Ayear and a half ago, Joey Allaham took on the restoration of the 100-plus-year-old Oak Room in New York’s landmark Plaza Hotel. For Allaham, whose culinary ventures prior to renovating the Oak Room characterized him as an explorer of disparate cuisines and cultures, the step was his most avant-garde by virtue of its being the most traditional.Born and raised in Damascus, Syria, Allaham moved to New York in the early 1990s, intending to pursue a legal career. His love of food, however, drew ...

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