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Alfredo Miccoli, A layered chef & a dash of beet juice

“A restaurateur can weave a perfect palette for a dining experience, but true chivalry is a forever patron.”

-BE Quote


I have been a constant at Almar restaurant, located in Dumbo, even before it was named named Almar.

But only recently had I met Alfredo Miccoli, the co partner and Executive chef.

One night, I was locked out of my apartment and my lemon of a time transformed into an evening of old story telling (a realization that I worked on a Food Network show with his GF), coastal Italian dishes, and a web of collaborations that will continue to spin…

His authenticity of self married, with his articulate Puglia- style cuisine, linger with you like an aromatic sauce.




1. Your approach to cooking by celebrating the ingredients always wows me. Can you explain a little bit of how you’re so true to that style of cooking?

If you grow up in Puglia (Italy), it’s impossible not to stay true to the flavors. The freshest, cleanest recipes require the best ingredients and finding them here is a challenge. It becomes difficult to replicate these dishes in a different place. So, to recreate the same dishes with ingredients from New York is a challenge. I buy seafood from the best vendor and I inspect produce and meat personally, to make sure it’s at a level that I would want to eat.

2. As an owner and executive chef to Almar in Dumbo, how do you please your American clientele while still staying true to your southern Italian cooking?

Even though I grew up in Puglia, I moved here when I was 22. I lived here for years, working as a editorial photographer before getting into the restaurant industry. During that time, I came to understand what New Yorkers want. I had a lot of dinner parties and learned that certain dishes don’t work here. Like anywhere though, fresh ingredients work for everyone and everyone can appreciate when ingredients are of high quality.

3. Who, past or present, is your biggest inspiration?

In the past, my grandmother, Giuseppina, is probably the biggest inspiration, she came from Altamura, from the hills in Puglia. She raised her children during the War (WWII) without her husband around, with very little food available. Giuseppina never got away from using super fresh ingredients that were a testament to the flavors that come from the land and the sea. She made simple dishes that allowed each flavor to speak for itself. That’s something that I continue to practice. And, that’s where I differ with so many modern chefs. They want to add so many different ingredients and flavors. For me it’s overlooking each flavor. It’s about breaking down each ingredient, not piling them one on top of another.

And now, I think of my parents, I think of what would they say about my food. My mother, Nietta followed up with my grandmother’s cuisine, refining her dishes, and my father, Nicola loves food so much. He brought it to an extreme, by requesting certain things for a meal and then giving my mother feedback. Once on vacation in Corfu (Greece), he had a few ‘bad’ meals at the resorts, then he decided to walk for an hour along the cliffs and found this house run by an older couple. They cooked on charcoal, over the ground, a chicken and a whole fish (Orata) from their farm and beachfront. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t have had it save for my father’s stubbornness to get a decent meal.

4. Where do you see your cooking career in the next five years?

My first step would be to have another restaurant with a better equipped kitchen with a grill because I like the rustic, basic style of cooking. Then, I love the sea, so maybe closer to fresh seafood, like somewhere out on the North Fork where access to fresh fish is easier.

5. As you told me earlier, you used to be a travel photographer. Has that every influenced your cooking? Do you think you will ever revisit that passion again?

Traveling for commercial photo shoots reinforced my approach to cooking. When you visit the locals in an area, they cook locally and simply. Plus, their food is about sharing an experience. Once when I was shooting in Louisiana in Eunice, I found myself on a Saturday morning in a place where everyone hangs out listening to a live Zydeco band eating sausages, drinking beer and dancing together. It’s the sharing that gets me, it felt like home. As for continuing with photography, I have my iPhone and I like to use Instagram to document my life, food, loves, in a way that’s not for a client, it’s for me any my friends.

6. When you are not cooking at Almar, and at home, what is your go-to meal that you would cook for your family and your lovely girlfriend Shelley?

My family and I like to eat raw oysters, which isn’t doesn’t involve a process other than cleaning and shucking. We love east coast oysters. Again, it’s part of my basic approach to food. Raw oysters are so fresh and natural. They aren’t altered; they taste like the sea from where they come. We always enjoy some sparkling Franciacorta with them. Also, I like to grill: seafood and vegetables whenever I can.
7. When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you do for fun?

I like tasting new wines, watching documentaries. Whenever I can I like to drive to the ocean, go to the beach as the sea is where I am most comfortable.




Referring to the title, you must try his innovative beet juice cured fluke crostini. Manjar!

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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