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BWW Interview: Field Failing of FIELDS GOOD CHICKEN in NYC

BWW Interview: Field Failing of FIELDS GOOD CHICKEN in NYC

The founder and CEO of Fields Good Chicken (FGC) is Field Failing. He is an avid and lifelong skier, cyclist, and runner who found himself frustrated by the lack of convenient, nutritious food options that he needed to fuel his active lifestyle. It was this unmet need that inspired him to launch FGC with the mission to serve wholesome, nourishing and delicious meals that are ideal and accessible to everyone from a professional athlete, to a busy parent, college student, or a nine-to-fiver.

With experience in Cornell's chemistry lab, an innate love for cooking, and time spent in kitchens across the U.S (namely at The Golden Eagle Inn in Beaver Creek, CO and Cinco Restaurant in Nantucket, MA), Field earned his MBA at Cornell University with the goal of opening his own restaurant to feed urban adventurers.

Field and the Director of Culinary, Dan Jackson work side-by-side to incorporate the nourishing poultry into hearty and satisfying whole roasted chicken plates, bowls, salads, and sandwiches. Guests can expect a seasonal menu of flavorful, house made sauces and sides made with fresh, high-quality market ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible.

FGC is a member of 1% for the Planet, partnering with Scenic Hudson to support land preservation in the Hudson Valley, is an active supporter of the Coalition for the Homeless' Camp Homeward Bound, and all of FGC's locations are 100% wind-powered. The first FGC location opened in NYC's Financial District in 2014, and the team currently operates five locations.

Field currently lives in CT with his wife Christina and son James. He enjoys cycling and training for the NYC Marathon and is also an avid fan of the Rolling Stones. had the pleasure of interviewing Field about his background, career, and Fields Good Chicken.

What was your earliest interest in the culinary arts?

When I was around 19 or 20, I started taking bike racing seriously and that's when I took an interest in cooking. For training purposes, I needed to eat healthy, fueling foods. At the time, I had a bunch of friends who were cooks so we would hang out and cook for each other. I'd visit them at work and see them in the kitchen - I fell in love with the camaraderie and energy in the kitchen.

I was also a chemistry major in college, and I found a lot of parallels between the chem lab and cooking. Given that, and the fact that I had a lot of friends in the business, I thought I might like working in restaurants myself.

Do you have any particular mentors?

I have a few mentors, all of whom have been vital to FGC in some way shape or form.

The first is Jean Luc Matecat, the first chef that I worked for. I was sous chef under him in Nantucket, and I really fed off of his passion for cooking.

Steve Charron was the CFO of David Burke when I was an intern there and has been a mentor ever since. In fact, Steve was the first person that I went to with my FGC business plan. He helped me think through what it would take to make this happen from a business perspective. Steve was a vital sounding board in the early days and still is a great resource to this day.

Andy Stern, the co-CEO of Aurify Brands, came onboard as a mentor before FGC became an Aurify brand. Andy advised me on bringing the company to fruition and is still a big influence on everything from brand development to managing people and everything in between, in addition to being an investor.

Lastly, my dad, Bruce Failing, has also been a sounding board for me throughout the entire process of building FGC. He is an entrepreneur by profession and constant support on all aspects of starting and running the business.

Tell us a little about the evolution of Fields Good Chicken since you opened the first restaurant in the FiDi.

From our first location in FiDi up until this year, Fields Good Chicken has been located in primarily corporate neighborhoods, so we're really excited about our recent opening at 599 Lexington Avenue and our soon-to-open 24 East 12th Street location. These are our first locations in more residential neighborhoods. We're focusing on assimilating into these new neighborhoods to provide the best food and service for our customers. For example, our Greenwich Village location will offer a space where people (especially students in the neighborhood) can visit and stay a while. We plan to offer a hybrid service format that provides the ease of a fast casual restaurant, with a bit of a more elevated experience by having the food brought to your table. The idea is that folks will stop by for a whole bird and a few drinks.

Fields Good Chicken as a brand has also evolved since our first opening. Over the last year, we've worked closely with Hungry Studio to create a bold new brand aesthetic, inspired by my love for outdoor sports, like skiing, biking, and running. Our newest locations have also incorporated that new branding into their interior design elements.

In a city with so many fast-casual options, what has made Fields Good Chicken a standout?

Our unwavering commitment to sourcing high quality ingredients, especially chicken, sets FGC apart from many other fast-casual options. We serve exclusively antibiotic-free, humanely raised, vegetarian-fed chicken. Serving New Yorkers healthy meals is our priority.

We care deeply about our customers and rely heavily on their feedback. Launching our FGC app has been a game changer and we've made a lot of decisions based on the data that we've been able to collect through this open channel of communication between us and our guests.

