Chefs' Picks: Must Love Dogs

We asked some of the country’s top culinary talent where they like to take their dogs when they want to relax and grab a bite.

Dogs are a man’s — and woman’s — best friend, and chefs love to hang with their pups when they’re not on the job. Now that New York City has OK'd dogs at sidewalk cafes, we asked some of the country’s top culinary talent where they like to take their dogs when they want to relax and grab a bite.

Michael Armstrong, New York City

Michael Armstrong, chef of New York City’s Bodega Negra, Bodega Negra Café, Lobby Lounge and The Beach at Dream Downtown, loves to take his schnauzers — Sophia and Carter (they even have their own Instagram @schnoozers_bk) — to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. “It is a great park for dogs. There’s a ton of different places to go and explore, and there are even hours where dogs can be off the leash,” he says. In the summer, when the windows at his Bodega Negra Café are open, he brings his dogs to the cafe and serves them his homemade dog biscuits. “We started making bacon-flavored 'Milk-Bone' treats for the dogs — they love them! We make them with wheat flour and bacon fat.” That’s a chef any dog would love. Check out the recipe at the end of this post.

Erik Niel, Chattanooga

Chef Erik Niel and his pup, Olive, a shih tzu, love to hang out on the sunny patio of Niel’s restaurant, Easy Bistro & Bar, in Chattanooga. Niel pays the city of Chattanooga a $50 annual fee to host mutts on his patio, and the city sends all of its patio fees to the McKamey Animal Shelter. “We are huge animal lovers, so we have done this for years,” says Niel. “We even give little dog treats and have dog-only water bowls that we use to serve the dogs as well.”

Ernesto Uchimura, Los Angeles

At Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, a modern American comfort food eatery with three locations in Los Angeles, Executive Chef Uchimura serves a menu any dog would love to feast on: mile-high burgers, smoky fried chicken, mac and cheese, and cruller doughnuts. Uchimura was inspired to be open to dogs because the restaurants are very neighborhood- and community-driven. Plan Check has a dog-friendly patio with water bowls and treats, and a portion of the restaurant's proceeds from its Dog Days Happy Hour on Sundays go to local dog charities.

Homemade Milk-Bone Bacon Dog Treats
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Michael Armstrong
Yield: About 80 treats
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup bacon fat
2 eggs
3 tablespoons chicken stock
3/4 cup milk

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the bacon fat, eggs, milk and chicken stock. Combine to make a dough.

Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then roll it about 1/2 inch thick and cut into any shape you like!

Bake at 320 degrees F for 15 minutes.

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