Chef David Feldman is an anomaly in New York’s private chef dining scene. Someone who comes to the table, quite literally, with both experience and heart, he is not jaded or ruined by an industry that can be like a revolving door in a fast moving city like New York. Hailing from Israel, Chef Feldman has made a name for himself in the culinary scene in New York as a talented collaborator, offering some of the best food-related experiences one can have through private dining.
We worked with Chef Feldman recently for a private dinner party in a Manhattan loft to experience his talents firsthand. He took our germ of an idea and exploded it to a completely different level, wowing every diner in attendance with his innovation, creativity, and kindness.
We utilized protein from Fossil Farms, a sustainable, farm-raised meat source located just outside New York in New Jersey. And, Chef Feldman added not only the “know how” but the elegance and finesse to take the dishes being served to a true fine dining experience.
The meal began with a series of simple text exchanges regarding menu options. Chef Feldman is easy and casual, welcoming collaboration from his clients. I explained the direction we were hoping to go in with the meal, and he ran with it. He made sure to consider any allergies and food restrictions of the guests before preparing a menu to be approved. His suggestions were:
Freshly-baked challah bread
Greek ceviche with tzatziki, cucumber, and lime
Beet in colors with goat cheese, local olive oil, and charred tomatoes
Fattoush Salas with cherry tomatoes, pickled purple onion, cucumber, radish, crotonus pita, and feta cheese
Tuna tartare with Israeli salad, cucumber, tomato, creme fraiche, and black caviar
Salmon tartare with Israeli hot pepper, tomatoes in garlic silage
Filet Mignon New York Strip, mashed potatoes, and foie gras
Lamb polenta with grilled baby lamb chops, polenta, chestnuts, and leeks
Middle Eastern honey cake, mozzarella, and pistachio ice cream
The day of the dinner he arrived promptly with his assistant and got to work. I explained that I had pots and pans he could use, but they were not professional grade. That did not seem to faze him. He is inventive and made do with what we had available. Chef Feldman arrived organized and had everything laid out so his job on-site would be easy and without much mess - I was in awe. He prepared everything while the guests sipped wine by Stag’s Leap Vineyards in Napa Valley.
As dinner guests sat down to eat, Chef Feldman came into the dining room to explain the meal, his vision and why each dish was included in his menu. One by one, as each dish arrived, people were blown away by not only the presentation but the incredible flavor profiles in each dish. It was actually unbelievable and more along the lines of what you would expect in a fine dining establishment. There are many private chefs in New York City, but this experience was on another level. His menu truly left everyone mesmerized by his talent and wanting to know more. We spoke with Chef Feldman after the event to get answers to some of our questions.
IC: What is your training and background as a chef?
DF: I began my culinary journey in Israel, attending a culinary school before working in sought-after restaurants in Tel Aviv, the food capital of Israel.
IC: When did you first realize food was your passion?
DF: Since childhood, I've had a passion for cooking, starting by assisting my mother in the kitchen and eventually taking charge.
IC: What is your absolute favorite meal to prepare?
DF: I enjoy preparing traditional dishes like Moroccan couscous and long stews, as they remind me of home and hold a special place in my heart.
IC: What cuisines are your specialties?
DF: I specialize in Israeli, Middle Eastern, Greek, and French cuisine.
IC: What can perspective clients request in terms of menus? Is anything off limits?
DF: When working with clients, I present my menus initially but also welcome and accommodate their specific requests and preferences.
IC: What has been one of the biggest cooking or chef projects you’ve taken on?
DF: One of my proudest accomplishments was catering for a significant event on a rooftop in the heart of New York, serving 250 people. Though it was challenging, I loved every moment of the experience.
IC: What is your dream meal to prepare one day?
DF: My ultimate dream is to open a cozy boutique restaurant in Manhattan, featuring the dishes I grew up with and highlighting the flavors that evoke memories of home.