Chris Santos, judge on Chopped and Chopped Junior

Photo by: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

David Lang, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Chris Santos got his first job at the age of 13, washing dishes at a small restaurant in his hometown of Bristol, R.I. He admired the tough, confident chefs who surrounded him in the kitchen, and decided immediately that he wanted to pursue cooking as a career. He enrolled in Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and, upon graduating, traveled around Europe and the United States to better understand different cultural cuisines. Early in his career, Chris spent time at Boston’s French-inspired Cranebrook Restaurant and Tearoom, and, upon his arrival in New York, began cooking at the Lafayette street institution Time Café.

He was appointed executive chef at the young age of 23, which is when he began his “self-taught” education that has led him to his approach and style today. He served as executive chef at Suba and was chef and partner at Wyanoka before opening The Stanton Social in New York’s Lower East Side in 2005. At Stanton Social, Chris takes an imaginative approach to small plate-style cuisine, serving bold-flavored, playful dishes that draw from the neighborhood’s culinary ethnicities (Latin, Asian and Eastern European). Chris also opened Beauty and Essex, his biggest restaurant to date, in December 2010. In 2017, he released his first cookbook, Share: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table.

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