The Cattle Call – Interview with Stephen Yen, Executive Chef of Paige Hospitality Group and The Ainsworth
The Cattle Call – All the beef that’s behind the people who make & connect us to the Burgerverse.
I was born in Flushing, Queens and raised on Long Island in a town called Cold Spring Harbor, NY. My family is of Chinese decent but when communism took over China my grandparents fled to India. Having parents that were born and raised in India has molded my palate into something unique and wonderful. I went to culinary school at the French Culinary Institute in NYC, I do have to say my class was incredibly talented and many of my classmates have already accomplished so much. Working for restaurants such as Morimoto, Catch, and Fatty ‘Cue has done a lot for my work ethic and style of cooking. I now over oversee the culinary direction of Paige Hospitality and continue to learn every day.
Name: Stephen Yen
Where do you live: Astoria, NY
Favorite style of Burger: You put a fried egg on it, I’ll eat it.
Favorite Childhood Burger: Rodeo Burger from Burger King, of course I don’t eat processed fast food any more, but we were all young and ignorant once…
Burger that haunts your dreams at night: Any Salmon or Tuna burger, I used to work at Morimoto NYC and enjoy seafood tremendously. I just don’t like that much bread with my fish, maybe toasted breadcrumbs on top of a baked salmon dish.
What is the one Burger you’ve always wanted to try but still have not: I’ve been meaning to play around with a Peking duck burger: Duck sausage inside a 8 oz beef patty, at least 4 layers of crispy duck skin on top, scallion hairs, garlic hoisin glaze, and a fried duck egg so I can dip into the yolk.
The secret to making a great Burger: Try not to over handle the beef, and using the right amount of seasoning and animal fat.
Under no circumstances whatsoever, what should NEVER be put on a Burger: Ikura, I once saw someone put “Ikura” (salmon roe) on one, and to me that may be crossing the line… I’ve never tried it, maybe they are onto something…
If you could have a Burger with anyone alive, or dead, fictional or real, who would it be and where would you take them: Warren Buffet is a self-made billionaire who eats a bacon cheeseburger and drinks a cherry coke almost every day. I would sit with him and enjoy his exact same meal, and pick his brain on every mistake he’s ever made what he has learned from them. To me he represents the American dream, down to the food.
Please use this space to talk about or plug anything else you want: We have branded the Ainsworths into a unique experience where you can enjoy our burgers while watching your favorite sport. The menus feature incredible 28 day dry aged steaks as well as traditional tacos. We always look forward to feeding and entertaining you and your guest.
Want to meet Chef Stephen Yen? He and his team will be serving his amazing Mac N Cheese Burger at the NY Burger Feast at Hudson Common on May 1st in New York City.
They’ll be joined by 6 more restaurants serving the very best Burgers in NYC.