April Bloomfield Returns With a Dinner Series

April Bloomfield Returns With a Dinner Series


The chef April Bloomfield plans next week to kick off a series of dinners prepared with other chefs from around the country at the Breslin, her restaurant in the Ace Hotel in NoMad.

The dinners are Ms. Bloomfield’s first high-profile events since she was part of the scandal over sexual harassment by her former business partner, Ken Friedman, at the Spotted Pig in the West Village. The two have parted ways: Mr. Friedman is no longer a partner in the Breslin, and their other restaurant in the hotel, the John Dory Oyster Bar, has closed, as has the Spotted Pig.

In a New York Times article in 2017, several former employees accused Mr. Friedman of running a highly sexualized workplace where he and his guests harassed women. Some said Ms. Bloomfield had been made aware of the abuses but did nothing to stop them.

Ms. Bloomfield has since apologized for her inaction, saying she was naïve and intimidated by Mr. Friedman. In an interview on Thursday, she said she has become more attentive to her employees at the Breslin, where she is a co-owner. “I’ve been listening to the staff, concentrating on that, so it’s important for me to be here,” she said.

She said that for the past number of months she has simply been working hard to keep the Breslin on track, revising the menu. She said the staff has been supportive, especially the executive chef, Ryan Jordan, who worked with her at the Breslin when it opened, and returned after a few years elsewhere.

“It’s been 10 years,” she said, “and for a restaurant and its staff these days that’s worth celebrating.”

The four-dinner series, Friends of the Breslin, is meant to mark the anniversary. Ms. Bloomfield said the guest chefs are all close friends of hers. Asked if she was concerned about how the series might be received by the public in the wake of the Spotted Pig scandal, she said she had not thought about that.

The first dinner, on Feb. 28, with the chef Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland, Ore., will be a six-course meal featuring a leek and celeriac velouté with egg, ikura and uni; shrimp and pork ravioli with curry butter; and Wagyu beef with a tamarind and black garlic sauce. A citrus dessert will be prepared by Abby Naguit, a former Breslin pastry chef who is now corporate pastry trainer for Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

A March 31 dinner will be prepared by Ms. Bloomfield with Claudette Zepeda, formerly of El Jardín in San Diego, and Gavin Kaysen, who has restaurants in Minneapolis. The Los Angeles chef and baker Nancy Silverton will join Ms. Bloomfield on April 13, and sometime in the fall the guest chef will be Traci Des Jardins of San Francisco.

The first dinner is $105 including tax and tip, but not beverages; $10 from each ticket will benefit Australian fire-relief programs. Menus, prices and charities for the other dinners have not been set.

The Breslin, 16 West 29th Street: for reservations, breslinnyc.com/guest-chef-series.



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