One of the early holders of “Celebrity Chef” status, Chris Cosentino has done more to bring the culinary arts to the masses than nearly any of his peers. The Season 4 winner of “Top Chef Masters,” Chris has gained a reputation for his more extreme style of cooking, but make no mistake: he’s more steak than sizzle.
Trained in the culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University, Chris began his career at Red Sage before moving to Rubicon in San Francisco, best known as the endeavor of Francis Ford Coppola, Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. From there, Chris worked at Martha’s Vineyard’s Coach House among others, but his big break came when he opened Nobhill at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
As the executive chef at San Francisco’s Incanto from 2002 until its closing in 2014, Chris introduced a rustic Italian menu that helped restore the restaurant’s reputation. This menu also served as the platform for Chris’ “whole-animal” discipline, and it is that discipline that led him to start his website OffalGood to help aspiring chefs learn how to use more than just the traditional cuts of meat in their dishes.
Specialties & Resources
Chris’ specialty is offal dishes of all kinds, and it is safe to say that very few chefs embrace the idea of using every part of an animal in their cooking the way he does. In fact, Chris’ ethos could be considered one of the first of its kind among American chefs, and his influence can be felt in kitchens across the country.
In 2007, Chris began selling his own line of sausage called “Boccalone,” and during his time at Incanto, Chris opened a charcuterie section. All the featured items, such as the sweetbread terrine and salt-cured pork liver, were cured in-house. Later in 2007, Chris also demonstrated both his on-camera panache and his dedication to the whole-animal discipline when he cooked pork brain on an episode of “Modern Marvels.”
At first glance, Chris’ approach to cooking may seem less complex than that of his contemporaries; however, his willingness to push the boundaries of what can be considered not only edible but palatable denote a range and depth that is on par with any of the chefs in his class.