Nick Elmi Named As 2015 “Chef In Residence” At Morgan’s Pier


David Gilberg has had the job. So have George Sabatino and David Katz. And now, in what’s becoming a rite of spring, Morgan’s Pier has announced its 2015 chef in residence, and it’s none other than our own Top Chef champion, Nick Elmi.

Following in the footsteps of past chefs, Elmi will create a menu that fits his vision of what a “chef-hosted backyard barbecue” ought to look (and taste) like. He’s leaning heavily on the casual, seafood-y side of things, looking at doing dishes like lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp with togarashi butter, chicken wings with black garlic BBQ sauce, kombu-cured rib eye off the grill, and pork belly tacos with shaved daikon. Am I a little bit worried that he’s planning on using celery and yuzu mayo with his lobster rolls? I can’t lie to you–yes, I am. But I’m also willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to Elmi to see where he goes with this.

But still… Celery and yuzu mayo? I really hope you know what you’re doing Nick.

Anyway, Morgan’s Pier is looking at an April 30 opening. There will be some added services as well, with weekend brunch and weekday happy hours (where, apparently, guests will be able to just walk up to whatever poor sucker is working the grill and shout orders at him).

And because making the transition from a 22-seat BYO to a 500-seat outdoor food-and-booze playground might be a bit…daunting, Elmi is bringing in some reinforcements. He’s got his long-time chef de cuisine Kyle McCormick on the hook to help him out at Morgan’s Pier this summer, as well as his Laurel sous, Keith Ballew.

Oh, and also? It looks like Gilberg has made his one-season run at Morgan’s into a full-time gig. He’s been named as the executive chef for all of Avram Hornik’s properties around town–including Morgan’s Pier (where he’ll be on-hand to lend a voice of experience to Elmi and his crew), and the recently opened William Street Common in UCity.

Morgan’s Pier [f8b8z]