Cooking for Team Oprah: A Dream Come True for New York City Chef

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Gayle King and Coby Farrow Preparing a culinary cuisine for the editorial team of O-Magazine was nothing less than an epicurean epiphany for talented young New York City chef and restaurateur Coby Farrow.

The 37-year-old executive chef was tapped to prepare an entree for the editorial team of  O-Magazine in March. The New York based publication was founded by television diva and former gabfest queen Oprah Winfrey in 2000. The monthly publication has a circulation rate of more than 2.3 million subscribers. Farrow said the experience of working with the staff, headed by Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King, was as exciting as it was nerve wracking.  “I knew that I had to deliver a meal that was nothing less than the best,” Farrow said in a recent interview with TNJ.com.  “I knew that an endorsement from anyone in Oprah’s camp could make or break a business.”  Farrow got the plug, with a promise from editor Gayle King to visit his new restaurant this summer.
        
Farrow, a native of Franklin Park, NJ was also a featured chef earlier this year on the popular Food Channel Network program Chopped. Farrow walked away as the runner-up—coming up just short of nabbing the $10,000 first prize. “It was a little  disappointing, but I learned how to prepare some new dishes and became friends with the other chefs featured on the program,” Farrow said.  The winner of the Chopped challenge was Jay Abrams, an executive chef at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, who wowed the judges with several delicacies.

For Farrow, the experiences of cooking for team Oprah and being featured on Chopped and spending several months in Hawaii as a private chef, and being a featured cook at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival,  have all contributed in various ways to the grand opening of his new restaurant this summer in NYC. Farrow, along with a business partner will open Esther and Carol this summer. The restaurant will pay homage, at least in part, to Farrow’s late mother. “It will be a home style place that serves great food and offers something special and unique to our customers,” he said.
 
Finally, when asked what advice he has to offer other chefs and restaurateurs hoping to emulate his culinary and epicurean success, Farrow said, “Travel, learn and never be afraid to work outside of your comfort zone—that’s the only way you’ll know what you can achieve.”