From Outside the Kitchen

Chef Christian and his love of Farmers Markets

When the chef leaves the restaurant and explores the local farmers'll find they let go of the "chef whites" and become much more relaxed.  It's rich with one thing in common, giving back to our community may it be food or crafts. I myself am a big fan of farmers markets and the conversations to be had there.

I ended up spending a cold Fall Saturday morning at the Union Square Greenmarket and here's what we learned about this small business owner. Funny enough, we worked together when he opened his first restaurant. He's someone I find rather strong with such passion and understanding for food. Christian has grown since we last saw each other and it really shows. 

When walking into Marians you are welcomed with warmth and bright eyes. Everyone is eager as you are to see what this spot is all about. 

1. What’s your background as a chef? Where did your love for cooking begin??

I started in restaurants when I was 14 as a dishwasher in a small beach town in North Carolina. Fast forward many years later I moved to New York to take professional cooking seriously, studied at CIA (The Culinary Institute of America) then worked under David Bouley, Eric Ripert, Christian Delouvrier, Daniel Humm and spent years cooking and learning in France. Now I head a team at Marian’s in Greenwich Village! 

2. What inspired you to become a chef?

I’ve always loved cooking - growing up in Germany introduced me to various cuisines and inspired me to take things seriously as I began my career. My grandma - Marian - also pushed me to pursue what made me happy.

3. Marian’s name comes from where?

My Grandmother who impacted my life and showed me around the kitchen.

4. What drew you to shop at the Union Square Market? How often do you go? Who are your favorite vendors and why?

We always try to use produce and proteins that are as local as possible. It also gives us the ability to add new and exciting menu options based on what looks great at the market and what’s in season. It just makes sense. I try to head to the market on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays as they are the best. Halal Pastures is my favorite vendor, they’re incredibly kind and have a wonderful variety of produce each week. They also work with chefs and try to grow different products for you, and can harvest it at a certain size for your dishes. They are truly great.

5. What are your thoughts on sustainability and organic farming? Are your ingredients organic?

We want to use organic as much as possible - you can actually taste the difference in the food. Having sustainable vendors is also reassuring to know our food supply is being farmed and harvested thoughtfully. 

6. What is your signature dish? What is the most popular at Marian’s? Heard your smash burger competes with In-N-Out Burger because of the sauce!

Our scallops and chicken are our most popular dishes. But yes, the burger is insane. In-N-Out doesn’t come close to our French fries though. You’ll have to come give us your take on the burger, we think it's the best out there.

7. Who is a chef that reminds you of what you do and helps you keep going in the kitchen?

David Bouley - he helped me begin my career and was a great mentor to not only me but many great chefs in the city. 

8. What’s next? Are you opening a new restaurant and what can we expect it to be like?

We’re opening a wine/raw bar right next door to Marian’s, called “Perle". It will be a smaller, more intimate spot- great for dates or wine lovers looking for a fun, well-curated selection. We’re super excited. Hoping to open in mid-January if not sooner!

"It is his firm belief that really good food does not have to be presumptuous, but rather, can be approachable and fun."

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