Chef Sishi Ortuzar, ‘wichcraft, Riverpark, New York, Kips Bay, NY, New York City, Sandwiches, American, Recommendations, How to make sandwiches, Sandwich recommendations



- 'wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal--And a Meal into a Sandwich [buy it]


Sisha Ortúzar’s recommendations for where to eat and shop in New York, Brooklyn, Lisbon, Santiago, and Japan.

Riverpark - Kips Bay - New York, NY | ‘wichcraft - New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas

Q & A


Q & A with Chef Sisha Ortúzar

Q. Your menus at Riverpark seem to be driven by a variety of influences - what ones have inspired you and are there food purveyors that help drive your creativity? 

A. I’m inspired by the food that I like to eat, food that is more focused on flavor than presentation or innovation. Ultimately, I think that I’m inspired by where I come from and what’s around me.


I’m very excited to be working with a purveyor friend to source some of my favorite ingredients from Chile that are difficult to come across in the States — like barnacles, conger eels, lucuma.


Q. How does the collaboration work with you and chef Tom Colicchio and what are some of the more interesting results?

A. One of the more important aspects of my working relationship with Tom is trust. This comes from having worked together for a very long time, and from speaking a common language when it comes to the food we like to cook and eat. Trust is a very important element for Tom when it comes to being involved in many restaurants and, obviously, not being able to be in all places at all times.


For me, I would say that the most important collaboration in my kitchens is with my chefs de cuisine and my sous chefs at both Riverpark and ’wichcraft. I’m fortunate to work with some very talented cooks—to ignore the contributions they make in terms of creativity, knowledge, and inspiration would be foolish.

Advice / Tips

Q. As the author of a sandwich book and creator of ’wichcraft, we’d love to ask you about condiments:

- favorite mayonnaise and why?

A. The one that you make at home. It really is very easy to do and allows you to season it any way you want. [See Bklyn Larder’s Mayonnaise Recipe]

If you refuse to make it, then I guess I’d say Hellmann’s—it’s a classic.

Q. Interesting mustard and why?

A. I actually like mustard oil a lot—you can easily find it in Indian markets. It has the slightly spicy qualities of mustard without the acidity, which sometimes comes in handy.

As for traditional mustards, it would depend what’s going with it; sometimes dijon is perfect, but sometimes you just need that yellow French’s.

Q. Are there condiments that might not occur to us to use in a sandwich ... substitutions for the usual staples?


1. Sardines or anchovies. They pair well with crunchy vegetables, like fennel, celery, or onion.

2. Fresh cheese, like mozzarella or burrata.

3. A healthy amount of olive oil.


Q. What are three rookie mistakes people do when making a sandwich and what’s your advice on building a better, tastier rendition?


1. Using too many ingredients.

2. Using too much of these ingredients (usually meats).

3. Using crappy tomatoes in the wintertime, out of habit.

My advice: do the opposite of these things!



Q. Is there a specific culinary resource that you love to use?

A. I really like the Silver Spoon Italian cookbook. It’s a good source for interesting combinations of ingredients and the recipes are super straightforward. They go something like this: ‘take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and cook it properly. Serve it with such and such.’ And that’s it, no times or unnecessary instructions. It’s a cookbook for people who know how to cook and understand the language of cooks: ‘How long does it need to cook? Until it’s ready, that’s how long.’

[See details.]

Q. Is there a market that you love?

A. The Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. It’s just so clean and full of great smells and visual excitement. And having super fresh sushi for breakfast is the perfect way to top off your visit there.

[See details.]


Q. Best places for sandwiches (other than ’wichcraft!) in New York and what should we order and why?

A. Porchetta - the porchetta sandwich, it’s just really good and straightforward. The best that pork has to offer.

Terroir - the meatball sandwich and the veal and peppers sandwich. The bread is as good as the fillings and there is just enough so that it doesn’t overshadow the meats.

[See details.]

