Chef Chris Spinosa has a story which as taken some interesting turns throughout his life. He grew up on Long Island, NY. Originally as a kid, this Kitchen Stud was a Band Geek. Trombonist during the day at high school ensembles, and a bass guitarist for metal bands on the weekends. Chris went off to college to study music with aspirations of possibly finding my way into the music industry. During college breaks he would work in kitchens as a dishwasher/prep cook. Eventually, Chris found himself going home and still trying out the recipes from work and working on his knife skills. Quickly he learned that he significantly enjoyed cooking as much as performing/creating music.
And then something happened…
After Chris graduated from college and received his degree, he did music for a bit. However, food was still on his mind. Not just in a hunger sense, but in a creative sense. He wanted to do something with it. So, on a whim, he went to the Institute of Culinary Education with his mom to check out the facilities to see if he wanted to pursue a career as a chef. What ended up as a casual visit turned into filling out an admissions form and starting schooling not even 2 months later.
After graduation from ICE, Chris found a job in Manhattan at one of Jean-Georges restaurants called Spice Market. From Therese embarked on what would be a 7 year stint in the New York City restaurant circuit. Bouncing around to all sorts of restaurants with varying degrees of size, cuisine, service, and workers, Chris learned so much about himself, and also had to grow into a more aggressive and driven individual. You see, as Chris says it, “… the NYC circuit isn’t for every chef. It challenges you not just skillwise, but also emotionally and mentally.”
“Do you really want to do this?”
“You can’t hack this. This is too hard. You should just quit.”
“You’ll never be as good as any of these chefs here.”
These were some of the nay-saying phrases he would come to hear from to and again. Chris worked with some tough people, but they actually ended up pulling a very competitive edge out of him that he has never tapped into prior in his life.
Fast-forward to 2020 when COVID basically decimated the restaurant industry nationwide…Chris was left with a very important decision: Stay in NY and hope for the best? Or move elsewhere?
He needed to make rent. He was hemorrhaging through savings and work wasn’t as abundant as it was previously.
DECISION TIME – He packed everything that he had and moved down to West Palm Beach after doing some research and apartment hunting. He landed in South Florida March 2021, took a job as a sous-chef up in Palm Beach Gardens just to make some money and to actually meet people. Life is full of challenges. Moving down here not knowing a single soul was a tremendous challenge.
Before long, Chris realized his food was selling very well. People loved his approach to cuisine. He had it in his head that it was time for him to take a chance yet again and try out being a private chef. It took him about a year or so before he really had his business ready to go. He starting to get some high profile clients.
The money was okay but Chris was still struggling in a sense to make bills.
But he pressed on, knowing that perseverance always wins. He wasn’t going to give up that easily. Not now.
One day Chris received a DM on Instagram from a Casting Agency. They wanted me to audition for a spot on a competition cooking show. However, He didn’t know what it was. Before long, he made it to the interview and at the end the interviewer divulged to me that I was a Gordon Ramsay Cooking show (Next Level Chef).
Once he flew out to do the show, we were off to the races and life as I knew it was going change immensely. The pilot episode played immediately following the Super Bowl in February and has over 15,000,000 viewers!!
From the show airing after the Super Bowl to now, he has noticed a significant uptick in my business, especially in the caliber of clients I was receiving. He has a few high profile clients whom he cannot mention currently. However, needless to say life has been getting better for me. He is still a private chef and still taking in new clients from Palm Beach County down to Miami-Dade.
AUTHORS NOTE :: Chef Chris is a graduate of the same prestigious High School as #DefinitelyMiami Founder, Ronnie Eith.