Are you originally from Saratoga? If not what brought you here?
I'm actually not from Saratoga, or even New York! I'm originally from New Hampshire. I started cooking there while growing up and eventually moved to New York after high school. I was offered a job as a morning Sous Chef at Prime at Saratoga National and everything really took off from there.
What is your past experience in the culinary world?
I've always loved cooking. When I moved to New York I had a really fantastic opportunity to learn and grow. After working at Prime there was Jacks Oyster House and Maestros then Max London’s. I started as the Brunch Chef then ultimately became Executive Chef after three years. I was also a 2015 Rising Star Chef finalist at the Albany Wine & Food Festival which was an amazing experience. The icing on the cake was receiving the overall high score on the judge’s final 5 course tasting.
What is your favorite Crown Grill dish to prepare?
I’m especially excited about the brand new bar menu I launched last week. The Zucchini Chips with Gorgonzola Crema, Artichoke Crostini (changes weekly) and the Tuna Carpaccio are a few of my favorites. I’m also featuring my own spin on a weekly Wing special at the bar- this week it’s Garlic Parmesan. The response to the bar menu has been great! People have not only been ordering from the bar menu during Happy Hour but also during dinner, which is what I hoped for.
What are your immediate goals?
My immediate goals as Executive Chef include keeping current customer favorite menu items and adding many new favorites, with a focus on the freshest ingredients of top quality. I really want to create a menu and place that you want to stop in to dine or have a drink a couple of times a week. Another goal is to kick our weekend brunch into high gear; we have a great menu plus cocktails using fresh juice from Saratoga Juice Bar. On Sunday February 8th we’re having a Brunch Mimosa Party starting at 12 noon- we will have complimentary mimosas and some of my new brunch specials.
What are you looking forward to most in your new position?
Seeing a lot of familiar faces and also meeting new people. I love engaging with guests and seeing how people respond to my food. Having a lot of fun and being creative is also important. I feel lucky to be Executive Chef at a restaurant with such a beautiful space, great kitchen and owners who care. I look forward to being able to put my own culinary stamp on this city known for a large number of terrific restaurants.