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Tom Colicchio: Culinary Craftsman

May 19th, 2011

Chef Tom Colicchio's award-winning concept of food craft calls for single ingredients, expertly and simply prepared and served family style.

How Did Tom Get Started?

With humble culinary beginnings in his family's kitchen, Tom began his culinary training by reading Jacques Pepin's illustrated manuals on French cooking. From his first job at a local seafood restaurant, Tom continued his culinary career by cooking in a succession of prominent NYC restaurants--The Quilted Giraffe, the Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian, which was awarded three New York Times dining stars during Tom's aegis as executive chef. In 1994, Tom and his partner opened Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan, which garnered a number of prestigious culinary awards.

Why is Tom Famous?

In 2001, Tom opened Craft, based on the concept that "simple food doesn't mean simplistic." So successful was the 'craft' concept, that he opened Craftbar down the street; offering a less formal dining venue. Additional culinary awards for both the restaurant and the chef celebrated Craftbar's incredible success.

Another 'craft' concept restaurant, 'wichcraft, debuted in the NYC's Flatiron District, followed quickly by award-winning multiple locations in West Chelsea, Bryant Park, Tribeca, and Las Vegas. There's even a 'wichcraft on board the east-bound ambassador class of the Hampton jitney.

Not yet done with the 'craft' concept, Chef Colicchio launched Craftsteak New York and Craftsteak Las Vegas, with "seasonal ingredients sourced from small family farms and artisanal producers," and a world-class assortment of seafood.

What's Next?

In 2005, Craft New York opened a private dining room, in which they plan to host a series of wine dinners in 2006, featuring some of California's best-know winemakers. Two more 'wichcraft restaurants in The Village and Midtown and another Craft in Dallas are scheduled to open in Summer 2006. Tom is also judge and mentor on Bravo's Top Chef, a reality show that celebrates "the culinary arts with a fascinating window into the competitive, pressurized environment of world-class cookery."

Tom continues his involvement with a number of charities including Share Our Strength, a not-for-profit that mobilizes individuals and industries to fight hunger, and City Harvest, which rescues edible food from the food industry to fee New York's hungry.

Name: Thomas Patrick Colicchio
Born: August 15, 1962
Hometown: Elizabeth, NJ
Training: Read Jacques Pepin's La Technique and La Methode
First Job: Debuted at 17 years old at Evelyn's Seafood Restaurant in Elizabeth

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