Q. Are there any authentic South American places you like to eat at in new york?

A. It might not be the most authentic place because the flavors have been adapted to the local palate, but I really like this place called Leña on 35th Street. They cook all of their meats on a wood-fired grill and the food is always well prepared. It has that ‘lightness’ and full-on flavor that really good Latin food has.

[See details.]

Q. Is there an off the beaten track restaurant ... for the more adventurous?

A. Yi Pin Chinese Cuisine. It’s a place in Flushing, Queens, that looks like nothing. It’s just a counter and some formica tables. This older lady makes the most amazing cold sesame noodles I’ve ever had. She grinds the sesame seeds for each order in a stone mortar and pestle and adds some crazy spices to it; the result is just incredible. I wish I could make a dish as interesting and delicious as that.

[See details.]

Q. Is there a restaurant that makes food you crave, anywhere in the world?

A. There is a restaurant in Lisbon, Cervejaria Ramiro, that has the freshest and most amazing shellfish. The perfect meal there would be to start with a plate of Pata Negra ham and a super cold beer served in tiny glasses, then move on to a feast of different prawns (some are boiled, some are grilled over sea salt), crab, barnacles, clams, and anything else they suggest. All the preparations are simple and delicious. There are no sides or salads, and they keep those freezing cold beers coming. After you’ve had enough of this, you end the meal by ordering a “prego” (it’s not on the menu but everyone seems to know about it). It’s basically a little steak sandwich seasoned with olive oil and garlic and some mustard on the side. I don’t know why this is, but it seems like everyone there has one of these steak sandwiches to top off a seafood dinner. That is a meal I crave all the time.

[See details.]

Q. What are some great local places you can recommend to eat in Santiago, Chile and what should we order?

A. I haven’t been there recently, so I can’t speak to any of the newer places, but I like to stick to the old standbys.

Fuente Alemana. Get the ‘lomito palta tomate mayo’ -- a huge pork sandwich with avocado, chopped tomatoes, and house-made mayonnaise. Good times.

For an authentic Chilean food experience go to Doña Tina, in the El Arrayán section of Santiago.

El Hoyo or La Piojera, both in the Estación Central area. At any of these you can order the empanadas or braised meats, and if you are there in the summertime, order the humitas (like a fresh corn tamale) or the pastel de choclo (like a shepherd’s pie but with fresh corn instead of potatoes). For dessert get a mote con huesillo, a drink/dessert made with dried peaches and barley. It is surprisingly refreshing.

For something a little more elegant, go to one of the many high-end Peruvian restaurants, where the food is really great and so interesting.

[See details.]


Q. Is there a cocktail bar/ lounge/ watering hole in new york that you like to frequent (what do you order and what do you like about the place)?

A. I live in Brooklyn, so I usually go out for drinks there.

I like Vinegar Hill House in the Vinegar Hill/DUMBO area for its nice warm atmosphere. I like sitting at the bar for one of their cocktails (they usually only have three on the list) and then a very satisfying meal to follow.

Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg—any of their tequila-based drinks are usually all right with me.

Weather Up in Prospect Heights has great gin drinks.

Roman’s in Fort Greene, because they keep it simple, only making a ‘sour’ and ‘bitter’ cocktail, which they change daily. I like that—the less options there are, the happier I am... as long as I know that the place makes good stuff.

[See details.]


Details of Sisha Ortúzar’s recommendations for where to eat and shop in New York, Brooklyn, Lisbon, Santiago, and Japan.


- Goat Cheese Sandwich With Avocado, Celery, Walnut Pesto & Watercress

- Lemon Vinaigrette

- Walnut Pesto



Kips Bay


450 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016

T: 212.729.9790 (make a reservation)



Mon - Thu: 12pm - 10pm

Fri: 12pm - 11pm

Sat: 5:30pm - 11pm

Sun: 5:3 pm - 10pm


Multiple Locations

American / Sandwiches

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'wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal--And a Meal into a Sandwich

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