Hal Goldman, creative and tireless chef, dies at 44

Chef Hal Goldman

Chef Hal Goldman (Credit: Ana P. Gutierrez / File)

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As a chef, Hal Goldman was tenacious at the stove. And tireless, too.

"He only took one vacation - to Alaska - in all the years I've known him," said chef-restaurateur Tom Schaudel, who hired and mentored Goldman throughout his culinary career.

Goldman, of Bethpage, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. He was 44.

Goldman's crowning achievement was the chef-ownership of Jackson Landing in Bellmore. He ran the restaurant from 2005 to 2007, earning two stars from Newsday's Peter M. Gianotti, who called Goldman's culinary style "confident" and "colorful." Whether making crisp fried artichokes or airy potato gnocchi with truffle-scented short ribs, Goldman was a perfectionist.

He was born in 1965 and grew up in Plainview. During his senior year at Plainview Kennedy High School, he discovered his passion. "We, as his parents, knew he was very creative," said his mother, Rita Goldman. "We gave him a trombone, an easel, drums." But it was a course in home economics that hooked him. "He won the home-ec award, and he decided to be a chef," she said.

In addition to working at a string of Schaudel restaurants (among them CoolFish in Syosset), Goldman gained note as executive chef at Bedlam Street in Cold Spring Harbor.

"Nobody could outwork Hal," said Schaudel, who, years ago, had to trick Goldman into thinking his car had been towed to get him to leave the kitchen after a 16-hour stint.

That kind of persistence kept the witty, wiry Goldman going. "He lived a year longer than expected," said his uncle, Marvin Waldman of Syosset. "Until the very end, he was thinking of opening another restaurant."

Goldman was engaged to Debi Levy of Bethpage. He is also survived by his parents, Rita and Norman Goldman of Plainview, and his sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Alan Bomser, and nephews Max and Brian Bomser of Kew Gardens.

Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Gutterman's in Woodbury, followed by burial at New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale.

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