The sequel to Joel’s Malibu Kitchen
Sunday, February 17, 2013
By ELISA UNG
Joel Scheinzeit, the former owner of Joel’s Malibu Kitchen in Ridgewood, talks with Carol Bishop of Saddle River as he teaches a Valentine’s Day cooking class.
Joel Scheinzeit has discovered that there is life after restaurants.
That there is life after his restaurant, the spirited Joel’s Malibu Kitchen in Ridgewood. Exhausted and wrung-out, he closed it in 2008 after almost 13 years.
“I’ve lived with this impression that you have to kill yourself in order to survive,” he says. “And being a chef and working in the restaurant business, that’s the norm. If you’re not working and not killing yourself, then you’re not going to last.
“But I don’t want to live with that philosophy anymore. Now I want something different.”
We are lunching at a familiar address, 14 Oak St. in downtown Ridgewood, where all hints of the Malibu Kitchen’s purple-splashed hippie decor (and its basement drum set) are long gone, replaced by an elegant panini cafe.
“Do I seem different?” Scheinzeit asks.