Chef Hadley Schmitt, Northern Spy Food Co., East Village, New York City, New York, NY, What Happens When, John Fraser, Chefs Recommendations, Where to eat, Where to drink, Where to shop, What to cook, Recipes, Insider Recommendations, Mead, What To Drink Advice, Tips

Q & A

Northern Spy Food Co.


East Village

511 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10009

T: 212.228.5100



Mon - Fri: 10am - closing

Sat - Sun: 10:30am - 3:30pm

Sat - Sun: 5:30pm - closing




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Northern Spy Food Co. - East Village - New York, NY

Q & A with Chef Hadley Schmitt

Q. As the new chef at Northern Spy Food Co., what are some of the things that are going to be your contribution, your signature?

A. We hope to push the seasonal boundaries a little bit more. It used to be a lot of the specials were more seasonal and the menu stayed the same. Now we’re going keep the menu evolving and rotating.

We’re working on a savory sticky bun, instead of the sweet spice and frosting rolled in, we’re going to roll pulled pork inside and keep it savory and glaze it with parsnip.

Q. Northern Spy works with a pretty good list of purveyors. Who are you excited to work with from their list?

A. Eckerton Farms -- I have been fairly familiar with them for their great tomatoes, but one of our cooks works part time with them on the farm and at the farmers market, so he’s been talking to us a lot about chili peppers. They do a lot of cool varieties. We’re getting these Granada peppers in, which look like habaneros with a lot of the same floral notes. They aren’t spicy at all, they’re pretty mild and they’re amazing. We love them.

[See details.]

Q. How do you use them?

They have kind of a Caribbean flare to them, so putting it with gingery pumpkin, it follows the jerk ideal a little bit.

Another purveyor I like, that I’m not too familiar with is Blooming Hill Farms. We’re getting some cool squash and leave runners from them.

[See details.]

Q. What purveyors are you looking forward to bringing in?

A. Honey Locust Farm -- they do cool lettuces and herbs. They bring in a lot of nice wild weeds, like chickweeds. Some is semi-foraged.

[See details.]

Advice / Tips

Q. Do you have a cost cutting secret?

A. Use everything -- we’re making a soup out of squash right now. The seeds, which usually end up in the trash, we put those on the stove with water, make a stock and you get a little more extra squash flavor and instead of pouring water over your soup, you’re pouring in that extra flavor.



Q. What food stores and markets do you like to visit? 
A. Union Square Greenmarket -- whenever I have food friends in from out of town, I love to take them here. It’s pretty unique to the area and it kind of follows the European tradition of markets.

Fairway -- I live on the Upper West Side, so I like going there because it always sparks ideas in my head. Just so much product that they have there.

Kitchen Arts and Letters -- it’s a unique cookbook store. They have all different languages and I like talking to the owner and the employees. There is so much to draw out of that store.

[See details.]


Q. Where would you take a visiting chef to eat in NYC?

A. Blue Hill at Stone Barns -- you’re right there on the farm and it’s inspirational.

In the same realm, Roberta’s -- they have their rooftop greenhouse and garden, outdoor bread oven and they have a lot of interesting things going on.

[See details.]

Q. Were do you go that is off the beaten path?

A. Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery -- it’s in the back of an unassuming Mexican grocery store. They have a funky taco stand eating area. I’m a sucker for the braised tongue, the heart, and the goat meat tacos there.

[See details.]

Q. Where do you eat most often?

A. Land Thai Kitchen -- the chef has good pedigree and knows what he’s doing. He keeps it fairly authentic, it’s pretty spicy, when it should be, and everything is really fresh. I really like the Spicy Beef Salad, the Grilled Skirt Steak, and the Drunken Noodle with Chicken, spicy but good.

Kin Shop -- chef Harold Dieterle obviously has great experience and the food is really fresh and interesting. The goat curry is amazing.

Dovetail -- I am biased since I worked there, but it is an underrated restaurant in New York and it suffers being Upper West. People don’t go up there. The thing that has been on the menu since day one is the Beef Cheek Lasagna that accompanies the sirloin and I think it’s genius. You get starch from the potatoes and the braised beef cheek is unctuous and delicious.

[See details.]


Q. Where do you like to go for cocktails in New York?

A. Clover Club -- they do classic cocktails and really take their time to make great craft drinks.

Mayahuel -- I really like their cocktail program with their smokey mezcal-style drinks.

Vandaag -- I worked at Noma in Copenhagen for six weeks and it was my first exposure to mead. At Vandaag, they make some cocktails using mead.

[See details.]

Q. Do you have a favorite watering hole?

A. George Keeley -- I do like beer quite a bit and I’m starting to get into craft brew with my girlfriend. They have about 20 different taps and it’s always an interesting selection, because they rotate them and they really take care of their beer taps. It has a good vibe, just avoid the weekends.

[See details.]

Q. Any interesting spirits you’re cooking with?

A. Yes, we’re using Mead -- it’s a honey wine. We’re braising cabbage with the mead, apple cider and apple cider vinegar. It really tastes of the season, with the apples and honey.

[See recipe.]

Q. What are some of your favorite meads?

A. Dansk Mjod / Vikingernes Mjod is from Denmark and is honey-sweet.

Die Hochland Imker is dry and I really like it.

[See details.]


Details of Hadley Schmitt’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York and Brooklyn.


- Salad of Crisp Pork, Mead Braised Fennel, Apple and Mustard


Photo Credit: Patrick Kolts & Find. Eat. Drink.


Hadley Schmitt’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York and Brooklyn.