Lifestylers – Chris Cosentino on Top Chef Masters, Mountain Biking and Offal Cuisine
Fresh off his coronation as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, we chatted with culinary mastermind Chris Cosentino about the offal cuisine he’s known for, mountain biking and, of course, music. Chris was also kind enough to share his playlist with us, which you can check out here. Enjoy!
There are so many diverse aspects of Top Chef Masters that are rewarding but the thing that stands out the most is the ability to raise awareness and money for different charitable organizations. It is incredible to know that the charity I chose to support, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, will use this money to work to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. I am able to help people by cooking a meal– that is an incredibly powerful plate of food.
Q: Incanto, your SF restaurant, is know for its “Leg of Beast” and whole pig offerings. What album would pair with that dining experience?
Music is a very personal thing so I’m sure that everyone would look at different criteria when pairing an album to a leg of beast or a whole pig. Aside from it being a personal choice, I think it also depends on the mood of the event. Personally, I would select “Paul’s Boutique” from the Beastie Boys.
Q: Outside of the kitchen, you’re a part-time professional endurance Mountain Biker. The phrase “single-gear mountain bike” makes our legs hurt, what about the sport appeals to you?
What drew me to single speed mountain biking was the sheer strength and accountability that it demands. Your performance falls entirely on you when you strip the bike of all its amenities. In essence, win or lose, there is nothing to hide behind. When you really take the time to analyze it, ultra endurance is very similar to cooking because it comes down to exerting energy, concentration and passion for long amounts of time. It’s an amazing way to ride. Due to an injury, I retired from bike racing 5 years ago but it’s still a great way for me to blow off steam.
Q: You’re kind of the contemporary God Father of offal cuisine. What took you down that path? What’s it like being the face of a movement?
I do not consider myself to be the God Father of anything. I am truly very humbled by the rich history of foods of the past and it has been my goal to get people to go back to their roots in everyday meals. It ultimately comes down to the basics of sustainability, resource preparation, and respect for the animal. I am not a face of a movement, I am just reintroducing history one plate at a time.
Q: Your best pairing: Wine, Entree, Song
I really cannot pick just one! Food and music are all about living in the moment and capturing the mood as it occurs.