Features 2 minutes 05 December 2023

New (Culinary) Heights

Meet Peak's new executive chef Rose Noël who's infusing the posh plates with New York energy and global flavors.

Restaurants atop tourist attractions, no matter where they are in the world, are famous for their spectacular views no doubt but usually don’t have the same level of admiration with respect to the food. In fact, the cuisine at these landmarks can have the reputation of being average and overpriced at best.

(MICHELIN recommended) Peak, located on the 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yards in a building that’s the tallest in the eponymous development, aims to change this all-too-common perception. Comprised of a 110-seat dining room, cocktail lounge and spaces for private dining and events, the modern American eatery overlooks the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River. It features a sleek aesthetic that was designed by the renowned architecture firm Rockwell Group: a champagne metal ceiling, dark oak flooring and contemporary light installations all figure in.

Below, get the story on what makes Peak set new heights in gastronomy, and make sure to check out our Inspectors' Notes here.

Peak debuted in March 2020 just prior to the pandemic and has paid attention to turning out impressive cuisine from the outset. Part of Rhubarb Hospitality Collection, a UK company behind restaurants at popular sights in London such as The Royal Albert Hall, the eatery is rooted in the principle of forming lasting relationships with local farms, fisheries and other food purveyors.

The menu is divided into three categories—Land, Sea, and Garden. Popular dishes include Heritage Carrots with Jersey Girl Ricotta and Citrus from East Hampton’s Bhumi Farms, Hudson Valley foie gras with hazelnut biscotti and Moscato and the 8-ounce filet mignon sourced from Painted Hills Farm near Syracuse.

Alex Staniloff/Peak
Alex Staniloff/Peak

Peak has a new executive chef, Rose Noël, who will continue to rely on New York’s surrounding food suppliers for her ingredients but plans to introduce flavor profiles and foods that expand beyond the current options.

The 37-year-old Brooklyn native attended The Institute of Culinary Education and worked her way through kitchens at renowned New York restaurants. They include John Fraser's Dovetail and Maialino, Danny Meyer’s love letter to Roman cuisine, which turned her onto the pleasures of pasta.

Below, Noel shares what she hopes to achieve at Peak and how her personal and professional history will shape her role.

Courtesy of Peak
Courtesy of Peak

How will your background inform your menu at Peak?

My family is from Haiti, and I grew up in Brooklyn eating a lot of Caribbean foodsnot only Haitian, but [also] from other communities such as Trinidadian and Jamaican. I love roti, curries, and jerk chicken. This upbringing combined with the diversity in New York will influence the menu.

What about your professional history? How will it figure in?

I started out in French kitchens with Chef John Fraser, then moved into New American and Italian. They all have an influence on my food. I’ve learned how to build on flavors without making dishes that are overly heavy and how to make food look attractive on a plate.

What changes will you make?

Half the menu has changed. We use the same farms such as Painted Hills, which supplies our chicken, but now we do the chicken dish with parsley, dill, anchovies and tapenade. It has Greek and Nordic spices and is a melting pot of a dish. We plan to continue with the changes.

Peak has been serving a similar menu since it opened. What are the top sellers?

There is no one bestseller. Every dish is equally popular for the most part, but the fan favorite seems to be the egg custard for dessert which looks like an egg and is filled with a white chocolate mousse that has a mango center.

Alex Staniloff/Peak
Alex Staniloff/Peak

What do you think that the restaurant executes well in terms of experience or cuisine, and what improvements would you like to see?

I love intense flavors such as offal and spicy foods and funky flavors in general. Right now, the menu is more safe than adventurous. I would like to push the culinary boundaries. I think that right now, we excel at offering a menu where there is something for everyone.

Given Peak's location in a New York City tourist attraction, do you think that it's hard to convince New Yorkers and serious food aficionados to dine and appreciate the cuisine?

We already see a nice mix of locals and tourists. Good press talking about our cuisine has helped us become a culinary destination. Locals walk in to sit at the bar to enjoy a good meal, and tourists initially come for the views. But then they try the food and are impressed.

Charissa Fay/Peak
Charissa Fay/Peak

Hero image: Alex Staniloff/Peak


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