Within the app, we have a multi-layered loyalty program that allows us to have greater insight into who is dining at FGC as well as the ability to directly ask our guests about their dining experiences. We firmly believe in continuing to create trust between FGC and our guests with these open conversations and the benefits of our loyalty program. It makes us better, and we know it might sound simple, but listening to the people eating our food has changed our business and will propel us in the future.

We'd love to know about your team.

From our in-store teams to the many folks at FGC HQ, we have an incredible, close-knit team here at FGC.

Everyone plays an integral role in the FGC ecosystem, but FGC's Director of Culinary Dan Jackson has been leading the charge on our menu evolution. I met Dan a few years back, and his culinary approach, love for food, and overall attitude made it clear that he would fit seamlessly into the FGC fam. A seasoned industry veteran, Dan worked through every station at Eleven Madison Park and had a six year tenure at Union Square Hospitality Group before joining our team in 2018.

Chef Dan and I work side-by-side on the R&D process to help create FGC's ever-evolving menu. This process typically involves Dan choosing an ingredient (e.g. chicken wings) and then exploring flavor directions and geographical/cultural culinary techniques (i.e. traditional French style, classic Mexican flavors, or Southeast Asian cooking traditions, etc) to create something delicious that also fits our food philosophy.

We are excited about your newest location on 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Tell us a little about the venue and how it is unique.

We're thrilled about our newest location at 599 Lexington, too! Not only is this location our first opening since 2017, but we're excited to roll out a new menu, which includes FGC classics like the Bueno Bowl in addition to items such as Maple Chipotle Smoked Chicken Wings, the Sesame Bowl (herb chicken breast, brown rice, roasted broccoli, Brussels slaw, panko, sesame vinaigrette), the Field Greens Salad (arugula, radish, cornbread crumble, lemon vinaigrette).

In the coming weeks, we'll also be launching delivery, where we'll be able to deliver to the Upper East Side. We're really looking forward to learning into the demand for convenient, and healthy dinner options by offering our signature, oven-roasted whole bird and sides to families of three or four for less than $10 per serving.

As an avid athlete, you understand the need for people to eat well. How does the overall menu at Fields Good Chicken promote healthy eating?

Our entire menu is anchored around chicken, a healthy and lean protein source - perfect for those with an active lifestyle. We lean into chicken's versatility by offering it in numerous styles: classic oven-roasted and crispy-skinned Damn Good Chicken, boneless grilled Herb Chicken Breast, shredded nine-spice BBQ Pulled Chicken, zesty Mojo Chicken Thigh, and our newest addition, Maple Chipotle Smoked chicken wings offered exclusively at our newest locations (the wings will be rolled out at all locations later this spring).

We serve our chicken in a variety of nutritionally-balanced, fueling preparations such as bowls, salads, chicken plates and as whole roasted birds, alongside house made sauces such as Tangy BBQ, Maple Chipotle, Green Goddess and Salsa Verde.

Our menu also features a variety of healthy and flavorful sides like sweet and spicy maple-chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes, Mac & Cheese made with cauliflower puree and toasted panko, and gluten-free and dairy-free cornbread. Nothing is ever fried and we don't use butter, so you'll always get a hearty, delicious meal that you can feel good about eating.

Tell us a little about your altruistic endeavors and your dedication to the environment.

At FGC, we're dedicated to responsible sourcing, supporting local farmers and leaving the planet in a better condition than it was found. We're proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning that 1% of all proceeds from the rotating menu of seasonal salads and bowls, and drinks are donated FGC's charity partner, Scenic Hudson, to support land preservation in the Hudson Valley. At our newest location, 599 Lexington, we've also launched a "Swag for Good'' campaign, where we are currently selling fun FGC t-shirts, with all of the proceeds benefiting Scenic Hudson.

All of our locations are 100 percent wind-powered and designed with sustainably-sourced wood and stone. With that, we're recognized as a Clean Energy Business, an EPA Green Power Partner. The to-go packaging at all of our locations is made from recycled materials and are reusable.

When it comes to chicken, we believe that the best chicken starts at the farm. We take pride in sourcing local, humanely raised chicken from family farms on the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania's Amish Country. The chickens are also never, ever given antibiotics, hormones or growth steroids.

Every November, all Fields Good Chicken locations participate in Fieldsgiving - our annual month of giving and sharing. We donate a portion of November's sales to the Coalition for the Homeless' Camp Homeward Bound, the nation's first sleepaway camp specifically for children growing up in NYC's homeless shelters.

Anything else, absolutely anything you want BWW readers to know!

Fields Good Chicken is the perfect, healthy and fueling pre-theater meal. Our 40th St location is near some of the city's best shows. We hope that your readers stop by one of our locations soon!

To learn more about Fields Good Chicken, their locations, and to explore their menu, please visit:

Photo Credit: Field Failing - Courtesy of Fields Good Chicken

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