At Home With Chef Chris Cosentino
By: Gennefer Gross
Chris Cosentino is the chef and co-owner of San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb Restaurant, the newly opened Jackrabbit in Portland, OR, and Acacia House at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Napa Valley, alongside partner Oliver Wharton and parent company Delicious MFG & CO.
Cosentino’s first executive chef position began at Incanto in 2002, where his innovative Italian and whole animal cookery drew critical acclaim. Cosentino opened Cockscomb in 2014, showcasing a range of sustainable meat cuts and dishes inspired by the city’s rich culinary history, which San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer awarded 3 stars, deeming that “There’s nothing else like it, and Cosentino has a consistent, unwavering vision.”
Cosentino has appeared on Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef America,” “Chefs vs. City,” and BRAVO’s “Top Chef Masters,” earning over $140,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation as the season four winner. Inlate August 2017, Cosentino, along with writer and photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, debuted Offal Good: Cooking From The Heart, With Guts (Clarkson Potter), a resource for mastering how to cook and honor the animals we eat and explore the unique quality of our ingredients. He is also the author of Beginnings: My Way To Start A Meal (Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony) and collaborated with Marvel to produce a 32-page comic book called Wolverine: In The Flesh.
Needless to say, Chef Chris keeps himself very busy, but took time out to talk with us about his cooking style and what he loves about the Thermomix®.
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I knew I wanted to be a chef at 14. My first job was working at IHOP washing dishes. I remember I was amazed by the two chefs cooking for so many guests. There were so many different orders and yet they were able to get the food out quickly. Before that, I grew up watching Julia Child on PBS, which inspired me to try cooking as a kid.
Three words that describe your kitchen at home are?
Thoughtful. Efficient. Comfortable.
What’s the most important element in a home kitchen?
I believe the most important element in a home kitchen is flow. Gotta keep things flowing when meal prepping, cooking, and even serving. Just like a restaurant kitchen, things need to run smoothly from one ingredient or process to the next or you’ll waste valuable time getting bogged down in the chaos that could be spent with family and friends.
What is your favorite meal to make at home?
The meal depends on the weather and what’s available at the Farmer’s Markets. I like to keep it fun and focus on enjoying time with family. The food itself is less important. But I always love a good comfort food with some feel good nostalgia behind it.
Your Chicken Liver Mousse recipe in the “Cook Like a Chef: Recipes From the Pros” booklet is so unique – especially the Thomcord Grape Jam! Can you describe the recipe and why it means so much to you?
The recipe is a play on PB&J, which is a tribute to my childhood. I wanted to make a dish that brings you back to what it’s like to be a kid, and has the same feel and taste when you eat it.
How do you use the Thermomix® at home?
I use my Thermomix® in many different ways at home. One of the biggest benefits of it is that it helps me to multitask while I’m cooking. For example, I can make a parsnip puree while cooking a steak. One of my favorite things to do is set it to make a zabaione for dessert while we’re eating dinner. And I don’t have to worry about it and can enjoy my meal because the device does all the work!
How did you first hear about the Thermomix®?
I first heard about Thermomix® while I was living in Europe. I was at an event and saw a chef make vegetable sauce using it. I couldn’t believe that he did it all in the blender — I had no idea that something like this existed!
Why would you recommend the Thermomix® to home cooks?
The Thermomix® is great for home cooks because it’s like having an extra set of hands in the kitchen. It’s also super easy to use and doesn’t need instructions.
What’s your favorite thing about cooking at home away from your professional kitchen?
I love that cooking at home is always so fun and casual. It doesn’t matter what I’m cooking — a whole roasted chicken or pizza — there’s no stress when I’m cooking at home like when you have a busy night of service and dozens of orders to be prepared.
Are there other gadgets, kitchenware, or kitchen/cooking essentials you use regularly at home? What are they?
I think It’s important for everyone to have a great cast iron pan; I love my Mauviel pans. I also love my Kitchen Aid Professional Mixer with all of the attachments — the pasta roller, meat grinder/sausage stuffer, grain mill, etc.
Any other tidbits for Thermomix® readers?
My biggest piece of advice for Thermomix® readers is not to be afraid to test your skills with the Thermomix®. It will take you to the next level of cooking.
Ever wanted to cook like a pro at home? You can. Unleash your inner chef and book a Thermomix® demo today!