Hu Kitchen

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED AND WHEN ARE YOU OPEN?

Hu Kitchen.
78 5th Avenue New York, NY 10011
hours: m-f 7-10, sat-sun 9-9
Ph. 212-510-8919
info@hukitchen.com


SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES “GET BACK TO HUMAN” MEAN?

It means eating foods with ingredients that are as pre-industrial as possible. Pre-industrial food (PIF) is food with ingredients that could have existed before the Industrial Revolution. It’s food that hasn’t been constructed in a laboratory and chemically processed, refined, and stripped down to its basic elements. For us, getting back to eating like humans means eating foods we would find in nature or foods minimally processed using only basic, mechanical methods.


IS HU 100% ORGANIC?

Our goal is to be smart about organic. In other words, we’re organic wherever we think there is a real risk of an unhealthy dose of pesticides and other toxins making it to the mouths of our customers. All of the items that are listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen List are organic. We also think that coffee, lettuce greens, poultry, and eggs should be organic because the pesticide and GMO risks are also high. That said, if a food supplier producing a risky product can verify it uses organic practices without the certification, we’re all for that (especially if they are local).


DOES HU USE ANY GMO INGREDIENTS?

Never. Many places will say they are GMO-free but then they will serve meat that was fed genetically modified food, which ultimately ends up in your body when you eat that meat. All of our meats are 100% GMO-free. In fact, Hu is 100% GMO-free. If you ever find something at Hu that may contain GMO unbeknownst to us, we encourage you to call us out on it, and we will fix it immediately.


ARE YOU GLUTEN-FREE?

The only gluten at Hu is in our beers. We have gone to great lengths to create delicious gluten-free (and grain-free) cookies, muffins, and breads.


ARE YOU VEGETARIAN/VEGAN-FRIENDLY?

Absolutely. We are very proud of our meats at Hu, but our goal is to highlight plants first and foremost. We have a robust vegetarian and vegan selection.


IS HU “PALEO?”

The Paleolithic food movement is based on a pre-agrarian paradigm that we have tremendous respect for and feature a lot at Hu. One of our founders is “paleo” himself. We do, however, serve certain grains and legumes in moderation as well, so we are not strictly “Paleo” or “Primal”. Regardless, people who want to eat Paleo will love Hu.


YOU GUYS DON’T SEEM TO CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT CALORIES. WHAT’S THE DEAL?

We definitely care about calories, but we care way more about the quality of ingredients. We are not a diet program. We are food. We believe that the obsession with counting calories doesn’t lead to better health. We believe that eating whole, minimally-processed foods is the best way to eat. Moreover, eating carbs from vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and top-quality proteins will make you full, keep your blood sugar steady, and sustain you for longer than eating processed carbs from refined grains and sugars. You will end up eating less food less frequently if you eat the Hu way. That’s why we value quality of calories over quantity. That isn’t to say that you won’t put on weight if you eat our awesome muffins and cookies all day long, but if you are going to have a cookie or muffin, at least have the healthiest version of it you can.


PRE-INDUSTRIAL? IS HU AGAINST TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS?

Not even remotely. We use computers, air-conditioning, and cutting-edge cooking equipment. We just think that, when it comes to the food we stick in our bodies, we need to make sure we are applying innovation at a pace that our bodies can match. The results of doing otherwise are becoming all too obvious.


SO HOW DID YOU GUYS COME UP WITH THIS FOOD PHILOSOPHY?

We read a ton and experimented on ourselves. We are very passionate about this idea and kept an open, observant mind towards finding solutions that worked. We weren’t experts before we started and we certainly don’t claim to be experts now, but we did learn a few things. After all the research and experimentation, we decided to focus on two main concepts: the pre-industrial food paradigm championed by people like Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and Alice Waters; and the pre-agrarian food paradigm championed by people like Mark Sisson, S. Boyd Eaton, and Loren Cordain.


We created Hu to accommodate people anywhere in between those two broad stances. In other words, whether you want to go “full paleo” or just eat in a minimally-processed, pre-industrial, pure foods kind of way, Hu is the place to find what you’re looking for.


THAT SOUNDS KIND OF INTENSE. I’M NOT SURE I’M READY FOR ALL OF THAT. IS HU REALLY FOR ME?

It depends. Do you like awesome food? Do you like feeling great after you eat? We have invested a lot of time and energy into finding the perfect nexus between culinary artistry and nutritional integrity. That’s the beauty of what we are doing at Hu. You won’t walk in and get freaked out. We designed everything on the menu to make you feel like you are not sacrificing a single thing. Our almond butter and puffed quinoa chocolate is embarrassingly good. Our coconut sugar-brined rotisserie chicken is unreal. This isn’t your typical health food stuff. This is a gustatory bounty.


YOU HAD ME AT ALMOND BUTTER AND PUFFED QUINOA CHOCOLATE.

We know.