Chef News

Harold Marmulstein of Salty Sow in Phoenix on Cooking at the James Beard House (Again) and What Phoenix Does Better Than Austin

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But despite living and working in Texas and Arizona, Marmulstein is an East Coast guy. He grew up in upstate New York and learned to love food early in life because his father owned a wholesale and retail bakery.

"As soon as we were old enough to pack rolls, we worked," Marmulstein says. "So I've always been around it."

After high school, he headed to the Culinary Institute of American at Hyde Park. After graduating, he spent time working and owning restaurants in Atlanta and Baltimore, including Dick and Harry's Restaurant, which he ran with his brother for 10 years.

Salty Sow in Austin opened in 2012, and the Phoenix restaurant recently celebrated its two-year anniversary. But owning and operating several successful restaurants and cooking at the celebrated Beard House not once, but twice hasn't gone to the chef's head.

"At the end of the day, I'm a cook," Marmulstein says.

What restaurants are on your list to visit during this trip to New York?

I'd like to go to . . . I can't think of the name right now, but it used to be Corton. It's a new place now and I can't think of the name. I'd like to go there. [The restaurant is Bâtard.] We went to The Breslin and The Spotted Pig last time; I'd like to go back to The Breslin. I thought The Breslin was outstanding. Spotted Pig was very good, but I prefer The Breslin. They're both the same owners.

I went to a fabulous Korean two-star Michelin restaurant, Jungsik, which was really outstanding. Really innovative. I'd like to get some good Italian food, 'cause I miss that. I'd like to get to Chinatown if I can, 'cause I miss that. But I don't know if I'll make it there. I'll probably end up going to whatever the popular restaurants are, but you know, we're going to go to places that do similar stuff to what we do. But you know, I think wherever you go, it's always good. And I'd like to go back to Eataly. We had a great time.

If you were asked a third time would you go again?

Absolutely. You know, it's a fun thing to do. It gets you out of your kitchen and you're able to do R&D up in New York, which is nice. I can see new things and different things and meet new people. And I've got some friends up there. A good friend I worked with for many years is the executive chef at The New York Palace [hotel] so, I get to see him when I'm up there.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria