Today, the food world had a collective titty attack after the NYT published details on Anthony Bourdain’s forthcoming, massive NYC food Valhalla. It’s already being championed as one of the most anticipated food projects of the decade, and we’re guessing that somehow everyone’s rent will go up as a result but we’re not even mad right now.
Here are the most important tidbits you should know about the project.
It will be at Chelsea's Pier 57 development
Bourdain will be taking over the Mezzanine space, which measures 155,000 square feet – dwarfing all the other big food halls that have been cropping up in the city (like Eataly, Cafe El Presidente, etc.)
La Guerrerense tostada cart in Ensenada, Mexico has already signed on
The cart is run by Sabina Bandera, and Bourdain calls it “the best in the world.”
It'll be open late. Possibly 24 hours.
“Think of an Asian night market,” Bourdain said. “Eating and drinking at midnight.”
The curation will feature a mix of high-low.
Bourdain’s food philosophy takes a cue from fashion, mixing the “highs” of gourmet kitchens with the “lows” of cheap but delicious street food. The vendors he brings on for his food hall will reflect this.
“The way people eat has changed,” he said. “They want to be at counters and communal tables. They want heat and funk and chicken wings that set their hair on fire. They’re as quick to brag about the greatest $3 bowl of laksa as a dinner at Ducasse. That’s what I want to create for New York, some place where I would want to eat. Right now, there is nothing like that.”
It already has some skeptics.
Part of Bourdain’s plans involve bringing lots of international vendors to NYC, so we can sample the best of what the mom and pop food purveyors around the world have to offer – even if this means a lot of visa red tape.
But in a city as diverse and teeming with immigrant food as NYC, some are wondering whether it’s really necessary to import new options, like Clark Wolf, a restaurant consultant who wondered “Is the endgame to help immigrant hawkers everywhere, or is it just an entertainment for wealthy New Yorkers?”
There will be a full-service restaurant.
And in addition to all the prepared food, the market will also feature meat and fish butcher counters.
There will also be entertainment.
Like karaoke, Asian pop performances, and films. They had me at karaoke and food.
It won't open for another two years.