Executive Chef Darren Pettigrew of ALFIE’S BAR & KITCHEN in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Darren Pettigrew of ALFIE'S BAR & KITCHEN in Hell's Kitchen, NYC

Dublin-born chef Darren Pettigrew was trained in London at the Da Vere Grand Connaught Rooms and grew up working in the kitchens of New York. Throughout his career he has donned the stove at countless established restaurants in New York honing his skills in the kitchen and continually pushing the envelope with more creative takes on everyday dishes. He previously owned seafood restaurant Stella Maris at the South Street Seaport for five years. He also spent a number of years working with famed restaurateurs Peter and Harry Poulakakos at their Financial District properties. Now he serves as the Executive Chef for the SRP NYC restaurant group, developing innovative menus for their various concepts.

Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood favorite that just celebrated its eight-year anniversary, spotlights a brand-new and refreshed New American Gastro Pub menu from new Executive Chef Darren Pettigrew. The restaurant is owned by seasoned restaurateur, Sean Hayden, whose career spans 25 years and serves as a partner of the SRP NYC restaurant group that operates Valerie, Dalton’s, and Jasper’s Tap House & Kitchen. Hayden saw a need to create a true restaurant experience for the community and was the first to bring a more sophisticated American kitchen to the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Now Chef Pettigrew will be providing Alfie’s beloved customers with an inspired dining experience complete with elevated New American dishes, spotlighting locally sourced organic ingredients.

Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure on interviewing Chef Pettigrew about his career and Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen for our “Chef Spotlight.”

What was your earliest interest in cooking?

My earliest interest in cooking was making apple pies as a kid with my mother. Playing with dough made with lard and helping to peel Irish crab apples. The native crab apple grows wildly amongst the wild hedge rows and woodlands of Ireland. Probably the most bitter fruit I’ve ever tasted but makes for a great pie!

Who were some of your career mentors?

I’ve been very fortunate to have had many real mentors and talented people to help guide me throughout my career. Starting with Chef Cormac Healy at the National Yacht Club of Ireland. Chef Eric Lind; Chef Ebhenhart Mullers my left hand man, formerly of Lutece. Most recently, Master Chef Rich Rosendale.

What culinary styles have influenced your career?

I’m classically trained, so certainly French, Italian and Spanish, but a recent trip to Japan has turned the way I think about food on its head. Japanese food is very simplistic and pure in essence, but extraordinarily difficult to execute. I trained with a great group of Japanese chefs in rural Japan at the dream lab. Their dedication, technique and precision was something to be admired.

What do you consider the most distinguishing feature of your work as a chef?

Reforming totally new teams, learning to be more resilient and understanding how to constantly adapt to a forever changing landscape. In addition to learn how to handle all the other curve balls being thrown at us week in

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The Block’s Darren Palmer is ‘blown away’ by bathroom reveal

It’s very rarely that all three judges on The Block are blown away by a room reveal.

But that was the case on Sunday’s episode, when Darren Palmer, Neale Whitaker and Shaynna Blaze laid their eyes on Luke and Jasmin’s 1910 master bathroom.

Darren could not hide his delight at specific details of the space, particularly the curved tile walls and skylight.   

'I'm just blown away!' The Block judge Darren Palmer (pictured) was momentarily lost for words over Luke and Jasmin's master bathroom on Sunday night's episode

‘I’m just blown away!’ The Block judge Darren Palmer (pictured) was momentarily lost for words over Luke and Jasmin’s master bathroom on Sunday night’s episode 

‘I’m in love, it’s so elegant, so pretty,’ Darren said of the skylight. ‘I’m just blown away by how beautiful that is.’ 

Neale and Shaynna were equally blown away, with Neale describing the aesthetic as ‘exceptional’.

‘This is exceptional. They have given us a very, very modern bathroom, but I think they have remained faithful to those period cues they introduced last week,’ he said. 

Winning design: Luke and Jasmin (pictured) presented a 1910-themed master bathroom, with curved tile walls and a statement black bath

Winning design: Luke and Jasmin (pictured) presented a 1910-themed master bathroom, with curved tile walls and a statement black bath 

Praise: Fellow judges Neale Whitaker and Shaynna Blaze were equally blown away with the space, with Neale describing the aesthetic as 'exceptional'

Praise: Fellow judges Neale Whitaker and Shaynna Blaze were equally blown away with the space, with Neale describing the aesthetic as ‘exceptional’ 

The only minor faults the judges found were the lack of a toilet roll holder and the vanity being too close to the shower wall. 

For Harry and Tash’s 1920’s master ensuite, the judges were in awe of the green tiled wall and feature bath.

Neale said it felt like a contemporary bathroom, but with definite references to the era, while Darren described the space as ‘glorious’ with ‘perfect’ floor tiles.   

Colour palette: For Harry and Tash's 1920's master ensuite, the judges were in awe of the green tiled wall and feature bath. Pictured: Harry and Tash

Colour palette: For Harry and Tash’s 1920’s master ensuite, the judges were in awe of the green tiled wall and feature bath. Pictured: Harry and Tash 

Elegance: Shaynna complimented the bath which she described as having an 'elegant' shape

Elegance: Shaynna complimented the bath which she described as having an ‘elegant’ shape 

Shaynna complimented the bath which she described as having an ‘elegant’ shape. 

Sarah and George also wowed the judges with their 1940’s master bathroom.

Darren adored the mauve tiles for adding a ‘subtle and soft’ touch, while also having a real impact in the space.   

All smiles: Sarah and George (pictured) also wowed the judges with their 1940's master bathroom

All smiles: Sarah and George (pictured) also wowed the judges with their 1940’s master bathroom 

Tiling: Darren adored the mauve tiles for adding a 'subtle and soft' touch, while also having a real impact in the space

Tiling: Darren adored the mauve tiles for adding a ‘subtle and soft’ touch, while also having a real impact in the space 

Shaynna commended the couple for seamlessly using four different tiles in the room, while Neale said the space offered an exceptional level of sophistication.  

For Daniel and Jade’s 1930’s master ensuite, all three judges were captivated by the choice of fish scale tiles on the walls. 

Darren also found delight in the couple going with a matte grey tile on the floor, teamed with a ‘sexy’ gloss finish on the walls.  

Unique touch: For Daniel and Jade's 1930's master ensuite, all three judges were captivated by the choice of fish scale tiles on the walls. Pictured: Daniel and Jade

Unique touch: For Daniel and Jade’s 1930’s master ensuite, all three judges were captivated by the choice of fish scale tiles on the walls. Pictured: Daniel and Jade 

Minor fault: Shaynna noted how well Daniel and Jade designed the space, however Darren would have preferred a bigger vanity

Minor fault: Shaynna noted how well Daniel and Jade designed the space, however Darren would

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