Hugo Uys’ bio pic by Karl Simone
By Naveen Duwadi
Each month, Chef Hugo dives into the best of the ever-changing NYC food scene, offering up his top 5 restaurant discoveries. Going along for the ride, he’ll interview a noted South African celebrity, getting to know them over a great food and delicious conversation. Want to eat and drink like a New Yorker? Keep your eyes on this page.
[The Guest] In Conversation with David Tlale
David Tlale has never been afraid of the game. One of South Africa’s top designers, David forged his own path in the fashion industry from his love of the process, his tact, and tenacious drive. Going beyond the showroom, he’s headlined his own reality competition and has numerous awards to boot.
In the midst of the NYC food scene, Don Angie, a newer boutique Italian restaurant stands out as the perfect blend of craft and quality. One of David’s favorite cuisines, Hugo offered up one of the city’s of-the-moment Italian “couture eats” as the perfect setting to catch up over fabulously-appointed dishes and cocktails.
Food seems to be the new muse for millions of people online. Are you ever inspired by food in your designs?
As designers and as creators, food definitely plays a role in our creative process. Just think about how one creates a dish–layering taste profiles, textures and colors–it’s intrinsically the same process we use in the studio. Food is a form of art and expression, and a celebration of one’s creativity. It’s hard not to be inspired by it.
The fashion industry has gotten a bad reputation when it comes to appreciating food. How do you see food and fashion intersecting in today’s culture?
Food, like fashion, evolves with the times. The way I see it, there is no stigma against food in the fashion industry. We focus on aesthetics and expression in fashion, and I’ve seen this same mentality in the kitchen. Food today is not just about the taste, it’s about the packaging, the presentation, the intent behind the dish. I’m thankful that today it’s fashionable to eat more consciously–not only being diligent about where the food you eat comes from, but also how it’s treated, prepared and imagined on the plate.
With all the projects you’re currently working on, I’m sure every moment of your down time is precious. What’s your go-to meal?
My latest food fad is pasta, but nothing heavy, cluttered or complex– for me the simpler the better. I love a great Italian pasta to take me to a place of total satisfaction.
How has traveling the world for shows and presentations had an impact on your creative conscience?
Being a creative means being receptive to your surroundings. When I travel, I’m always hyper aware of the people, culture and traditions that I’m seeing first hand. I try to avoid the obvious, instead speaking with locals to find the real heart of each city I’m visiting. I’ll never get tired of it.
Beyond fashion, what’s your greatest love?
That’s easy–my other two loves, which you might have picked up on, are food and travel. If I had the chance to travel the world and be paid for it, that’s exactly what I’d do.
[The Top 5] Chef Hugo Uys’ Top Italian Restaurants in NY
Italian food in New York City will never get old–from classic red sauce establishments to avant-garde takes on your nonna’s beloved cooking. Here are Hugo’s top 5 Italian-focused eateries to try right now.
#1: Don Angie
Best Dish: Lasagna for Two
Best Dish: Mario’s Meatballs (ask for it; it’s off the menu)
Price: Inquire with restaurant
#3: Via Carota
Best Dish: Polipo (grilled octopus)
Best Dish: Ricotta Gnudi
#5: Del Posto
Best Dish: Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare
Price: $194 (included as part of the Captain’s Tasting Menu)
[The Recipe] Cacio e Pepe
One of my favorite discoveries was a pasta dish that’s so incredibly simple in its make up–essentially just cheese and peppercorns. For those uncompromising foodies, here’s a quick weeknight pasta dish that’s soon to be in your everyday repertoire.
- 8 oz. pasta (I recommend Bucatini)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp crushed soft peppercorns or freshly grated pepper
- 1 cup of grated Pecorino cheese
- 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- Pinch of salt
- Boil pasta in salted water until it’s just undercooked, and reserve the pasta water for later
- Melt butter in large pan over medium heat
- Add garlic and pepper
- Add ½ cup of hot pasta water
- Take off heat and let sit for a few minutes, slowly stir in cheese to make the sauce
- Add ½ of the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well, then add the rest of the pasta with another ½ cup of pasta water
- Taste and add salt if needed
- Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and crushed pepper on top
Get in Touch with Chef Hugo Uys
Naveen Duwadi is the non-obvious millennial foodie. He’s worked extensively in the digital space, and was part of the initial team at HelloGiggles, a digital brand founded by actress Zooey Deschanel. Since then, he’s worked across Time Inc.’s food and luxury publications including FOOD & WINE and Travel + Leisure, helping to market the brands to Fortune 500 companies. Naveen currently resides in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood, where he’s endlessly researching his next greatest meal.