Top to Bottom is quick-fire interview series where we show off our cutest friends in the world of food.
For the this week's installment of Top to Bottom we are once again traveling to Brooklyn to meet another dashing young man with a passion for food. 28 year old urban designer and all around hunk David Smucker cooked some crepes and chatted with Mouthfeel about his youth in Montreal, where favorite date spots, and his teenage cheese diary.
Where is your family from?
My mom grew up on the islands off the coast of Georgia, but her family is mostly around New York City. My dad’s family is from Switzerland, but he’s been in Canada for half a century. My heritage is a mix of French, German, Portuguese, and a little Native American.
When you were growing up did your parents cook?
My mom cooked every night. She isn’t the worst. My mom is an academic and in her youth rebelled against the idea typical homemaker, so it wasn’t until she actually had kids that she started to really enjoy cooking.
How influenced were you by the the melting pot of cultures in Montreal growing up?
It was normal to me I guess. Montreal is definitely an international city, so I was exposed to cuisines and food from all over the world at a very young age.
When did you become conscious of “good food”?
When I was 10 years old my family moved to Lyon and that really changed everything. Lyon considers itself a gastronomy capital. Cheeses were a big thing there, I kept a cheese diary.
A cheese diary?!
Yes! We would try a new cheese every week and enter a rating and notes in the book. France changed how I looked at food, the quality of produce and meat was unreal and something I had never experienced before.
Does this diary still exist?
It does, I actually was looking at it not that long ago!
Before you got involved with urban design were you involved in the food industry?
Absolutely! I worked in a bakery in Barcelona when I was 19, and when I lived stateside I was always working in cafes. My first job was at a patisserie chain in Montreal.That taught me the nuances of what makes good bread and viennoiserie pastries, as well aspairings of different breads and cheeses and pâtés. I also used to serve at the short-lived, but wildly successful Calliope, in the East Village.
When you moved to NYC did your view of food once again evolve?
Totally! The status allotted to different supermarkets was really jarring when I moved here and I was so broke I ended up shopping at the bodega. After getting settled I finally started finding my own spots.
What are your spots?
Arcade Bakery in Tribeca is a favorite of mine. Their chocolate croissants are the best! Bread is really important to me (which my friends mercilessly make fun of me for) so I generally am trying to seek out a good loaf at all times and Arcade has great baguettes. I also really love Glasserie in Greenpoint for brunch and Faro in Brooklyn. Romans is my favorite restaurant in New York. There’s a little grocery store on Flatbush right by the 7th Ave stop that I always go to for the produce- they always have flawless avocados!
Favorite date spot?
Attaboy on the Lower East Side for a custom cocktail. And then if it’s a dinner, I love this old school Italian place in Brooklyn Heights, I can’t remember the name. It’s really loud and the food is really good, it's just a good vibe. I don’t love dinner dates though- the thought of having to stare at someone while eating is not my thing (I think I’m a bit of a messy eater).