Back in the 1920s, an ad for the dairy wholesalers that were occupying 134 Reade Street in New York proclaimed "We require the fanciest qualities to maintain the standard of our ‘BURMECO Quality.’ " The wholesaler is gone, the building long since renovated, but a century later, two things remain the same. The first is that people can still find excellent butter, milk, and cheese at that address -- they just happen to be ingredients in fantastic dishes at the restaurant now residing there. The second is that a devotion to quality is equally important to the current tenant: Chef Marc Forgione.
That devotion was destined: Forgione’s parents were two chefs who met at culinary school. His father, Larry Forgione, was a member of the inaugural class at the Culinary Institute of America, and revolutionized farm-to-table sourcing in his restaurants. By establishing relationships with the farmers themselves, Larry was able to perfectly marry the nuances of their ingredients with his cooking. After a while, the elder Forgione’s restaurants -- as well as his practice of developing great relationships with producers -- spread across the country. “My father more or less created the food market scene in America,” says Forgione.