Behind the Swinging

A day in the life of a restaurant kitchen

By Michael Harlan Turkell

Restaurants peddle the illusion of effortlessness. The plate that appears in front of you—whether it’s simplicity in the form of a perfect tomato soup or a complex preparation of lamb cooked three different ways—offers no inkling, ideally, that a produce order went missing this morning or that a line cook showed up to work drunk.

Not that any of that happened on the day photographer Michael Harlan Turkell spent in the kitchen of New York’s Public. What did happen, by the end of the day, was this: Dinner was served. Broths were simmered, knives got sharpened, vegetables were julienned. Public, a favorite of ours known for its front-of-the-house design, looks pretty good in the back of the house, too.

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