Born in Newport Beach, Calif., Chris Cognac grew up and worked in Torrance, Calif. It is there that developed his love for food, working at a neighborhood restaurant called Rizzo's and enjoying great post-surf tacos at little roadside stands.
In 1988, Chris joined the Army. While serving in Desert Storm as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, he would combine rations over an open flame to create different dishes. When his service was over, Chris briefly worked at a Chart House restaurant and then joined the police force in 1992.
Chris has been on the police force for 14 years, serving in the juvenile and sex crimes division. He now specializes in community affairs and quality of life while also working as a food columnist for the Torrance Daily Breeze, a Los Angeles area newspaper. He also runs a wine tasting panel on affordable wines, contributes to the "Who's News" section for USA Weekend, and has contributed articles for Slammed magazine. Chris has also been featured on National Public Radio on the shows Marketplace and Evan Kleiman's Good Food.
On top of his police service and writing, Chris does charity work. Chris had Mattel and Sketchers donate toys and sneakers to be distributed to Los Angeles area needy kids. At another charity event, he photographed and fingerprinted over 1,000 kids to keep their information on file. Finally, Chris co-organized a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser with Food Network's Marc Summers called LA Supports LA.
Chris is also the host of Food Network's show, Hungry Detective where he takes viewers to off-the-beaten-path spots that only locals would know.
Chris lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two sons.