Ed is a major player in New York City’s food scene and is the owner-operator of Red Farm, Zagat’s top-rated Chinese restaurant in New York, serving the city’s top-rated dim sum; and Decoy, which specializes in bespoke cocktails and Peking duck, and which Gentlemen’s Quarterly Magazine singled out as having New York’s best Peking duck. Schoenfeld’s current and past restaurants reflect his taste for delicious food served graciously in a convivial and hospitable atmosphere.
Ed’s interest in food and cooking was nurtured by his Hungarian grandmother, broadened by his own studies, and honed by chef-emigres from China in the late 1960s. A pioneer in the 1970s movement to bring authentic regional Chinese dishes to the US, Ed began his restaurant career as the maitre’d in charge of the front of the house at Uncle Tai's Hunan Yuan, one of New York’s first Hunan restaurants and one that garnered four stars in its New York Times review. Over the years, Ed has created dozens of restaurants as an owner-operator and as a consultant. Among them are Chinatown Brasserie, Pig Heaven, Chop Suey Louie’s Litchi Lounge, and away from the Chinese culinary idiom, The Bear Cafe in Woodstock, NY; Cafe Marimba, City Cafe, and the eponymous Vince and Eddie’s in New York City.
Ed’s scholarly and practical knowledge of Chinese cuisine, his own eastern European and
New York culinary heritage, and deep knowledge of French, Italian and Japanese food and flavor traditions inform his culinary concepts as well as his home cooking. His decades-long global investigation of cooking, restaurants, menus, and dining rooms from four-star to no stars, inform his approach to building successful restaurant concepts, where the menu, style, front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house work harmoniously to win repeat customers.
RedFarm: As owner-operator, Ed worked with dim sum master chef Joe Ng to update classical Cantonese dishes with the freshest and best quality ingredients at Red Farm. The original RedFarm opened in 2010 in an 1828 West Village townhouse, and in 2012, a econd location opened on the Upper West Side. In addition to widespread media kudos for dim sum, Time out New York voted RedFarm’s steak the best in the city.
Decoy: Just beneath Red Farm, Ed and Joe have built a cozy and casual backdrop for a banquet specialty, Peking duck, as well as other specialties such as Chinese jerk chicken, octopus salad, and Decoy chips. GQ Magazine hailed Decoy’s crisp-skinned duck, served with duck consomme and house-made paper-thin pancakes, as the best in New York, and the New York Post called Decoy “one of the sexiest restaurants in New York.” Decoy also features bespoke cocktails, including the duck-fat washed whiskey-based Sitting Down to Dinner.
Chinatown Brasserie: Ed worked with the team behind Lure Fish Bar and Joe’s Pub to create a 250-seat restaurant in NoHo that tweaked standard American Chinese specialities like spare ribs and orange beef into upscale specialties in an atmosphere that invoked a cross between a Shanghai brasserie in the 1930s. Ed guided them through everything from menu development to back-of-the-house hiring.
Carnivale: Ed developed the concept and menu for Chicago’s hottest Latin-fusion spot, Carnivale. The restaurant’s Latin-inspired menu features homestyle cooking, one-of-a-kind cocktails, and a colorful, festive atmosphere.
Ed has also fine-tuned the fare at NYC’s Shanghai Tea Garden, City Eatery, and Ping’s,
among others; Chicago’s Room 21 and Tein Li Chow; San Juan’s Ponte Fresco; Tokyo’s Chanto; and many more.
Ed’s encyclopedic knowledge of all things food-related, as well as his larger-than-life personality, have made him a sought-after commentator on Chinese cuisine and restaurants. He is a frequent guest on the Leonard Lopate show on National Public Radio; was a featured interviewee in the 2013 documentary, The Search for General Tso, about the genesis of General Tso’s chicken; a judge on Iron Chef America, and a guest on Public Broadcasting Service’s Mike Colameco’s Real Food, New York Master Chefs, and Jewish Cooking in America. As a go-to source for food writers, he’s often quoted by New York Times, New York Magazine, and the Wall St. Journal. He’s written for Huffington Post, Saveur, and the Art of Eating. Former Food Talk radio host Arthur Schwartz called Ed “the ultimate (food industry) insider.”