Mark Rosati of Shake Shack, Grilled!
Mark Rosati joined the Shake Shack team at the original Madison Square Park location as a manager in 2007. Since then, he has gone on to help develop local seasonal menu items for locations throughout the US and abroad.
Prior to joining Shake Shack, Mark cooked at NYC’s Gramercy Tavern. He grew up in Stonington, Connecticut, where from an early age he discovered an appetite for roadside seafood and burger shacks. Thank the lord for the London branch in Covent Garden, the Concretes alone are worth making a visit for.
If money or logistics were no object, where would you open a Shake Shack?
Piedmont, Italy for purely selfish reasons. I’m so in love with the cuisine and culture of the region! Tokyo would be great too. Tailoring Shake Shack’s menu to local tastes and sensibilities while still exemplifying our American roadside burger stand heritage would be a fun challenge.
If you had to eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pork, in all of its glory. No matter how it’s prepared or what part, I always find it so comforting and delicious. From grilled chop to slow-braising shank, from smoked belly to crisp fried skin…yeah, kinda addicted.
What do you keep on your bedside table?
My iPhone, in case inspiration strikes in the middle of the night and I want to write down or research an idea.
When is the last time you had a McDonald’s?
About a year ago in Istanbul. I was curious to see what the locally inspired items such as the McTurco tasted like. Also, I visited a McDonald’s in Moscow which was actually quite nice and cheerful. The coffee and pastry items in the McCafe were some of the best I’ve tasted from any fast food restaurant.
What is your career Plan B?
I still see myself working in the hospitality industry, but perhaps in a different facet. I always thought the title “Sommelier” had a pleasant ring to it…just need to get a much better grip on the whole wine knowledge part first!
Is there anything on the menu at Shake Shack that you ever cook at home?
We recently launched fresh-cut French fries at some of our US Shack locations. While developing the recipe, I happily cooked vast amounts of fries for friends and family to test out different techniques and theories. During those early tests, everyone’s carb, salt and ketchup intake spiked dramatically.
Is there any food that you can’t stand?
In general, let’s just say airline food still has a long way to go…
Do you have any recurring dreams?
You know, not really. I’m pretty boring like that!
Who would be your ideal dinner date?
Anyone who shares a passion and curiosity for great food and wine.
What is the one object you can’t do without?
My iPhone. I travel a lot these days and it allows me to stay in contact with friends, family and colleagues while easily navigating around new cities.