Chef Roundtable

Culinary Personalities

Chef Nixon Sambuga of Fumio Grill & Sushi

To me, chefs have to be consistent and disciplined in what they do in the kitchen, not just how they cook. I respect working with Chef Claudio Cornejo of Fumio Grill & Sushi because he is hardworking, he uses the ingredients well, and he matches my level of creativity in the kitchen.


Chef Anthony Pucciarello of Cielo

Chef/Owner Louis Segar of LuNello’s. I admire his work ethic and his creativity in the kitchen. He started cooking things years ago that nobody even thought to try. He was one the first guys to really use his imagination in the kitchen and create dishes that no one could. He has been consistent and stayed true to himself and what he believes for over 30 years, and that’s hard to do in this business.


Chef Andrew Wagner of Little Town-New Jersey

Mike Rodriguez of House of Q. He cooks true, authentic Texas barbecue, which is great to have in town and the first of its kind on this side of the Hudson River. His techniques and his original sauces are perfect. He is a master at what he does.


Chef Francisco Mata of La Bottega-Ridgewood

My favorite local chef would be Mario Batali. His authenticity, his devotion to freshness, and his attention to detail as it relates to Italian cuisine are what I think sets him apart from other chefs.