By SEBASTIEN LAFOREST Photography COURTESY OF CULINARY BAD BOY
Celebrity chef, Chris Nirschel, is most recognizable for his time on the seventh season of The Next Food Network Star. The young, vivacious chef has both a large personality and a true passion for the culinary arts. It’s completely apparent in his work.
Since Nirschel’s time on the Food Network, he has been quite busy with his recent business endeavors. His company,Culinary Bad Boy Productions, caters to those both in the realms of food and fashion. He’s involved with everything from high end catering, cooking courses, and private event services to walking down the runway during Fashion Week in New York.
SEBASTIEN LAFOREST: What exactly led you into becoming a chef? Have you always been into the culinary arts?
CHRIS NIRSCHEL: Yes, when I was in high school I was in a culinary program. And though I had to go the college route, I have always loved, respected and been passionate about the arts and I am so grateful.
SL: What makes you get up every morning to continue what you do?
CN: Sort of like question one, it [the culinary arts] makes me tick. Every day is a new journey, a new meal, a new problem, and another true love.
SL: What’s your best-kept kitchen secret?
CN: They’re secrets for a reason [laughs]. Smile and take everything with ease because problems always arise, but the real chef extraordinaire comes up with the solutions.
SL: What do you need you need to throw the perfect party?
CN: It all depends on my clients.
SL: What is your all-time favorite summer recipe?
CN: Strawberry balsamic mixed heirloom tomato bruschetta with an arugula basil salad and shaved pecorino.
SL: If you could cook side-by-side with any chef from any era… Who would it be? And why?
CN: Anthony Bourdain because he’s the original “Culinary Bad Boy,” and an amazing writer and chef.
SL: Who besides yourself do you trust most in the kitchen?
CN: I trust no one but my sous chef, Mike Dispenza.
SL: When starting out in the culinary field, if you knew then what you know now—what would you change or do differently?
CN: Nada, life is great. But learning, listening, adapting to different chefs’ styles, clients’ needs, while maintain creative ingenuity are the keys.
SL: How do you feel, looking back on your time on The Next Food Network Star?
CN: It started my career. So, I’m always thankful!
SL: What was it like to work with Bobby Flay and Giada DeLaurentiis?
CN: Bobby and Giada are great; I hope to eventually collaborate with Bobby.
SL: Is there anything else you would like to say or share?
CN: Thank you so much for this opportunity.