Tim Maslow, the chef of Strip-T's in Watertown, MA is the next Young Guns top 50 chef to check out. In a committee phone call on June 6, New York chef David Chang had this to say:
I'm just partial, obviously, because Tim Maslow's been with me. He was with me for six years, and I've seen him grow from a cook, now working in his father's restaurant which he took over — Strip T's, I love the name — in Watertown, Mass. I know he's been making headway in terms of the local Massachusetts-Boston food scene. He is certainly finding his own voice and I have no doubt that he'll win all sorts of awards down the road. He's a very talented guy, and he needed his own place where I basically wasn't breathing down his neck.
In the following interview, Maslow talks about getting his real start in the industry and what it would mean to be a Young Gun.
Tell me a little bit about how you got started and your career so far.
I got started in a few different ways, the first probably working in my parents restaurant, you know, busing tables... and I didn't really understand the whole hospitality world at that point... I didn't understand that until I started working for David [Chang] in New York.
The most important thing I remember when I worked there is that the first day I walked into Momofuku Noodle Bar, the original, in my Birkenstock sandals, and clean shorts, and I asked to work there, and he told me to 'get on the line,' and he asked me how my knife skills were and I told him 'great,' and it turned out they weren't so great! So he set out to prove me wrong, and from that point on I realized there's always something new to learn, something to improve on, never stay status quo.
When did you make the move from New York back to Massachusetts?
15 months ago.
Oh, so pretty recently?
I guess so, it's been a long 15 months.
And Strip-T's has been in your family?
Yeah, my mother Dorine Schiefer and my father Paul Maslow opened it together.
What's it like to work in a family run restaurant?
Honestly I feel like I've created the same type of environment I worked in in New York, so it's not necessarily a mom-and-pop joint anymore, there are serious people here... it's not what you'd expect for a family run restaurant. Everybody has input, everybody's heard.
What would it mean for you to be a Young Gun?
Well, it'd mean a lot. It'd also mean a lot for the restaurant to be recognized for all the hard work and effort being put into running the food and beverage that we do here. We went for 8 months without being noticed, without being busy thinking we maybe had to change what we were doing... now we have a lot of the same customers every night, and people recognize us not just in Watertown. It'd truly mean a lot.