Chris Santos has become one of the biggest names in the culinary world over the past decade, especially with his presence in the Manhattan restaurant scene with his amazing restaurants Beauty & Essex, The Stanton Social & VANDAL New York, as well as his appearances on a variety of Food Network shows including my personal favorite, Chopped. Chris has recently unveiled his new cookbook that just came out last week called, SHARE: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table, which offers over 100 extraordinary “big platter” recipes for Chef’s creative take on old school favorites, specifically made for family-style dining, as well as small plates that are fun to serve when entertaining.
We were fortunate enough to chat with Chris Santos about the reasoning behind this book, favorite recipes, who inspires him the most and what his future plans are!
What inspired you to do a cookbook on big platters & small plates?
Really the cookbook is a celebration of the communal spirit of sharing a meal with those you love. Be it a big platter or smaller “pass around” type bites, I wanted to write a cookbook that brought people together and that featured fun approachable recipes that aren’t intimidating to home cooks!
Do you prefer one or the other?
Again, the preference is always to bring people around the table to share not just delicious food but great storytelling! Food has been bringing people together for centuries and I think that’s an important thing to pay homage to.
What is your favorite recipe you have done for each?
I get asked this a lot, and it’s hard choosing a favorite recipe; there are just so many and they are all so personal me. But if I had to choose one, I would choose the Chipotle Shrimp with Tomatillo + Feta Salsa that is featured prominently throughout the book, as that recipe has been on my menus continuously, as well as at special events, in house parties, and just wildly popular for almost as long as I’ve been cooking. We are talking over 20 years here! So that one is special to me.
Who has been your biggest culinary inspiration in your life and why?
My team of chefs! They constantly push themselves, and each other to create whimsical, delicious and surprising recipes on an almost every day basis! It’s so inspiring being around such a driven, passionate team!
Do you plan on opening any other amazing hotspots in Manhattan anytime soon?
I do in fact have plans for a new NYC restaurant later this year, but we are keeping the details under wraps for the time being!
What’s next for Chris Santos?
Just continuing to do what I do, and hopefully continuing to bring the restaurant brands I’ve created to new cities across America and beyond, and create some new concepts as well. I am just getting started!
For more information on all things Chris Santos, please check out his official site.