Chef Adam Bordonaro is the Executive Chef of the soon-to-open Upper Story by Charlie Palmer. Bordonaro’s intensive training began after his studies at the French Culinary Institute, when he first worked on the line at our flagship New York City restaurant, Aureole. At Aureole, Adam spent time carefully learning each station and the meticulous techniques that are used in that kitchen. Those fine-tuned cooking skills have been carefully developing menus and serving all manners of events at Astra, and now Upper Story, since 2011.
Where are you from?
I grew up in three places – in nearby Westchester, upstate in Putnam County, and also just outside of Boston.
How long have you been working at Upper Story by Charlie Palmer (formerly Astra)?
I worked at Astra for three years and this summer I’ve been floating all around our new NYC properties. I’m excited to open Upper Story by Charlie Palmer soon.
How old were you when you found your passion for cooking?
I was about twelve years old. That’s when my family and I started going to local farmer’s markets. It was one of the first times I can remember experiencing the difference between fresh produce and what is on the shelves at most super markets.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I am excellent at the backyard Frisbee game of Kan Jam.
If you had to eat one thing/dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would definitely be salmon. I love this fish because it lends itself to such a diversity of preparations. It is also my favorite fish to eat raw.
Do you have a role model you look up to?
I would not say that I have one in particular, but over time I have learned that to be successful, you can never lose sight of the small details. In our industry, this is what can make or break a guest’s experience. Every guest values all aspects of their experience differently, which makes it crucial that we execute on all levels.
What is your dream vacation?
A week on a lake surrounded by nature.
What is your favorite dish to make?
Whole roasted meats with family style sides. When I cook at home it is usually for my family on Sundays. Whether it is a pork loin, pot roast or chicken, roasting imparts great flavor and succulence. Pairing a protein with some fresh and simply prepared sides makes for a great meal that is not too much work for the cook.
What is your favorite thing/dish to make on the menu?
Braised short ribs because they’re delicious and there is never any waste.
What is the first thing you learned from Chef Charlie Palmer?
Early is on time, on time is late and late is never acceptable. Also a little lemon juice goes a long way.