After a shift, what is your favorite guilty pleasure to eat? “Triple-crėme cheese. It’s a great finishing touch for a meal, just as it is at the end of a long shift.”
Is there one dish you won’t cook? “As much as I appreciate Peruvian cuisine, I could never bring myself to enjoy Peruvian Cuy [guinea pig]. There is the visual aspect of food that plays a significant role for me when it comes to the appeal of certain dishes.”
All-time favorite spice. “When I first walked into Charlie Trotter’s kitchen in Chicago around 2004, I experienced a variety of ingredients that I had never seen in my life before. I was immediately infatuated by Togarashi. I value the fact that it is a mainstream spice, with a unique flavor that bodes well with a great variety of food, especially seafood.”
What is your favorite music to listen to while you cook? “I don’t really listen to music when I’m cooking professionally, but love listening to classical music at home, with some good wine and casual bites.”
Did you grow up cooking as a child? “Yes. I was always in the kitchen when my mom was cooking. My family’s background is in restaurants and hospitality.”
What cookbook is your go-to resource for inspiration? “There is not a specific cookbook I admire. Antique cook books inspire me most, since the classics are making their way back.”
After all these years working in restaurants, do you still enjoy going out to eat? “I love going out to eat, but more importantly I like to go out to have fun—these experiences go hand in hand. I no longer analyze every bite I eat, as I used to. I find my inspiration in the whole experience, not only on the plate. My range goes from a simple diner, such as Elephant and Castle, to fine dining as sophisticated as Daniel.”
Is there one chef you’d like to cook with? “Fernand Point. Ma Gastronomie was the first book I read (it’s a must!) while working with Charlie Trotter. The food surrounding his life and inversely how his life surrounded food, is one of the most passionate relationships I have ever known. He displayed true dedication to the craft, something which is almost impossible to achieve today. His work and passion were groundbreaking. He set the tone for culinary visionaries, such as Paul Bocuse, considered the father of modern French cuisine.”
Name the all-time best cooking show. “I enjoy Chef’s Table since it’s not about winning, it’s about showcasing the chef and the restaurant in its natural environment. You can really get a feel for these places in this way, and get excited to eat there. However, my all-time favorite shows to this day are Anthony Bourdain’s involving travel and food, which changed my views on cooking and eating out in general.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “When traveling professionally, there are two things one must always do: label and taste. The two items you are likely to see in any kitchen in NYC are a Kunz spoon (it’s perfect for plating and tasting food) and the other is blue tape for labeling, inspired by Thomas Keller. These are always part of my travel kit.”
Markus Glocker is the executive chef of New York’s Augustine in the chic Beekman Hotel.
Interview has been condensed and edited.