Meet Chef Suzanne Cupps of Union Square Hospitality Group

Zero George is thrilled to welcome Chef Suzanne Cupps of Union Square Hospitality Group for the Charleston Wine + Food Signature Dinner on Thursday, March 7th. This intimate, multi-course dining experience will feature an artfully presented menu, highlighting locally sourced ingredients and innovative techniques served in Zero Restaurant’s chic dining room.

Suzanne Cupps is the Executive Chef of Untitled and Studio Cafe in the Whitney Museum of American Art. After working in an HR administrator position at the Waldorf Astoria, Suzanne realized that her interests lay firmly in the kitchen. In 2005, Suzanne began her culinary career with Union Square Hospitality Group as an extern at Gramercy Tavern. Suzanne continued to further her experience in the industry at Anito Lo’s restaurant Annisa. In 2011, Suzanne returned to Gramercy Tavern as a line cook. Before ultimately assuming the role of the restaurant’s Executive Chef in 2017, Suzanne held the position of Untitled’s Chef de Cuisine under Michael Anthony. Get to know more about Chef Suzanne Cupps and her culinary experience below!

It has been said you had no interest in helping out in the kitchen as a child, why so?  What was the turning point when you found your passion for cooking?

I was a fairly picky child and didn’t enjoy being in the kitchen. I wasn’t curious about food in general. After college, I moved to NYC and discovered a vibrant restaurant scene with so many options and diverse ingredients. Eating became a social experience, meeting up with friends and exploring the city. Restaurants and food peaked my interest and I began to see possibilities that I hadn’t before.

As current chef of Untitled and Studio Cafe at the Whitney Museum of American Art, do you have a favorite exhibition?

The Andy Warhol exhibit From A to B and Back Again just opened and is running through March 2019. It’s a colorful and fun representation of his work, something every New Yorker and visitor to the city should see!

You spent part of your childhood in Aiken, South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University. Do you show your South Carolina roots in your cooking?

I grew up in Maryland and moved south when I was 11 – my mom is from Pennsylvania and my dad from the Philippines. It took me awhile to acquire a love of southern food (other than pulled pork!), but now I enjoy many dishes. I’ve been excited to put a few things on the Untitled menu over the past few years, like crab hushpuppies with an old bay aioli and pimento cheese with pickled jalapeños. The recipes are not traditional, but I’ve managed to win over many southern guests with them!

If you had any profession outside of the culinary world, what would it be?

Something else in hospitality. Maybe back to hotels?

What are you most looking forward to about collaborating on this Signature Dinner with Chef Vinson Petrillo?

Cooking in Charleston is always such a treat. I love the culture of the city, and every time I visit I meet another great chef. I’m always inspired by the thoughtfulness and creativity of those I have gotten to work with in Charleston.

We look forward to welcoming Chef Suzanne Cupps to Zero George this upcoming March. While tickets are sold out, you can request a ticket today in case someone returns one!

Photo via Charleston Wine + Food

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