Chef Spotlight: Carlo Filippone of ELITE LIFESTYLE CUISINE
Carlo Filippone is the founder, CEO and chef of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine, a gourmet food company that delivers delicious, healthy chef-prepared meals right to your door. Filippone has more than 25 years of hands-on kitchen experience and over 200 published recipes. Filippone is not your typical CEO. He is not your typical chef. As a three-time national champion bodybuilder, he brings a lot of muscle - and a unique perspective - to the relationship between food and health. He understands the physiological importance of calibrating every meal.
A native of Cliffside Park, NJ, Filippone has returned to the neighborhood to open a retail location that features his chef-prepared meals. Filippone is very active within his local community and is regularly featured as a guest speaker at local schools and other community events. His favorite charity is one that is near and dear to his heart, Autism Speaks. Through Elite Lifestyle Cuisine he has helped raise funding for this and other organizations. To Filippone, "Food is love," and he is spreading it wherever he can.
What was your earliest interest in cooking?
I've been interested in cooking since I was 11 years old, growing up in an Italian immigrant household. Each day after school, while my friends were off playing games on the neighborhood ball fields, I spent my time working at my father's pizzeria. It was where I learned the value of discipline, commitment, drive and perseverance. And it was there where I learned that food is love and I wanted to spread it.
Who were some of your career mentors?
That's a very easy questions to answer -- my parents. They have played a huge role in my life. I aspire to be the kind of people they are. And I am happy to be half the cook my mom is. Kidding aside, to this day, they are very involved in the success of my business. My mom always provides advice in our corporate kitchen, which I am grateful for.
What culinary styles have influenced your career?
Having Sicilian parents and a Sicilian background have definitely influenced my career and offerings. Many of our meals are healthy, balanced renditions of traditional Italian dishes, like our turkey meatballs (a fan favorite) over brown rice. And while Italian cuisine is generally very healthy, I have also been influenced by my bodybuilding diet, so those principles are also applied with the meals we cook for Elite Lifestyle Cuisine.
What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?
The combination of being a national bodybuilding champion and coming from an Italian, food-loving family has a lot to do with my culinary approach. Bodybuilding is so disciplined and you realize how important your diet is when it comes to achieving your goals. I also love all of the flavors and sauces in traditional Italian cuisine. So I set out to create a product line that was tasteful, well-balanced and convenient.
What is your favorite meal?
Hands down my turkey meatballs over brown rice. A little bit of an Italian flare but every bit a delicious, healthy and balanced meal of proteins and grains.
Tell me a little bit about your company for our readers.
Our Elite Lifestyle Cuisine retail center includes an area where customers can come in and dine with us - and there is also a countertop area where they can purchase meals to take home.
Our kitchen, where we create all of the meals for in-store and delivery, is in the back of our center, and we love to invite customers to see how we create the meal line. It's a very family-friendly atmosphere where everyone who walks through the door is like our family. We also feature our full line of supplements and protein drinks here.
Elite Lifestyle Cuisine is based in Fairview, New Jersey. Call them at 201.943.7121 and visit their web site at https://www.elitelifestylecuisine.com/.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine