When Sean Patrick Gallagher’s role in event staffing became redundant in March, he pivoted back to being a chef. We’ve been salivating over his Instagram feed since then, as he’s cooked up a storm in his Hell’s Kitchen kitchen! Scroll to the end for his recipe for Thanksgiving savory scones (with a kick!).
So, what’s your New York story? Born here, or just arrived?
I moved to New York City over a decade ago to pursue my culinary career.
How did you end up in Hell’s Kitchen?
I lived on 45th and 8th for a few years, then moved to Chinatown. My husband and I looked at 22 apartments in Manhattan, before choosing Silver Towers on W42nd Street three years ago.
What’s your favorite thing about Hell’s Kitchen?
Everything is at your fingertips. Being central just works. I’m a private chef, food stylist, and recipe developer and am always running to different locations. Being centralized makes my life much easier to travel around.
And what’s your Hell’s Kitchen pet peeve?
Pre-COVID, my complaints would be the constant construction was very loud. Post COVID would be how desolate this once vibrant neighborhood feels.
Did you stay put when the pandemic hit, or did you find an escape for some of the time?
Husband and I camped out here for the duration. This is our home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
What did you do for work pre-COVID? What are you doing now?
I was a senior business development manager for a national event staffing agency. I was responsible for 1,200 events annually, including model staffing for brand activations and events for Burberry, Louis Vuitton, as well as award shows and the Met Gala. I was laid off in early March due to COVID. Once all my events for the year were canceled, I pivoted back to my prior career as a chef and couldn’t be happier with the transition.
What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve learned during the pandemic?
Our resiliency. No matter the things that have been thrown our way, NYers have persevered. I think the pandemic showed up as what’s important and, if anything, to slow down and appreciate what we have.
Tell us one thing that’s given you hope during the pandemic?
Seeing everyone turning on the creative parts of their brain. Learning new hobbies or crafts and challenging themselves to do more. I loved seeing people paint, bake, craft, or photograph for the first time. I also think the pandemic will breed a new era of freelancers and small business owners.
What’s the most serendipitous (random/obscure/ insane) experience that’s happened to you in Hell’s Kitchen?
In the event world, I was privy to seeing the most glamorous of private homes. This past New Year’s Eve, I helped produce an engagement party atop a new Hudson Yards high-rise in their top floor event space — it was magical, and everyone was able to watch the festivities with an unobstructed 360-degree view.
What’s your closest brush with world fame and celebrity?
As a private chef, I worked in the celebrity space catering to many high net worth and celebrity clients. Notably, I worked for Calvin Klein as his chef and traveled to India to work with a New York team on an engagement party for one of the richest families in the world. I’ve lived and worked in France as the chef for a hedge fund billionaire and have cooked in Italy, the Philippines, and Turkey for private families and events.
What’s your superpower?
Multitasking and connecting people.
What song do you sing at the top of your voice in the shower?
“Where have all the cowboys gone?”
Which people inspire you the most?
My mother, my husband, and Michelle Obama.
What’s your favorite quote or saying?
“Do your best until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” — Maya Angelo
Do you love Times Square? Why, or why not?
No. Avoid it like the plague.
Do you love Hudson Yards? Why, or why not?
Yes! It was much needed and is elevating this neighborhood.
If you could bring one thing (person/place/event) back to HK that is no longer around, what would it be?
I miss a lot of the gay bars I went to in my 20s. I miss that era of bar hopping and socializing. Gay apps definitely killed it.
Add your shameless plug or personal profile?
Visit chefseanpatrickgallagher.com — private chef available for home dinners and events. Freelance food stylist available for ad campaigns.
HELL’S KITCHEN HAPPY PLACES
Gotham West Market. Love all the food options a block from home
Rustic Table. It reminds me of a small restaurant I worked in that had 8 tables in Connecticut when I was growing up. I always get the Farmer’s Breakfast — a mushroom omelet with labneh and za’atar. Love their coffee and pastries. They have a feta scone that’s bomb.
Hell’s Kitchen Barbers. Joe gives the best fade in New York City.
Turco. Quick and delicious Turkish food that tastes as good and authentic as any you’d get in Istanbul.
Kahve. Erol’s a good friend of mine and I try to support his local business. He’s Turkish, like my husband. I love their coffee.
THANKSGIVING RECIPE — Roasted Squash, Garlic, Cheddar and Chipotle Scones
I think the holidays are gonna look a little different this year, and that’s okay.
Whether you’re spending the holiday alone or with your bubble, it’s important to keep in mind those who can’t spend it with family. I wanted to share a savory scone recipe I made for the upcoming holiday. The best part about these scones is you can make them ahead, and they travel well in case you wanted to bake some off for a neighbor or friend who will be spending this holiday alone.
These scones get a kick of flavor from La Morena chipotle peppers in adobo. They’re great for breakfast, lunch, or to accompany your dinner. These also make for a mean hot turkey sandwich!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 4 oz cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup butternut squash purée
- 1/2 cup whole fat Greek yogurt
- 1 head garlic, roasted
- 4 oz Irish cheddar, shredded (I used Kerrygold Dubliner )
- 2 stalks scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 La Morena chipotle peppers, 2 whole and 1 finely chopped + 1 tsp adobo sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp melted butter
- Maldon salt for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
- To prepare the roasted garlic, cut the top 1/4 of the bulb off and discard. Pour olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper in the center. Wrap the bulb in foil tightly and place on a lined baking sheet.
- To prepare the squash purée, peel and seed half of a medium-sized butternut squash or whole small squash. Cut in half and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and add to the lined baking sheet.
- Roast the garlic and squash at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes until soft and caramelized.
- Allow the squash to cool slightly and purée in a food processor until smooth. Push garlic cloves out of skins and reserve 2 large cloves, the rest add to the food processor and purée until smooth.
- In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together.
- Add the sugar, 2 chipotles and the adobo, egg, and Greek yogurt. Purée until smooth.
- Cut butter and cheddar into dry ingredients to combine, texture should be coarse meal.
- Gently mix squash mixture into flour mixture, fold until oughly combined. Do not over-mix or your scones won’t have any texture.
- Fold in roasted garlic, scallions, and remaining minced chipotle.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pay down and into the shape of a square, about 10×10 and 1-1/2 inch thickness.
- Cut into 3 equal strips, then cut horizontally to create 9 squares, cut each square in half to make 18 triangles, and add to lined baking sheets.
- Brush with melted butter and add a sprinkle of Maldon salt.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 9 minutes, rotate and bake another 9 minutes.