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.
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.
I attended Johnson & Wales culinary program and received a bachelor's degree in food service management in 1994.
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.
I am living my dream job every day; through the hard days and the good - they are all part of the dream.
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.
The moment I put my ego aside and listened instead of speaking.
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.
Simple and rustic that isn't sloppy.