David Diaz: A Queens kid with French flare
Executive chef David Diaz has spent his first few months at Brasserie Beaumarchais enticing diners with a menu offering all the favorite, but surprisingly light, flavors of France. From Tartare de Boeuf au Couteau to Coquilles Saint Jacques, Diaz, a Queens native, has brought a fresh flare to the already established Meatpacking District hot spot.
What inspired you to start cooking?
I always liked to cook as a kid. But liking it and doing it as a career are two different things. We used to cut out of school when I was 14, and I’d cook for the boys. We’d go get some stuff at the supermarket, bring it back and I’d cook. I spent one year in college and realized it wasn’t for me, and then went to cooking school.
What’s your favorite item on the menu?
The tartine, because it’s the hardest thing to sell so far. People are afraid of white anchovies. It’s funny because if you go to a tapas place, it’s a given that you’re going to get white anchovies.
Favorite thing to cook at home?
Anything I don’t have to cook — delivery, Chinese food. I like eating off the trucks. I don’t like to go crazy.
Where do you draw your culinary inspiration?
Just life. Just being in New York. There is so much to draw from here. You have every culture in the world. As much as we hate New York, we love it. I’ve lived here my whole life. I draw my inspiration from the city and things that I want to eat — things I think people will want to eat.
What is the personality of Brasserie Beaumarchais?
It’s like your friend who loves to party but is subdued when need be. If you want to go crazy, come here for brunch, or stick around late-night on the weekend. If you want to buy a $2,000 of champagne and show off to your friends, this is the place. We’re in the Meatpacking District. Any restaurant here has a personality that is unique to NYC.