Discover How Landon Schoenefeld of Nighthawks Creates the Perfect Plate

At his forthcoming diner concept, Haute Dish chef/owner Landon Schoenefeld isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel—he’s trying to build the best wheel he can. “With Nighthawks, I’m taking a classic dish and trying to come up with why it’s good, why people love it,” he explains. “My first run at the chicken soup had a very French execution, very refined—but it didn’t taste like you want a chicken soup to taste. So I went the opposite route and boiled the bones hard and fast, which gives it this richness and slap-you-in-the-face chicken flavor.” Schoenefeld starts his take on classic dishes with a single element—in the case of the Nighthawks BLT, that was the half-inch-thick bacon, which he wanted to cure, cook, smoke, and griddle himself. “I’m a big believer in the process,” he says, noting that trial and error is a part of it—he remembers an attempt at elevating gravy fries (“It turns out that’s pretty impossible to do”) and a delicious chicken potpie that proved too hard for the Haute Dish kitchen to execute en masse. “I almost hate when we make something and it’s really good right away,” he says. “I want my cooks to really pick it apart, and if we don’t agree that it’s a complete home run, it’s not going to make the menu.”

Nighthawks new space

Nighthawks Chef Landon Schoenefeld's notes

Nighthawks fresh pasta

Nighthawks Chef Landon Schoenefeld soup

Nighthawks Chef Landon Schoenefeld in the kitchen

Nighthawks soup

Nighthawks bacon

Nighthawks sandwich

Nighthawks final plate

Perfect Plate

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Part 2: Chef Håkan Lundberg of The Minneapolis Club

Part 4: Chef Khanh Tran of The Bachelor Farmer