It has been a while, but we are back with another installment in our interview series, and this time we are jumping over to one of our favorite topics, food. Food is a passion of everyone around here, so when we got the opportunity to chat with our latest guest, we knew it would be interesting. Chris Nirschel is a finalist on the upcoming season of Next Food Network Star, and is currently the Executive Chef at Café Napoli in New York City, where he is revamping Little Italy with new fresh ingredients, a new menu, look, and taste!
According to Chris, his love of food finds its origins where most of ours do, his family. It would seem that Chris has always loved food, but it wasn’t until he decided to attend The French Culinary Institute that he found out it was his true passion. Before Chris was the Executive Chef at Café Napoli, he was the Sous Chef at The Knickerbocker in New York. Chris says that it was this position that enhanced his versatility and culinary knowledge, which enabled him to take his food and career to the next level. These days this culinary bad boy is doing creative interpretations of classic Italian dishes with innovative and exciting flavor profiles. What makes this even more impressive is that this guy doesn’t even use recipes most of the time.
It has barely been a year since Nirschel graduated from The French Culinary Institute, and he is already the Executive Chef at an on-the-rise Italian restaurant, as well as being in contention to become Food Network’s next big star. This has to be quite a whirlwind for the 28 year old, but if you passed him on the street, I doubt you would even notice as he handles it with poise that is well beyond his years. When asked about his culinary point-of view, he responds with “Listen, Learn, Grow and Create”. He wants to take it all in, never take anything for granted, and continue to grow both personally and professionally. I don’t know about you, but that is a plan we can get behind and we are sure that growth will continue to show itself in the evolution of his food.
“Listen, Learn, Grow and Create”
When asked about his time on Next Food Network Star, he seems to remember it fondly and says that it was an “amazing experience”. He says that if he wins the competition, his show would feature a live audience, great food, and lots of laughs. Sure sounds like good TV to us. Before we let Chris go we asked him what he thought the future held for his food and his culinary career. He responded quickly and optimistically saying “endless possibilities”. If he continues to push himself in the pursuit of refining his craft and expanding his culinary repertoire, then the possibilities for him may truly be just that.
At this point you are probably wondering if Chris actually is the Next Food Network Star? We could tell you that, but then we would have to kill you. So for your sakes and ours, just watch the show and find out for yourself. The seventh season of Next Food Network Star premieres on Food Network June 5th, 2011 at 9pm EST.