In a Cutthroat Culinary Capital, Parm Aims to Put Italian-American Food on the Map

“We can’t make Parmesan, but if we could we would,” says Chef Chris Leahy of Parm in New York City.

With four outposts in New York, including one in Yankee Stadium, Parm has been a hit to locals and to visiting diners with a hankering for Italian-American food since 2011. “We always put a unique spin on our cuisine, so it’s not 100 percent Italian food; it’s more of an Italian-American take on the food,” says Chef Leahy.

Parm’s menu is made up of dishes using the freshest ingredients possible (bread is delivered twice a day), and the team makes all house-made ingredients — from pastas to mozzarella — on a daily basis. Mozzarella is made in-house twice a day.

In this “Table 42” vignette, brought to you by the Foodable WebTV Network, we join Chef Leahy in Parm’s Battery Park location, where he shows us how to make Parm’s famous chicken parm sandwich (and we learn of a secret ingredient to help seal in flavors). Parm sells roughly 200 of these sandwiches to diners every single day of the week. He also gives us the lowdown on The Ozersky sandwich, a tribute to the late, great NYC-based food writer and enthusiast, Josh Ozersky. A roast beef aficionado, The Ozersky is fittingly made up of Parm’s house roast beef, mozzarella, and pepperoncini.

In a city where cutthroat competition can be found on just about every other block, filled with a melting pot of honest consumers — some of which have grown up in authentic Italian households themselves — how does Parm keep itself above the water? What does Leahy attribute to its success, and what inspires him to cook? And what does the chef want diners to take away from their Parm experience? Check out the full episode above to find out!