The TT 46

Melissa Weller

Sadelle's, New York, NY
Photo: Della Chen

How she killed it in 2015: Few like to admit it, but New York's bagel-quality level had started to slip some years ago. Thankfully, Weller, a Per Se and Roberta's alum, is helping restore the New York bagel to its former state of glory with her hand-rolled petit (read: traditional) ones at Sadelle's, a modern Jewish restaurant from the Major Food Group. And though we love the bagels, we also can't walk out of the restaurant sans Weller's chocolate babka and chocolate chip ricotta cake.

How would you describe your cooking? "New York."

What's your signature dish? "Chocolate babka."

What's been your biggest kitchen disaster? "Before I began cooking professionally, I foolishly started a fire in my kitchen. The fire began to spread just as I put it out, and I burned my hand badly in the process. I still have the scar."

What's the most underrated ingredient, and how do you use it? "Black pepper. It's always used as a condiment, but rarely is it a star. I add it to a variety of doughs from bagel dough to laminated doughs."

Favorite meal of 2015? "I recently had the best veggie burger ever at Superiority Burger in the East Village."

Go-to hangover food? "Black coffee."

Find Sadelle's on DINE.

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