There are so many secrets behind perfectly preparing eggs, whether you’re poaching, boiling, scrambling or whipping the whites into shape for a cocktail. Chef Nick Korbee, co-founder of ever-popular egg-centric NYC-based eatery Egg Shop, spills this knowledge, plus some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes, in his recent release Egg Shop: The Cookbook.
Last week we highlighted the book as one of our most-anticipated spring titles — and as promised, we’re now delivering a deeper dive into all things Egg Shop. Below Chef Nick provides an inside peek into the making of the resto’s cookbook, his food philosophy, a couple of quick cooking and entertaining tips, and the recipe for Roasted Beet Tzatziki Salad. Go forth and get your egg on.
NAMES: Nick Korbee
PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD? Food should make you feel something more than simply satiated. Full is fine, euphoric is better, and even contentment will do. I prefer my ingredients to be at the height of their season, or at the very, very end, when they are sweet with natural sugar. Simplicity must always be the aim, and you can never ever forget that you are cooking for the eater.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE RECIPE YOU’RE SHARING WITH US? This recipe is a take on a mezze plate that takes beets out of the typical earthy, winter/fall salad context and allows them to shine against a backdrop of fresh herbs and creamy tzatziki. The perfect hardboiled egg is the little something something that provides substance and a healthy protein to this light salad.
ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOL? 1970s K Sabatier carbon steel chef’s knife. The balance of this knife and the delicacy of the carbon steel make it a workhorse and a showpiece at the same time. A carbon steel knife teaches an important lesson as well, in that if it is not cleaned, dried and oiled it will tarnish beyond recognition. LESSON: if it’s worth working with then with its worth caring for.
THREE INGREDIENTS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT? Eggs. Salt. Lemons.
SOUNDTRACK IN YOUR KITCHEN? My soundtrack is always changing with the weather. I like Paco De Lucía, and Merle Haggard in the rain. I like Neil Young when it’s sunny. I like Southern rap when its cold outside, and sometimes late at night I listen to roots reggae and dancehall.
MIDNIGHT SNACK? If I eat after midnight I turn into a gremlin. Duh… Honestly, the Egg Shop B.E.C. (bacon egg and cheese) is the best midnight snack I have ever had.
MOST DIFFICULT PART OF CREATING YOUR COOKBOOK? The photo shoot was definitely the most challenging part. There was a lot of ground to cover and we were working in an aesthetic that made it obvious when things really worked and when they fell flat.
MOST FUN PART? Writing headnotes. At a certain point you just run out of things to say about recipes that you think may be self-explanatory, and then your editor asks you to keep going and let her cut what doesn’t work. In doing that I found my voice and was able to create something that sounds different from most cookbooks.
FAVORITE EGG PREPARATION? Hard to choose…poached or French soft scramble with plenty of butter and salt.
QUICK TIP FOR COOKING EGGS? When scrambling, add fat. When poaching, drop acid. When frying, pay attention.
THE DISH(ES) EGG SHOP IS KNOWN FOR? Egg Shop is known for The Spandex, The B.E.C., the Avo and Egg, and our side of fried chicken.
MOST SWOON-WORTHY RESTAURANT? I love the surprise and elegance of Karasu, the minimalism and texture of The Four Horsemen, and I’ll be damned if Buvette and Via Carota aren’t perfect restaurants. I’ve long admired how Jody Williams balances warmth and precision in design, food, and hospitality.
TRIED-AND-TRUE ENTERTAINING TIP? Light candles and never run out of booze or chocolate.
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR EGG SHOP? We couldn’t be more stoked to be working on our second store. Egg Shop is coming to Williamsburg, BK in early summer!