Tom Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food. At age 17, he made his kitchen debut in his native town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, at Evelyn’s Seafood Restaurant. Colicchio then cooked at prominent New York restaurants such as The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. In July 1994, Colicchio and his business partner Danny Meyer opened Gramercy Tavern. Colicchio’s cooking at Gramercy Tavern won consistent recognition, garnering three stars from The New York Times and earning him The James Beard Foundation’s 2000 “Best Chef-New York” Award.
In 2001, Colicchio opened Craft one block south of Gramercy Tavern. Soon after, The New York Times awarded Craft with three stars. With Craft and its casual sibling, Craftbar, established in New York City, Colicchio set out to expand his simple, elegant brand of cooking. He has since opened Craftsteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (2002), Craft and Craftbar in Los Angeles (2007; 2009) and Craftsteak at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods (2008). In summer 2013, he opened Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
Colicchio opened his first ‘wichcraft – a sandwich shop rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003. Today ‘wichcraft has 14 New York City locations, as well as locations at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Westfield Center in San Francisco.
In January 2010, he opened Colicchio & Sons in New York. Later that year, Colicchio opened Riverpark in New York with chef and partner Sisha Ortuzar. In 2012, he opened the restaurant at Topping Rose House, a new inn he is operating in Bridgehampton, New York. In May 2010, Colicchio was awarded The James Beard Foundation’s coveted “Outstanding Chef” award, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work in the restaurant industry.
Colicchio has published three cookbooks. The first, Think Like a Chef (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2000), won The James Beard Foundation “KitchenAid” Cookbook Award in May 2001. Tom’s second cookbook, Craft of Cooking, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in 2003. A sandwich book inspired by ‘wichcraft, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in 2009.
Since 2006, Tom has been applying his experience and expertise to cable television as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series “Top Chef.” The Emmy-winning show is filming its 11th season. Tom appears in and served as executive producer on A Place at the Table, Participant Media’s documentary about food insecurity in America, produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Colicchio’s wife, Lori Silverbush, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures released the film March 1.
Read our Q&A with Tom on the Ecocentric blog.