Chef John Sierp fights fires.
Quite literally. The chef of the newly opened Home Base in New York City (March 8 in Murray Hill) has saved lives, businesses, and homes from going down in flames as a lieutenant in the Fire Department of New York. Based in Tribeca, Sierp happens to also be an accomplished chef. He’s mastered multiple cooking championships and showed up strong on Food Network’s CHOPPED, The Rachel Ray Show, The Martha Stewart Show and judged competitors on on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.
We love it. Grit Daily caught up with Sierp, a proverbial chef of many lives, for his take on both roles and his latest restaurant opening, Home Base.
GD: Most people know you from television. But there’s a lot more to your story with FDNY and your latest opening. Share that.
John Sierp: I’m a lieutenant in Tribeca and the head chef at Home Base. Pretty rough go lately trying to balance both jobs and spend time with my two young boys. Axel (5) and Zach (3) These two really keep me on my toes and are my inspiration at the same time. They love the firehouse as much as I do, and at their young ages also have a love for good food.
I strive to achieve excellence in all I do. If things go the way I feel they will, Home Base is going to be an amazing meeting spot for the Murray Hill area, and also a destination for lovers of food to try all the original dishes we’ve come up with.
GD: What’s behind the “Home Base” name?
JS: “Home Base” is a baseball pun that perfectly embodies our vision as an all-purpose entertainment venue. We are a place to root on your favorite sports team, but also a home to lasting memories of all occasions. We offer great nightlife and brunch parties on the weekends, and our upstairs lounge is perfect for a weekday charity event or private dinner party. There is so much potential at Home Base and we are excited to serve the community.
GD: What makes a dish quintessentially “New York?”
JS: New York is both a melting pot of the world’s cultures and a hub for innovation and progress. A New York Dish pushes the creative boundaries of cuisine drawing influence from these amazing cultures. Our menu is full of unique fusion inspired by the diversity and creativity of this great city.
GD: Has fighting fires, literally, inspired a dish or two? If so, which ones?
JS: Honestly there is no correlation. As I mentioned before, my kids are my real inspiration in everything I do from the firehouse to the kitchen and beyond.
GD: What should people expect from Home Base’s menu?
JS: Our menu has something for everyone but looks to draw people out of their comfort zone. Whether you are trying to eat healthy or need a “cheat meal” – we have delicious options that fit both criteria. We look to embody the spirit of New York in all our dishes.
GD: We’ve heard that specific cocktails can change the taste of food — sometimes dramatically. What’s a go-to combination you recommend from this upcoming menu?
JS: We have a large selection of home-infused liquors that our cocktail menu is built around. If you are a peanut butter lover you are in for a treat, our “BUTTER” cocktail is built around our peanut butter bourbon, and goes great with our Thai Peanut Wings. Our “MARGARITA” is made with jalapeño lime tequila which adds a kick to our Shrimp Tacos.
Looking for more food coverage at Grit Daily? Look no further: Check out our piece on chef Zachary Engel.