June 8, 2015 By Michael Florio
A former chef for the Canadian ambassador is opening up a restaurant in Jackson Heights that will serve French and American food.
Chef Stewart Wadden, a Canadian native, plans to open his 76-05 37th Avenue restaurant in September.
Wadden comes with pedigree. He has cooked for a number of international dignitaries—such as the queens of Belgium, Jordan and Norway. He has cooked for the Crown Princes and Princesses of Japan and Denmark, as well as UN Secretary Generals Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan and an array of presidents and prime ministers.
He studied in France, cooking with some of France’s most notable chefs such as Gabriel Biscay, Alain Ducasse and Michel de Matteis.
Wadden decided to open his first restaurant after a group of fellow chefs decided to open restaurants of their own.
“Once I saw them do it I thought it can’t be that scary,” he said.
Wadden, who has lived in Jackson Heights for the past 14 years, said that he had been looking for the ideal location across the city for the past year. He said that when he spotted the Jackson Heights location he decided it was right for him.
“I know the neighborhood very well,” he said. “But being able to walk to work is a plus.”
The menu will include French dishes he learned while studying in France and American cuisine. The menu, which will include homemade burgers and fresh ingredients, is still in the works and will be firmed up next month when his relative and fellow chef Eric Marain arrives from California.
“I am hoping to mesh his California style with my background,” he said.
He added that there is a need for a restaurant serving both American and French dishes.
“There is really nowhere in the neighborhood to get a homemade hamburger,” he said.
As the word begins to spread about his restaurant opening, a buzz in the community is beginning to grow.
“People are very excited,” he said. “I sometimes get stopped on the street and told they can’t wait until I open.”
The restaurant will be able to seat 45 people, with 38 seats in the dinning area and seven at the bar. The bar will serve wine, beer and cocktails.
The location was previously Paradise Biryani Pointe. New signs have yet to go up.