9 Questions with Christian Petroni, New Food Network Star Finalist
We caught up with Christian about his style in the kitchen and out.
Food Network Star is bringing the heat in the Season 14 premiere, with the first-of-its-kind episode in Florida. But before the fun in the sun — and some inevitable drama — begins on June 10, we’ve got the first interviews with all the hopefuls. Read on below to get to know them.
Christian, 34, grew up in an Italian family in the Bronx, where he spent countless time in the kitchen learning to make Italian feasts. Starting at a young age in the restaurant business, Christian quickly fell in love with the industry, working his way up and is now the owner of restaurants in Brooklyn, Connecticut and Westchester. With his authentic home cooking and larger than life personality, Christian constantly keeps his customers coming back for more.
Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.
Food people want to eat.
What made you fall in love with food?
I’ve always wanted to cook my whole life. It’s all I ever wanted to do, and what really sparked my interest was a show on the discovery channel called Great Chefs.
What technical kitchen skill are you best at?
I really enjoy expediting and orchestrating a night’s service in the kitchen. I love to coordinate the tables, the dishes. It seems like something that’s not hard to do, but expediting is one of the hardest things, and it’s one of my favorite technical skills.
What's your signature dish?
We’re best known for our pizzas. One of them is called the Luigi Bianco, and that’s probably one of our signature dishes. It’s a while pizza with burrata, robiolino, Parmigiano-Reggiano and black truffle pate.
What do you say to people who think they can't learn how to cook?
Anyone can learn how to cook. It’s very easy to demystify. You just have to pop open that YouTube and get at it.
Let's say it's a regular Tuesday night and you're at home. What's for dinner?
I’m making stuffed shells with some of my favorite jarred tomato sauce and Parmesan because when we’re at home, we’re not trying to work that hard.
Who's your food/chef spirit animal?
Rob Gentile from Buca in Toronto. He’s so talented. His food blows my mind every time I see it and every time I eat it.
What's something very few people know about you?
When I was a kid and we spent our summers in Italy, when I’d come back on the first day of school, I’d struggle to get the words out in English.
Food pics in restaurants: yay or nay. Why?
It’s what I do. It’s just a lot of fun to be able to share our passion and our food in the moment to thousands of people with a few clicks of your thumb.