. like we hope it's like Rockefeller Center like a lighted tree like it's something we've never done before yeah and there's a lot of lighting circuits there there's 220 pieces of glass in each arch it looks like it's trying to set it up. My expectations are low but my expectations are always very high, especially working with you guys, yeah, let's light it up guys. Wow, I had high hopes for this Ghost Bow, but honestly, it's so much more beautiful than I ever anticipated.
You know, when the vision you had appeared. and the realization that actual reality is more beautiful than your vision itself. I think that's the real driving force and that's what I appreciate most as a restaurant tour. So David, do you think we created the sexiest fried chicken restaurant in the world? world, there is no doubt that we did it. In fact, I think we created one of the most attractive restaurants overall. I love it. I love it. Okay, start the Rolls-Royce. If you come down, we have an incredibly new kitchen and that's the size of a multi-mission star.
The restaurant is large and totally dedicated to producing the best fried chicken. Yesterday we served our friends and family and today is the first day we do the inauguration. I am excited at the same time, I am very stressed and then I see why there are not many restaurants here that do not do this at 8 in the morning Paulino our butcher is starting to cut the chicken this morning we have been in the kitchen for 4 days for 5 days training our steps is just taking a little bit of time than we expected, so our cooking technique and better we change a little our cutting technique is the same as before every day at least we get a 50 chicken for the soft opening and then , when we grind the opening, it's going to be 10 Cas, which is 100 birds every day so this process is super fast, it's breaking the whole chicken into parts and then it even goes into the details.
Cuts right now, from legs to thighs, to the thighs and then the wings to flutter to the thighs. it is completely different from the test kitchen just because the volume is very different it is connected yes yes this is a glass The purpose of this machine is to bring the protein faster and close the chamber efficiently here we go ready 7 minutes later, the chicken is properly ground at the end. The step of preparing the chicken is to coat it and then it's good for serving, so this is a special table for us, our driving station, as you can see, we have our special mix for our fresh chicken, we individually drag each piece over here , so we have a chicken marinated for 24 hours we can put ice here to keep the temperature super cold so that our dough is frozen also the temperature of the dough is very important because the colder the dough is, the crispier the chicken will be. one hour from open the reason we are dragging the chicken right now is to get ahead so it is easier for us to fry it and then put it in the batter so far we have been working in the space for like 4 days and a lot of things are changing and we are fine tuning all so we can get the perfect fried chicken, but we're still figuring out the system right now, just smoothing it out, so now, a little after 2:00 p.m.
Today is our first day of opening of the soap opera, so it's the Moment of Truth, tonight is the first night that we will sell food to customers, okay? Victoria, what's wrong? This is, Victoria James, my business partner. I've been working with her for how long. a decade, Simon, so today we can announce that we have the largest champagne list in America, so we will have over 400 champagne selections and that is the fried chicken restaurant, everyone wants to do it but no one can do it because they can't It's easy, but it's crazy. Girl she makes him happy, oh how much does that cost?
The bottle of Barnacle, this is a couple thousand, a couple thousand, be careful with that and I want to stop by the bar, so we're getting ready for our cocktails, I want to try it and see how that goes what's happening what's happening what there are again making some great ones that we have been working on Amazing and great cocktails the drink has been little available it was a custom cocktail with a lot of nuances and a lot of touch the goal is to make cocktails that are a little more crushable so we can have several cocktails together with fried chicken, so that was our mission the last time we talked about it.
I showed you a draft of the Bara cocktail which is whiskey, watermelon and coconut water based on the comments we increased. watermelon and coconut water to make it a little more approachable and I think the important thing when you drink a cocktail for the first time is that you like to take a big sip and that it's crushable thank you and here we go that's amazing I'm finally very happy with where are we now so im going to go down to the kitchen and talk to ske and see how he is here come on how are you?
