Mark Rosati has been culinary director of Shake Shack since it was a single hotdog stand in New York City’s Madison Square Park.
He wasn’t sure he should take the job. He’d been cooking at Danny Meyer’s and Tom Colicchio’s fine-dining restaurant Gramercy Tavern, and running a takeout kiosk seemed like a step down. Would his chef friends even speak to him anymore?
But Rosati said that he appreciated that Shake Shack used the same ingredients and cooking techniques that Meyer’s fine-dining restaurant used — in fact, prep for “The Shack” initially took place across the street at Eleven Madison Park, which was part of Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group at the time.
Shake Shack has come a long way since then, with around 330 locations worldwide and its own test kitchen, and Rosati has relocated to Los Angeles for ease in travel as more shacks open in East Asia. His chef friends still speak with him.
In this podcast, Rosati discusses how Shake Shack has evolved and how the research & development process as changed, including how he and his team have had to adjust during the pandemic.
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