Ten Hope has been serving its menu of Mediterranean inspired, seasonally influenced cuisine and bottomless brunch in its welcoming, atmospheric dining room and greenery soaked, dog-friendly outdoor patio (before 2020 made it cool necessary) since 2019 at, appropriately, 10 Hope St.

The restaurant was first opened with Top Chef Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle at the helm when Travis McGinty jumped in at the urging of his chef mentor, Garrett McMahon. From there, McGinty worked alongside Dieterle as executive sous chef developing the dishes Ten Hope has become known for before becoming executive chef six months later.

We chatted with McGinty to shed some light on bringing Ten Hope’s signature dishes like Brick Chicken, Warm Flatbread with Za’atar Olive Oil (paired with an array of dips like hummus and whipped feta), and Kofte Lamb Burger to life and beyond.

Greenpointers: What brought you to Ten Hope?

McGinty: I had originally worked at Celestine over in DUMBO and my chef mentor was chef Garrett McMahon. I went back to French dining and then he hit me back up saying that he needed somebody to fill a sous chef position doing Mediterranean cuisine, but with, instead of a French flare we did at Celestine, more like an American flare. I found out that the chef in charge [at Ten Hope] was chef Harold Dieterle, and then come to find out he was also the mentor for my mentor — so it all kind of comes around full circle in the chef industry. They wanted to like do some nice, fancy upscale dining, but in a casual environment and I was totally down for it.


I met with chef Harold, we hit it off, we discussed all the ins and outs and then at that point we started doing our thing, coming up with brand new stuff, trying to do traditional Mediterranean cuisine, but also mixing in some Italian for the pastas, doing little riffs with Americanization of Israeli food, Palestinian food Yemen, all sorts of things. We were able to come up with very unique ideas and challenge ourselves as chefs.

Greenpointers: Have you always gravitated to restaurants that are in Brooklyn? Is there anything particularly like about the area that attracted you to the job as well?

McGinty: I do love Brooklyn, I’m originally a southerner from Mississippi on the Gulf coast. So it’s a very different atmosphere, but I love how eclectic it is. It’s kind of modern, but yet still has the brownstone and the old school, New York feel. It just hits everything that my heart wants when I wanted to move up here to New York city. I did a lot of cuisines back home, I did almost every cuisine you could do, but it was my mission once I decided to really jump into the chef world to not focus myself too hard down one path.

Greenpointers: What inspires Ten Hope’s menu?

McGinty: My first taste of Mediterranean cooking was at Celestine and I found out that it had all the same flavors that we do in the South; everything has to have flavor throughout, it has to be bold, it has to be stylized. I need those spices in my life, honestly. Coming from the South, I can’t do bland food, it’s gotta have some kind of style to it.

As far as Ten Hope is concerned, I’ve tried to culminate that whole culture of knowledge that I’ve had through every restaurant and implement it with our cuisine. So we’ll have, everything from chicken that’s cooked under a brick, which is kind of like American, then we have the salmon with a very French-style seared crispy skin. We do the harissa shakshuka — which is very Mediterranean — for brunch. We even have the mezze of dips, which is very traditional as well. So I try and do every little bit of the atmosphere as far as the menu is concerned, but yet still giving the availability to try different things so that they’re not all the same.

Greenpointers: What do you consider your philosophy in the kitchen?

McGinty: It would probably sound cliche because I’m pretty sure a lot of chefs say this, but you do need to cook with care and love. I think if you don’t love what you’re doing and if you don’t take the time and care to use precision with what you’re making with food, then you’re not gonna have a quality product and that will come forth to the guests on the table. So everything that we do, we cross reference, we check everything before it goes out.

We just try and make us a really good environment and atmosphere for everybody, not only the workers, but also for the guests that come in, everybody should feel welcomed. We try and just hit on every single point that would make the guests feel welcome.

Greenpointers: Is there anything coming up at Ten Hope that you’re particularly excited about?

McGinty: We do seasonal menu changes, I normally change the menu every about three to four months. So we have a spring menu, summer menu, fall, and winter, and it really just follows the seasonal changes of the produce that we have locally. I really try and follow what the local farmers are making, what’s going on with the ocean development; there’s a little bit of fish shortage, so I’m trying to see about going with local farmers for raising fish, but also keep track of what’s going on seasonally.

Greenpointers: Where are your favorite places to eat in the neighborhood?

McGinty: I just went to Bonnie’s, everything was spectacular. I really ordered almost the whole menu, me and my fiancée were looking it, we were just like, “I love everything that’s going on about this place.” If you want more low-key, Starlight Tavern was another one that I went to. Their nachos were fantastic, they were so bomb. They have a really nice rendition of their Brussels sprouts, which is close to what I do here. There’s Gertie’s my other sous chef from Celestine is actually the executive chef at Gertie’s down the street. So I’ll pop by and say hey to him sometimes. I’m also still trying to find out more things in the neighborhood, to be honest.

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