One of the culinary world’s most celebrated figures, Tom Colicchio is perhaps best known as head judge on Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning show Top Chef. Tom is also a James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and restaurateur.
After a childhood cooking with his mother and grandmother, Tom taught himself to cook with the help of Jacques Pépin’s legendary illustrated manuals on French cooking. At only 17, Tom made his kitchen debut at a local seafood restaurant in his native New Jersey. Tom later cooked at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. During his tenure as executive chef of Mondrian, Food & Wine magazine selected him as one of the top 10 “Best New Chefs” in the U.S.
Tom’s Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood earned him The James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef-New York” Award in 2000, and his next restaurant, Craft, soon earned three stars and was awarded The James Beard Foundation Award for “Best New Restaurant” in 2002. That same year, Tom received The Bon Appétit American Food and Entertaining Award for “Chef of the Year.” The New York Times revisited Craft in September 2011, ten years after its debut, upholding its three stars and stating that the restaurant is “as magical and delicious as it was when it opened.”
He has since expanded his simple, elegant brand of cooking with several other restaurants, including Craftbar, and Craftsteaks in several cities, including Las Vegas, and his popular ‘wichcraft sandwich shops are yet another expression of creativity. At his restaurant, Tom: Tuesday Dinner, he improvises with small-batch ingredients from micro-producers, and at Colicchio & Sons in New York, he partners with farmers with whom he’s forged decades-long relationships.
The James Beard Foundation awarded Tom another coveted “Outstanding Chef” award in 2010, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work and innovation in the restaurant industry.
His bestselling cookbooks include Think Like a Chef, (which won the James Beard Foundation Kitchen Aid Cookbook Award), The Craft of Cooking and ‘wichcraft, based on recipes from his popular sandwich shops.
Tom regularly appears on local and national television shows, including The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show and ABC’s Nightline. He also continues to be celebrated in food and lifestyle publications such as Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Esquire, GQ and New York Magazine.