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Deborah Is Ready To Dish

DebCooking in the kitchen has always been a source of comfort for me. From a young age, I spent any time off I had from school at my father’s luncheonette cooking and prepping with the line chefs — and most of my summer vacations were spent driving to lower Manhattan at 5am to open and run the kitchen. While it was not how I intended to spend my summer, any down time I had was spent experimenting with the ingredients in front of me, and serving my lunch and breakfast creations to my favorite customers. This led me to pursue a career in food as I can’t think of anything more exhilarating than embarking on a mission to find the ingredients that inspire me — like succulent dates or a nice, thick branch of brussel sprouts — and then pulling them together to create a unique and satisfying dish.

When I started my take out shop Deb’s in 1995, I wanted to take that joy and find a way to share my dishes with my fellow New Yorkers — just as I did at my dad’s luncheonette. Back then, on Varick Street, there weren’t many lunch options — nor was seasonal and local part of the culinary lexicon —and I wanted to bring my wholesome and fresh lunch creations to the neighborhood. Now 18 years later, we still have our little take out shop serving the same good food. Plus, we’ve managed to bring that personality in our food and service with our catering and events business.

I thought it was time as we now have a brand spanking new website for me to document what inspires me; what I and my fellow colleagues are loving; and share my knowledge so I can look back at my next 18 years with words and pictures and not faint recollections. Don’t get me wrong, those memories are firmly planted in my brain but I believe that part of what keeps us fresh and forward thinking is opening ourselves to new experiences and I’m excited that I have a way to document and share this.

If you want to get a quick glimpse of me and my shop, I think Eric Asimov of the New York Times said it best when he dubbed me the matriarch of Varick Street back in 2000.

I look forward to dishing with you.


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