Where do chefs go and, more importantly, where do they love to eat? In Resy Regulars, we ask Resy chefs to tell us where they’re regulars.
In this edition, we’re chatting with Hav & Mar’s chef de cuisine, Fariyal Abdullahi, who initially turned down the job at the Chelsea restaurant helmed by acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster fame.
In 2020, Abdullahi was back in her hometown of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when she received the call from Samuelsson: Would she be a part of his upcoming restaurant? Feeling burnt out from a hierarchical restaurant culture where she often found herself as the lone woman of color in most kitchens, she declined.
Then, he made her an offer she couldn’t resist: The opportunity to fuse her globally influenced cooking chops and management skills in a role where she could directly shape kitchen culture for the better.
Abdullahi’s cooking is indeed global in its scope. She first learned to cook from her mom in Ethiopia, then backpacked through 18 countries in Europe and Africa to “teach my palate.” She cooked alongside René Redzepi during a four-month internship at Noma in Copenhagen. She’s also a master of multi-tasking; while attending college at California State University in Long Beach, Calif., she managed 28 different T-Mobile stores, too.
She brings all of that expertise to Hav & Mar, and she’s making a difference: implementing zero-waste operations and building a work culture that promotes Black women and extols the very concept of a joyful kitchen. “We celebrate each other,” she says. “If someone makes something delicious, we won’t stop talking about it. We greet each other with so much love, it’s palpable.”
On Sundays, when the restaurant is closed, you’ll find her gathering her friends — both in and out of the restaurant industry — to eat. “I’ll send out a big group text that just says, ‘Hey, food adventure Sunday,’” she says. The itinerary changes from week to week; sometimes, they’ll head to a spot they just learned about and other times, they’ll head to one of Abdullahi’s favorite spots. Whether they head to pop-ups or brick-and-mortar restaurants, she always prefers to go with a group. “That way, I can taste everything on the menu.”
Here are Abdullahi’s go-to spots for group dining in New York.