VIBE: Are you guys healthy conscious with your dishes?
Jon Gray: We use the best ingredients, the farm-to-table approach but there is also room for improvement. We are currently seeking the knowledge to add to our arsenal so we can deliver the best tasting food in a healthy way.
Chef Malcolm Livingston II: Not at the moment but that's definitely a goal I'd like to reach. Especially with Raw and Vegan Diet items.
Chef Marq Hayes: As trend setters we believe that flavor, presentation and the use of fresh healthy ingredients will allow us to attain and maintain longevity with this wave we're creating.
Chef Lester Walker: Ghetto Gastro strives to deliver the best tasting food in a healthy way. We use duck fat but we also use extra virgin olive oils so it depends on the environment and always what the guests want.
VIBE: What ten items of food would be in your personal buffet?
Jon Gray: Russ x Daughters Smoked Salmon on a Croissant with garlic artichoke cream , Shrimp Roti from Feroza's in the BX, any pasta from Maialino, Garlic Bread from Crab Shanty in City Island, Oxtails from Dee x Ricky's,
Chef Marq Hayes: Duck Confit, Lavender Au Gratin, truffle Mac and Cheese, King Crab Ceviche, Shrimp Soul Pockets, Sautéed Brocolini, Rack of Lamb, Fried Chicken, Beef Duo Short Ribs and Filet Mignon
Chef Lester Walker: Pickled watermelon rind x crispy duck salad, Fried Blowfish x truffle grits, Chicken x waffles, and Truffle Mac with the cheese.
Chef Daniel Levin: Bagels with lox, Fois gras torchon, Fried oyster po boy, Crayfish étouffée, Prime dry aged rib eye with horseradish, and Duck confit cassoulet.
VIBE: Have you guys ever thought about coming up with your own drink concoctions?
Jon Gray: I’m really into specialty cocktails especially mixing bourbons and rye spirits with tropical elements. As far as putting something in a bottle I'd rather do some ill juices and pay homage to the Rastas I came up with.
Chef Malcolm Livingston II: Jon definitely is always thinking about drinks and reinventing the St. Ides Special Brew 40 oz. he even used it as a water vessel for serving guests at a private dinner party.
Chef Marq Hayes: Yes
Chef Lester Walker: I'm into infused gin mixes x bourbon bliss.
Chef Daniel Levin: I plan on getting certified as a sommelier and using my knowledge of flavors to create an amazing drink program with our incredible food.
VIBE: You guys have a community service aspect to your cooking - are you still planning on facilitating educational opportunities for single parents, former felons, students and others who would like to learn the art of cooking?
Jon Gray: We all have ideas about how we'd like to give back in a big way. we've done some demos at schools and we are working to find more ways to make an impact on the community in a positive way.
Chef Malcolm Livingston II: All of the above is definitely a way to give back and we are building the blocks to move forward with these incentives as it extremely important in our foundation of cooking.
Chef Marq Hayes: We're going to start with the single parents and the youth so we can try and prevent them from becoming felons. Down the line our goal is to start to hire people.
Chef Lester Walker: This summer I plan on doing a tour of the homeless shelters and foster homes all over the Bronx and giving cooking demos along with speeches of encouragement.
Chef Daniel Levin: Yes, I think it's incredibly important and an element to Ghetto Gastro we all want to come to fruition.
VIBE: Have you guys ever heard of Hood Chef? He serves food at different functions for free - what do you think about that?
Jon Gray: My homie Puma from Black Ink hipped me to son. I respect the movement.
Chef Malcolm Livingston II: I've never heard of him. But that sounds like a terrific idea.
Chef Marq Hayes: Nah he's not a wolf I googled him he's type thinny.
Chef Lester Walker: I respect his hustle and passion. Hopefully we cross paths one day . The mission is to feed minds x bodies x souls. Ghetto gastro is about giving back and erasing the stigma of negativity. Fortunately I was blessed with a talent and it's Gods will for me to spread the knowledge and gift. If this is what hood chef is about I wanna CHOP it up with the god. Peace
Chef Daniel Levin: Never heard of him but sounds very charitable.
Photo Credit: Barron Claiborne