From Drummer to Chef: The Journey of Brooks Headley

Before working as a chef, Brooks Headley was a drummer. Following his journey from hardcore-punk clubs to fine-dining kitchens and to the forefront of cooking is to reconsider not just how we view cooking, but also how we all might better express ourselves. His New York City restaurant, Superiority Burger, brings together a motley crowd for a shared dining experience unlike any other. The menu—which I hesitate to describe as “vegetarian” because it sounds so restrictive—is a dynamic canvas for the freshest farmers’ market finds. The namesake burger is extraordinary. His focaccia is unbelievable. The gelato’s outrageous. To me, Brooks is the American embodiment of the Japanese shokunin: a singularly dedicated, innovative, authentic craftsman. His restaurant challenges our notions of what makes for great cuisine and where you can find it. He has influenced the global dialogue about sustainability and ethics in food, all while actively avoiding the spotlight. Brooks is happiest working in the background. After all, he is a drummer at heart.

Chang is a restaurateur, author, and podcaster