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An Offal Good Time with Chris Cosentino

Photo Credit: Alex Zyuzikov The celebrity chef and author shares the inspiration behind his bold style of cooking.
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We are excited to have Chris join us in the SideChef kitchen to make his unique and waste-free dishes. Here's an inside look on his culinary journey and go-to tips.

What made you want to get into cooking?

As a kid in Rhode Island, I was surrounded by food, fishing, farming, and an amazing family of people who always cooked - my Italian great grandmother Rosalie, my English grandmother Helen. My upbringing gave me a profound appreciation of the craft of cooking and an understanding that cooking is a way to show love. There’s nothing like seeing the smile on someone’s face when you cook for them.

Do you have any training (formal or informal)? If so, where?

I attended Johnson & Wales culinary program and received a bachelor's degree in food service management in 1994.

What was your first job in food?

My first kitchen job was a dishwasher at IHOP, I lied about my age to get the job. While I was in culinary school I worked as a waiter so I could understand both sides of the industry. I didn't have a very glamorous start to my career, but it has made me appreciate every position in the restaurant.

If you’re not already doing it, what is your top dream job in food?

I am living my dream job every day; through the hard days and the good - they are all part of the dream.

Who is your cooking hero, and why?

I don't really have a cooking hero. I have mentors and I have people who inspire me as a chef. Mark Miller was the first chef I worked for and taught me that history is the key to success. If you do not understand history around what you are doing, you cannot create the future. But truthfully, there are so many experiences that have helped shape me to be what I am today.

Best lesson of your career to date?

The moment I put my ego aside and listened instead of speaking.

Advice for anyone hoping to break into the F&B world?

The key to success is focus. You have to love serving and feeding others. We give taste memories for a living - that is a really cool thing. To be a part of someone's life forever is so powerful. Be excited to make people happy, don't be on the search for awards and accolades; they will come when you make people happy.

What are your 5 top cooking tips or tricks?


  • Add acid and herbs before salt

  • Always bring the meat to room temp before cooking so it cooks evenly

  • Always rest meat after cooking to get a better final product

  • Less is more - simple is always better

  • History around cooking and food is key to understanding how flavors work together

If you could sum up your cooking style into one sentence, what would that sentence be?

Simple and rustic that isn't sloppy.

Love this interview? Try these amazing recipe and cook with Chris Cosentino.

PREMIUM
PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Chicken, Squash, Kale and Farro

Chris Cosentino
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