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Bitch At Us: Bill Peet of URBO

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Introducing our brand new NYC Baby Bitch, Reily! The only thing Reily loves more than her new city, are the brunches it has to offer. If brunch is in fact a sport, Reily wants to be the captain. She loves food. Especially eggs. Especially eggs with a Bloody Mary. Sometimes two. The spicier the better. 

Combine a man who has been working in a kitchen since he was 14, extensive training at the Culinary Institute of America, a move to New York City, and a love for French cooking, and you’ll find yourself looking at URBO executive chef, Bill Peet.

Starting as a line cook for Clos Normand in New York, Bill began an amazing culinary journey that would find him cooking his way to the top in four-star restaurants such as Lutèce. He quickly rose to become the Sous Chef under the skillful guidance of André Soltner. After 15 years with Lutèce, Bill ventured on to many impressive accomplishments ranging from opening his own French restaurant, Le Petite Rose, a AAA Four Diamond Award winner, to taking on larger audiences with projects such as the Merlot Bar & Grill and Iridium Jazz Club.

With all of these fabulous accomplishments, and what we can only assume are delicious eats, Bill continues to keep his culinary prowess right where we can enjoy it, in New York! He continues to cook for his loyal fans at the URBO restaurant in Times Square. However, if you find yourself wandering around Williamsburg this weekend, we highly recommend you visit our friend Bill at the Great Big Bacon Picnic taking place at The Old Pfizer Factory – 630 Flushing Avenue. There’s only one thing Bitches love more than bacon and booze and that’s bacon and booze picnics!

Chef Bill Peet

Can you give me a little overview on what you’re currently working on?
URBO. It’s an American brasserie concept, taking in the best parts of New York and the boroughs, presenting New York as a food destination.

Tell us a little bit about your involvement with the inaugural Great Big Bacon Picnic?
I was approached about it and I jumped right on it. Brooklyn is such an up-and-coming area with food. But bacon? How can you go wrong with bacon? Everybody loves bacon.

Absolutely, we found that too. Some of our bacon brunch photos are the most trafficked and shared because everyone really does love bacon.
I have one kosher friend. He’s never had bacon, but it’s his favorite smell in the world.

That’s such a tease! What’s your favorite bacon dish, or way to prepare bacon?
I love a good bacon and egg sandwich. I’m very simple. I’ve done four-star dining for a long time, but there’s comfort food that goes back to when I was a kid. A bacon and egg sandwich with ketchup on a good Kaiser roll, I love that. It brings back so many memories.

Sounds delicious! You can’t go wrong with the classics sometimes. Do you have a favorite place to brunch in New York City?
Sarabeth’s. I don’t go as often as I’d like, but they do such a great job with all the fresh baked products. I know Sarabeth, so I love to go there when I can. [Read our review of Sarabeth’s here.]

What’s your favorite dish to cook for brunch?
We’re actually just starting to do brunch at URBO—I love to cook a roast beef hash with poached egg and jus over the top. It’s a great dish. I take a prime rib and roast the fatty half. When it’s cold, I cut the fat out and cube it up with potatoes and onions and cook it all. I then add the beef sauce back in to bind it and serve it pancake style, in a patty. I crisp it up on both sides, put a nice poached egg right on top, and a little drizzle of the beef sauce.

Do you prefer savory or sweet brunch food?
Savory. But I like savory with a little sweet added to it. I like pancakes with eggs on them and a little maple syrup. Or even a good waffle. To me a waffle shouldn’t be so sweet; it should be a vehicle for what you put on it. A real Belgium waffle is very yeasty, not sweet.

Interesting! Do you prefer to brunch in your house or out at a restaurant?
I guess it depends on the time of year. If it’s nice out, as it is now, I like to barbeque and do things out on my deck. Otherwise I like to go out and have someone else cook for a change.

I’m sure if you’re cooking all day, it’s nice to take a little break. Do you have a favorite brunch cocktail?
Bloody Mary; a good, strong Bloody Mary. A lot of pepper, a lot of horseradish.

Do you like when they have a ton of garnishes or do you think that takes away from the cocktail?
Oh you know…celery is good for you. Anything else in there is too busy.

They can get a little out of hand. So, is there anything else we should know about the Big Bacon Picnic before we go?
Well you know what we’re doing right? A bacon Oreo. We’re incorporating the bacon into the cream. We make our own Oreos at URBO. In fact, we only made 2,500 bacon Oreos for the event, they’re going to sell out quickly!

Learn more about the Great Big Bacon Picnic in Williamsburg from May 16-17 here.

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