WHO: Daniel Chessare
WHERE: Just off Broadway,
Where he plans on opening a Jewish deli next month.
Q. You’re a chef?
A. I am. I’ve been working in town for a very long time. I worked at Scallions for about nine years, I was a sous chef at the Wine Bar of about a year-and-a-half, and I was the head chef at Merry Monk for almost two years.
Q. Is opening your own business a goal you were always working towards?
A. I didn’t at first, but after working for other people for so long, I felt like I was ready to work for myself.
Q. When do you plan to open?
A. The first or second week of July, hopefully.
Q. Why a Jewish Deli?
A. Saratoga doesn’t have one. In a town that has so many restaurants you have to get super-specific with your business. You need to be very niche and a Jewish deli is something Saratoga doesn’t have.
Q. Are you Jewish?
A. On my mother’s side of the family.
Q. What are some things you’ll have on the menu?
A. Corned beef, pastrami, smoked salmon, potato pancakes, matzo ball soup, and then we’ll do the more obscure stuff like chopped liver and tongue, and knish and stuff like that. We’ll be doing breakfast and lunch, probably closing around five o’clock every day.
Q. Knish is obscure?
A. Around here it is. Where can you go downtown to get a knish?
Q. Where are you originally from?
A. Jersey. My family moved up here in ’97 or so, but my step-mother’s family is from up here.
Q. So, you’re pretty familiar with Saratoga?
A. Oh yes, I started washing tables and busing tables at Little India when they were on Broadway when I was 17, then I worked at Professor Moriarty’s when I was in high school and just worked my way up.
Q. What’s the biggest change in the city you seen since that time?
A. Condos and offices everywhere.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. I read a lot of books, and sometimes I make video games on the side. My college degree is in video game design.
Q. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
A. Jeffrey Goldblum.