A restaurant owner and operator in New York City, Ed Schoenfeld has developed scores of trendsetting restaurants and food concepts since the 1970’s and is know for his culinary and hospitality standards of excellence. His scholarly knowledge of Chinese cuisine and history as a key player in the introduction and development of delicious, authentic, regional Chinese cooking the U.S. since the early 1970’s makes him a uniquely qualified specialist in Asian culinary concepts.
Ed Schoenfeld and dim sum master Chef Joe Ng opened RedFarm in August 2011. Its aim is to purvey modern and inventive Chinese cuisine using green market ingredients and sensibility. A second location on the Upper West Side opened in October 2013. In spring of 2014, Ed opened Decoy, a Peking duck destination that quickly gained rave reviews. In February of 2012, the New York Times gave RedFarm two stars in its restaurant review. RedFarm is currently Zagat’s #1 Chinese and #1 Dim Sum restaurant. Schoenfeld and RedFarm has been featured in a number of media outlets including The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Elle, Vogue, Wallpaper, Travel+Leisure, The New York Post, Grub Street, Eater, Serious Eats, Zagat, Details and Food & Wine.
What is your favorite ingredient and why?
With being a self-taught chef I don’t really know if I have a favorite ingredient. I typically will pick up something new I have not used before and try to incorporate it into a majority of the dishes I cook for a year or so and then will switch it up again. I cook to please myself and assume those around me will enjoy what I cook as much as I will. Most recently, I have been trying to use bread crumbs as often as possible. There is an Italian bakery by the name of Calandra’s not too far from my home where I buy fresh Italian bread to make bread crumbs. I enjoy fusing cuisines that no one would ever think to try, my home-made bread crumbs has allowed me to experiment with Italian to Asian which I have really enjoyed testing out. If you are looking for a more staple ingredient of mine, it would have to be Lucky Boy Brand Light Mushroom Soy Sauce. I spent 30 years trying to match the ingredients of the Soy Sauce of some of the best Cantonese restaurants I have eaten at. After many attempts, I stumbled across Lucky Boy Brand and instantly knew what I had been missing. I love to use it in all types of cuisines.
Why did you choose BlueStar? What has been your favorite feature so far?
For my range, I had something very simple in mind- I wanted a good tool that would enable me to get from cold to hot very quickly. I thought I would need as much power as possible from my BlueStar but it wasn’t until after cooking on the high heat burners, that I saw the wisdom in having a simmer burner on my home range. This range allows me to do tricks at home that I have never been able to do on any other range I have owned. I can reduce the liquid with noodles in an instant on the high heat burner- the range is a hot rod, it was made to win races.
Most unusual item in your cooking tool box and what do you use it for?
The most unusual and unique item that I have would be a copper wok that was made solely for me. The inside of it is tin, similar to a fine French or Italian pan. It was made by the most famous maker of pots and pans in Europe, Cesare Mazzetti. Mr. Mazzetti owns Rinomata Rameria Mazzetti, a three-centuries-running family business, who makes all of his copperware in the basement of a church in Tuscany.
What did you use as inspiration when designing your BlueStar range within your kitchen?
I made a recent transition to go from dark to light in my kitchen which I kept too when deciding the colors for my range. My inspiration actually came from a sign that says “Apples” that I have hanging on the wall above the stove. I found the sign up at a flea market while traveling through Maine and knew I had to have it. It was great that I was able to match the light green of the background to the body of the stove and the red in the lettering to the knobs.