Zod Arifai has been a darling of TriState food cognoscenti for decades. The self-taught culinary wizard behind such popular New Jersey successes as Juniper, Ten Square, and Blu, first attempted a New York move way back in 1999 with a well-received but painfully short-lived restaurant in Brooklyn. Twenty-one years later, he was poised to try it again in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, but the pandemic intervened with his plans for a tasting-menu format at his new Wicked Jane. In July, Zod decided to go for it, and opened with an adjusted small-plate format (Andrew ate there–it’s terrific). The restaurant is temporarily closed along with the renewed indoor dining ban in New York City, but he’ll be back soon. In the meantime, whet your appetite with this very personal, deep-dive interview with this former professional musician turned chef.
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