Q&A: Woman Behind the Hog

Restaurateur April Bloomfield

chef and restaurateur april bloomfield!

April Bloomfield is one of those talented people whose sterling reputation trumps any flattering intro we could attempt — thus, we’ll keep it short.

The chef, co-owner of The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, and author of the recently-published cookbook/memoir A Girl and Her Pig is one of the most important culinary forces in the city. The Birmingham, England native works hard, has genuine respect for her ingredients, and can do magical things with a slab of bacon. Below, her thoughts on living in NYC, lemurs, and teenage angst.

April Bloomfield

Neighborhood: Gramercy


What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten in New York?
I’ve had many meals in New York that have been amazing. They’ve ranged from delicious dim sum with a big group of friends at Jing Fong in Chinatown to sushi at Sushi Seki on the Upper East Side to delectable pasta at Maialino in Gramercy Park (I love the malfatti al Maialino).

Weirdest thing you’ve seen/experienced living in NYC?
I don’t think I’ve seen anything that weird. I’ve seen a dog being pushed in a baby carriage. That’s pretty weird, I suppose. I think California is way weirder than NYC. I’ve seen a woman carrying a chicken down the street in Berkeley.

What was the last play you saw?
War Horse — that play is dear to my heart. When I was about seven years old, I had the opportunity to stay at Michael Morpurgo’s farm. He invites inner-city kids to the farm so they can learn about the countryside and how to look after the land and farm animals. Michael read from part of the book and showed us around the farm. It was incredible to see the place that inspired a wonderful book, and to then see it turned into a fabulous stage production.

If you could have any pet, what would you pick?
If it were ethical, I would have a lemur because its appearance fascinates me — and they’re very tactile. I had an amazing experience with one touching my leg. I still remember the touch. It wasn’t a hand grab, but instead the lemur put one finger down after another. I’ll never forget that.

Do you have any superstitions?
Yes many, too many to mention.

Who is your favorite rock star?
My favorite singer is Kate Bush. I love her music. I was actually listening to her albums today: The Hounds of Love and The Kick Inside. Her music helped get me through my angsty teenage years.

Favorite place to vacation?
I suppose I like to go places with warm weather and places that have a culture based around food. Although, I just took a vacation in the Adirondacks and even though it was cold, I had a great time. I loved being around the beautiful snow and fresh air. We would get bundled up in warm clothes and go skidooing, take long walks in the snow, build snowmen, things like that. I loved coming in from the cold snow to a warm house and sipping on some mulled wine.

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Photo: Melanie Dunea / Courtesy of April Bloomfield