Chef Chris LaVecchia, our August 2022 Chef of the Month

Join us in getting to know more intimately this incredibly versatile Chef by reading her interview below:

1. Where were you born? 

I was born & raised in Queens, New York. I was brought up in Woodhaven & Howard beach, then moved to Long Island with my family after I graduated from high school.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 

I am based out of Long Island, NY. I travel every week to various homes, and specialize in private, in-home dinner parties & cocktail parties for special occasions & milestone events. Most of my work is done in all areas of long island, the 5 boroughs, & the tri-state area (NY, NJ & CT).

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

It’s hard to pick just one because chefs love their box of tools & gadgets, but if I had to narrow it down to just one, I would say, recently my air pump for creating delicious foams. Foams have been around for decades, but every once in a while, we bring back old techniques that may be new to our clients.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

I would have to say smell.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

Practice, practice, practice. What may seem impossible at first, will soon become effortless with enough practice.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Make it nice. People always eat with their eyes first. Yeah, it may taste great in the end, but if it doesn’t look pretty, then it is just another dish, cooked by another chef. Make it nice.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is everything. So many times, I go out to eat, or order from somewhere, and say to myself: this has no flavor. Or has no soul. Good food to me not only looks amazing but tastes amazing. I’m not just talking about seasoned food. Anyone can season food, but to have multiple levels of flavor. Now that’s what food means to me. Cooks cook to feed people. But a chef nourishes people and leaves them wanting more.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

Classy / elegant / comfortable. For an executive coat, I love something that looks classy, but is also comfortable, and can still function in the kitchen without baggy sleeves. For a regular dinner, I like something that looks professional but is very comfortable.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

The egg. It is so simple, yet so versatile in the kitchen, and there are so many things you can do with not just the egg as a whole, but with it separated you can do so much with it as well with either just the yolks or just the whites. It can be used to make pasta, which is always on my menus. Or it can be used in so many ways to either make a pie, creme brulee, meringue & so much more. Something so simple, and often overlooked, has so many functions in the kitchen and can be used in so many ways. Or simply to just…make an omelet.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

New York City for sure, but I also want to start traveling to other major cities in the U.S. to dine at Michelin restaurants. I am going to Alinea in Chicago (arguably the best restaurant in the world) in September, so I am really looking forward to that experience.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

There are so many. Sometimes I experiment with a dish until it is perfected. Then it becomes a signature dish and finds its way onto every seasonal menu as a selection.

12. What do you like to eat most often on your days off? 

Anything that takes 20 minutes or less (laughs out loud).

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would love to cook for a famous chef. Not only just to meet them, but more so to get their constructive criticism and/or advice.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

Balancing work & personal life. Chefs have such a crazy schedule, that it is often hard to balance work life & personal life with family & friends.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
This is such a long story for another day, but the short version is that I never actually thought of being or wanted to be a chef. One day it just happened. I took a different path and followed my passionate, creative side. They say things happen for a reason, and I haven’t looked back yet. I have been a professional chef now for almost 2 decades. Things always happen for a reason, and what’s meant to be…will be.

Connect with our August 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefchrislavecchia
Website: www.chefchrislavecchia.com
TikTok: ChefChrisLaVecchia

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