Keepin' It Simple: Marc Murphy's Inauguration as Guest Editor of Food Republic

By: Dylan Rodgers

Last night I strolled into Ditch Plains, a restaurant owned by Marc Murphy on the Upper West Side. Knowing that this was a celebration of his position as the first ever guest editor for Food Republic, I had assumed it would be a somewhat formal event where everyone gathered to hear a few announcements about whatever the future may bring; then all of the guests would gather to mingle and talk about things people talk about at formal parties (nothing I would really know about). I always just hugged the walls for fear of accidentally breaking the small talk and really getting to know someone.

To my surprise though, the celebration was quite relaxed... and I was a tad over-dressed. In fact, almost immediately after I walked through the door, Marc Murphy walked up to me to say hello. Suddenly feeling extremely welcome, and now relaxed, the night just continued to build upon the simple enjoyment of everyone in the room.Needing to get some work done, I asked Marc about his desired influence as the guest editor of Food Republic.

He answered, "I really just talk about things I love. Let's talk about good things; let's talk about great things; let's talk about things that people are interested in that aren't just negative." He followed by explaining a little about the clean concept of his restaurant, Ditch Plains, named after his favorite surfing spot on Long Island.

"I want my personality to come out on the table," he said. "I hate going to those restaurants where you walk out and you're like, 'I wonder if my server was male or female,' because they're just so unmemorable. I want my servers to be a part of the experience."

Above all though, Marc Murphy's philosophy is "Keep it simple". Whether it's with his down-to-earth nonchalance or his inspiring yet straightforward approach to food, keeping it simple is extremely refreshing in a world (and especially a city) of such intense complexity.

Just to give you a taste of what I'm talking about, here's a look at a few of the hors d'oeuvres and cocktails from last night's shindig:

First and number one in my book because of creativity, were the skewers of watermelon, feta cheese, and mint. The flavor combination seemed stochastic and ended up coming together in an excellent and refreshing blend.

Second on the list is the Ditch Dog. This scrumptious haute dog came covered in white macaroni and cheese. It seemed an odd combination, though genius! I can't believe I haven't thought of that!

Next, is one of the best drinks in existence called Bhodi's Revenge. It's Herradura tequila, agave syrup, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, orange juice, and lime. Plus it's garnished with a pepper that made me sweat with spicy pleasure!

Last and definitely not least, was the English Margarita. This crisp, refreshing take on my favorite cocktail pushed the boundaries of my New Mexican reality. It consists of Herradura tequila, agave syrup, and cucumber water. Yup, I said cucumber water. Delicious!

Here are some more pictures from last night:

Photos: Dylan Rodgers