IT IS AFTER MIDNIGHT in the kitchen of Le Baron, a Chinatown dance club. The chefs we have come to meet are squeezed shoulder to shoulder in the tiny space, chopping and frying for the throngs outside. Jon Gray is giving two waitresses in crop tops a pep talk, telling them to get as far into the crowd as they can before distributing the food. The doors have closed and the venue is over capacity. It’s going to be tough, he tells them. Hold the trays high.
Tonight is the inaugural event of his catering company, Ghetto Gastro, which draws on the talents of rising chefs who have earned their stripes at Le Cirque, Jean-Georges and wd~50, among other big names. “How many can we fit on a tray?” chef Dan Levin interjects, referring to the four-bite portions of chicken and waffles.
We pluck one from the trays and the flavor comes in waves. First the sweet crust. Then the feisty curried chicken. The cool heat of scotch bonnet mango butter. The creamy calm of the coconut waffles. And there are two more varieties to go: a fig waffle with chili chicken and foie gras butter, and a Belgian waffle with buttermilk fried chicken and maple butter. Read More