I wanted to introduce you to our tartare trio, we have a Kachi tartare with Yuzu cream and a touch of horseradish tartare with chives, both have chives as a garnish, maybe we can use this. Delicious citrus, spicy soy sauce, that's delicious, yes, so we need to reduce the serving size, maybe keep the price low too, this is 2.5 5. Or from each one, we can definitely take out like an extra 5 Oz. I think that's the move for when the fight comes Chien, people are still hungry right now, it's 4:00 so we're about to start the first fry and the second fry is on. it should be ready about 4:30 after frying it or shaking it very well, make our chicken as dry as possible to put it in our wet dough right now, it is ugly, but once we fry it for the third time, it will be more fruit platter. and then you'll get that texture we want to make sure we remove all the excess oil, that's the color I'm looking for and this is still not pretty, it's not pretty yet, but I'm going to make it prettier.
I'm going to show you that a lot of people have talked to me about the value proposition, people are not willing to pay more for butter fried chicken and I can't beg you to put off more if you make much better products, people will definitely pay more, right? knows? whether it's Korean barbecue whether it's fried chicken it has to be fast it has to be fast that's why we have like five line cooks and just to get to the frying station I almost almost feel like the market is always there The question is: are you ready to create truly andgenuinely a better product?
Yeah, that's why we want Are you tired of fried chicken not yet, thank goodness not yet? So the kitchen looks good, let's go upstairs, uh, it's time for our pre-change first one come on, come on, come on, everyone's here, yeah, yeah, well, take a deep breath, bre poon, how are you? Do you feel tonight? Great, so four and a half years in the making we finally started selling some food tonight, the entire stash. Picked up in less than a few seconds it was like a Taylor Swift concert, you know people are really excited to see what we prepare for them, let's be hospitable, let's enjoy each other's company, let's enjoy the first day our customers walk in that door.
I am truly grateful and honored to embark on this journey with you, thank you for our first day of soft opening, let's crush it, we have known SK for a long, long time and always dreamed of opening a restaurant together as SK at the helm and finally after 15 years old, I feel like it's finally here. I'll go up and make people happy. You make people happy. check out your food and let's have some fun, okay let's do it, 20 minutes until service, we're opening our doors, we're making the last of the fries, getting everything ready, I'm feeling good, I'm super excited, you know, I'm definitely nervous too, but I'm ready, Chef Jun was a Korean sailor, so he is the man who maintains discipline and power, so how are you?
Chef you're doing great if it doesn't work make it work yeah make it work or in Korean. We say if you can't bite it with your teeth, we bite it with your gum, ready to do this, yes chef, thank you, chef, very good, chefs, good luck, good luck, order two cubes, the first wish list no can wait for more. like 100,000 100,000 bucket for two, wait, the reason we have all this like a perforated thing here is just because I want our chicken to breathe. Can I get a chive salad? Please, Team Runner, guys, first bucket. Liz, table 52 is for sale, please.
The buckas consist of two different types of sauce, uh, three different types, but tonight we are only going to choose two, one is the OG, which is our secret spice, unglazed chicken and then followed by our soy sauce, glazed chicken with garlic, Simon and our chef June is eating upstairs, but I don't know which table it is, everything better be perfect, so team garmo right now you're giving me two of each oyster, two tuna with fennel and a Kachi, like this which is not about success or failure. the first day, actually, it's about how to make it

successful

with all hands on deck, adjusting and adopting, and that's the path to success, that's too dark, yeah, that's too dark.
I want to be golden with the guys, okay, it's not like flipping a coin, we actually are. Let's all pick up the coin and then make sure it's facing the direction we want it to go. This is our glay soy sauce, garlic, Le fried chicken and this will continue after the OG Chef's corner. What's happening? How are you? and cheese and good stuff, the sequence was good because you lowered the OG and then there was enough time for us to focus on that and then the sauces and then the second one came which was really good, was it spicy enough? or not, it's not our position, look, I was satisfied.
June was like this should be hot, right then so it's going to be even hotter so that's awesome still um D7 we're about 8 days away from opening so we have a long way to go . go, but ultimately I'm extremely happy and very grateful for everything that all of these guys have accomplished so thank you so much Chef let's smash it let's smash it let's go let's go let's go thank you thank you.

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