Take Three with Chef ToKa

If you have followed our blog from the beginning, you know that Chef Tony Kang was our FIRST ever chef interview. We also had the privilege of having him cook a great meal for us when he worked at Swallow. Needless to say, we’re big fans and have followed his career path. We caught up with Chef Tony after learning he was hired as Executive Chef at Jacques 1534 in NYC.


Chef Tony Kang aka Chef ToKa
Chef Tony Kang aka Chef ToKa

FP: Congrats on being named Executive Chef at Jacques 1534! What do you have in store for the menu?

TK: Let me start off by saying, thank you Allen & Kristina for the support. I’m excited to take on my FIRST ever Executive Chef job in Manhattan. It’s definitely a different animal than being a chef on Long Island. The menu I am creating at Jacques will focus on fresh, seasonal New American food using classic French techniques. I’m actually taking a step back and just doing good, simple food.

FP: It’s been our pleasure! We still haven’t forgotten that meal you cooked for us back at Swallow! We’ve been big fans ever since and know the menu you’re creating will be fantastic. 

Another congrats on your your new role as Executive Chef AND your participation in the upcoming New York City Wine and Food Festival in October. What are you most excited about?

TK: I’m really looking forward to the NYCWFF. I am truly honored and humbled to be participating at this event. To be hand-selected by some of the best chefs in America has given me so much more motivation to succeed in NYC. I’m excited to show a new audience my style of cooking, and of course, I look forward to mingling with the celebrities and the big name chefs. I hope you guys can make it to the event.

FP: We’re checking our schedules and know you’ll do well on such a large stage. It must be exciting to showcase your talent while hanging out with many of the industry’s big names.

Besides Jacques (of course), have you eaten at any new places we should try?

TK: After moving out to Queens this past winter, I’ve had the chance to really eat at some awesome local spots. Right now, I am a regular at Hinomaru Ramen in Astoria. Luckily for me it’s only a few blocks away from my apartment. The ramen is spot on, the service is great, and the price is just right. I think they can compete with the big boys in Manhattan.

I also enjoyed eating at Delicatessen in SOHO…also dangerous because my current job is only down the street from there. The food at Delicatessen is done right. No frills, no BS…Just good, simple cooking by Chef Michael Ferraro, and my friend, Chef Titus Wang.

FP: Queens has so many hidden gems! That’s two more places for us to add to our list. As always, it was great catching up with you. Best of luck at Jacques 1534- we’ll make sure to stop by in the near future! 

Editors Note:  On Sept. 13, Tony informed his followers on Facebook that he is no longer affiliated with Jacques Restaurant due to creative differences. We’re glad to hear that Tony will be working with Chef Jason Zukas when he opens his new location of Tazzina. 

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