Tom Colicchio was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As a child and teen, Colicchio’s love for cooking was evident to his parents, who encouraged him to attend culinary school. Rather than pursue classical training, he opted to cut his teeth at Evelyn’s Seafood Restaurant in Elizabeth. From there, he began a whirlwind tour of Manhattan restaurants, working at the Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel (alongside Thomas Keller), and Mondrian. During his time as executive chef of Mondrian, Colicchio was named as one of 10 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine.
In 1994, Colicchio partnered with famed restaurateur, Danny Meyer, to open Gramercy Tavern, which received three stars from The New York Times. He has gone on to open a mini-empire of Craft Restaurants, including four locations around the country. Colicchio has also opened three Craftbars, three Craftsteaks, and more than 14 ‘wichcraft locations in New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Additionally, Colicchio opened Colicchio & Sons in 2009, after closing the Craftsteak that previously occupied the space. Colicchio & Sons received three stars from The New York Times and Colicchio was named Outstanding Chef from the James Beard Foundation in 2010.
Apart from his success as a chef and restaurateur, Colicchio has rocketed to stardom due to his involvement with Bravo’s original television series, Top Chef. He has authored three cookbooks on his own and collaborated on two Top Chef cookbooks.
Culinary Style: New American
Restaurants: Craft, Craftsteak, Craftbar, ‘wichcraft, and Colicchio & Sons
Did You Know? Tom Colicchio claims to have honed his culinary craft by learning from Jacques Pepin’s illustrated culinary manuals.