The Pridwin restaurant opens for the season with dinner Sunday, June 19, followed by breakfast, lunch, dinner service daily through Labor Day
A big welcome to our new chef, Swainson Brown! Here is his delicious riff on shrimp scampi.
Swainson Brown has been cooking for over 10 years in the kitchens of New York’s top restaurants including The Mark Hotel, Savoy, Country restaurant, The National, and Café Katja, and learning from the industry’s top chefs including Andrew Chase, Peter Hoffman, David Paulstitch, Doug Psaltis, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
He is well-known in the industry as the chef that captures “stars” from The New York Times for the restaurants he works in. When he worked for restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian at his new venture, Country restaurant in The Carlton Hotel, under the direction of Executive Chef Doug Psaltis, the restaurant was awarded three stars by The New York Times. While working for Peter Hoffman at Back Forty West, the restaurant was awarded two stars by The New York Times.
He grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and when he was seven years old and tall enough to see over the top of the stove, he found his passion for cooking after an experiment making egg pancakes with his sister. His mother encouraged him to explore Caribbean cuisine and spices. When his family moved to Brooklyn while he was a teenager, he studied culinary arts at George W. Wingate High School and participated in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). He competed in the 1998 C-CAP New York Cooking Competition for Scholarships, and was awarded a full-scholarship to the New York Restaurant School (now the Art Institutes of New York City). Swainson completed his externship at The Mark Hotel with David Paulstitch. Upon graduating, Swainson was offered a full-time position as EntreMetier. He worked at the hotel with Andrew Chase and developed great skills and his passion for creating bold flavorful food that helped him land chef’s jobs in some of New York’s best-known restaurants. Swainson didn’t shy away from difficult positions; in fact, he mastered being a banquet cook and all the jobs that have led him to his present job as Executive Chef at Café Katja.
Swainson was mentored by C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman and C-CAP staff while in culinary school and throughout his career. In turn, he has become a mentor to young C-CAP students by hiring and training them for jobs in his restaurants. He will be working closely with C-CAP President Susan Robbins to provide mentoring opportunities for C-CAP alumni and students.
In 2011, Swainson was the winner of the Daniel Boulud/C-CAP 2011 Full-Tuition Scholarship to Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, for its two-week Authentic French Cuisine course.
Quote from Swainson: “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
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