Randall's Barbecue serves a variety of meats and sides in NYC.

ICE Alum Opens New York City Barbecue Restaurant

We check in with Jared Male (Management, '10) after the Aug. 26 debut of Randall’s Barbecue.

photo by Molly Tavoletti

Jared Male studied film in college while working part time in kitchens and catering. When working with food proved more satisfying, he changed his career path by enrolling in the Institute of Culinary Education’s Restaurant & Culinary Management program in 2009.

Jared Male opened Randall's Barbecue in New York City.
Jared Male opened Randall's Barbecue in New York City. Photo by Molly Tavoletti.

Why did you choose the management program?

I chose the ICE management program because I wanted to learn how a culinary business is run. I figured that by taking the course while working in kitchens, I would learn a lot of what I would need to run a successful business.

What experience did you gain after graduation?

I’ve worked for Hill Country and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, among others; ran my own pop-up; and found myself running a barbecue program at The Big Easy in London for a couple years.

And how did your own barbecue concept come about?

I originally wanted to open a catering business specializing in outdoor cooking, so I took a job at Hill Country to learn how to make barbecue. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to stick with it. When I found myself back in NYC after a stint in London, I spent some time looking for my next role. I couldn’t find a job that really spoke to me — I thought, if I can’t find the job I want, why not create it? So I opened Randall’s Barbecue, a restaurant and bar on the Lower East Side that focuses on channeling my own food experiences through barbecue — both traditional and not-so-traditional.

How did you choose the Lower East Side location?

I’ve always loved the neighborhood and it’s one of the last areas that still feels like New York. It seemed that this area of the LES was underserved in terms of restaurant selection and I thought I could help fill that hole. I had my eye on the location for a couple years and when I moved back from London, I decided to pursue it.

Barbecue in New York can be more competitive than people realize — what’s your style and how will you stand out?

There is a lot of great barbecue to be had across the boroughs now for sure. When I set out to do this, I just wanted to have fun with the food and experiment a bit. Dishes like the smoked five-spice duck with ginger and scallion, and smoked chopped chicken liver, as well as the pastrami are a reference to the surrounding areas, with Chinatown next door and the neighborhood's Jewish history. I’ve had the fortune of working with my friend Jake Klein, a great chef, who took my idea for masala-rubbed lamb ribs and turned it into a smoked lamb shank with tamarind sauce. I’m looking to play around with flavors, as well as the cuisines I grew up with here in New York, and channel those through barbecue.

Smoked five-spice duck at Randall's Barbecue
Smoked five-spice duck is served with ginger and scallion. Photo by Molly Tavoletti.

How has the opening gone?

We’ve seen a lot of press. Randall’s has been received pretty well and a lot of the coverage has been very good to us. When we sold out of barbecue in a matter of hours on the opening night, we knew we were onto something. Operationally, we have been getting better and better everyday.

How have your ICE management courses impacted your business?

It’s trained me to think like an owner — to see the bigger picture beyond the day-to-day operations, as well as have a deep understanding of the many details involved in running a successful establishment — throughout my 10-year career. Now, I am one!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in this endeavor?

Mindfulness and patience — I’m capable of more than I realized, but it’s near impossible to accomplish everything on your own. I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing people on the project. It’s a very stressful path to take, but it pays off in fulfillment.

Follow your own path to opening or managing a restaurant with ICE's Restaurant & Culinary Management program.

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