Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Adrienne Guttieri of TRADEMARK TASTE + GRIND
Chef Adrienne Guttieri is a New York native born and raised in Broad Channel, Queens (The Rockaways). Growing up surrounded by Italian Food and her mother's amazing cooking, Adrienne was always set on being a Chef to share those memories, flavors, and ideas with the world.
Adrienne studied Italian Cuisine at the Italian Culinary Academy and in Colorno, Italy. While in Italy, Adrienne worked for Executive Chef Claudio Cesena, at Antica Osteria della Pesa in Cadeo, Italy where she learned the meat and bones of Italian Cuisine, from fresh pasta production to curing to wine pairing.
Upon returning to the U.S., Adrienne worked for Chef Eric Lind at the rustic Italian restaurant Inatteso Pizzabar, located in Battery Park City, NYC. Following her stint at Inatesso, Adrienne spent three years at In Good Company Hospitality's Park Avenue Tavern. There she learned everything from French technique, Southern Homestyle Cooking, Events Production, and Menu Creation, Management in both Front and Back of House, as well as cocktail production.
Adrienne transitioned to IGC's Trademark Taste + Grind where she is currently the Executive Chef.
Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Adrienne Guttieri about her career and Trademark Taste + Grind for our "Chef Spotlight" feature.
What was your earliest interest in cooking?
I was always in the kitchen as a kid helping out. It was usually my job to make the meatballs. My aunts would be bustling around the kitchen and making sure that everyone's job was being done. We would always fry a couple of meatballs in a pan and salt them and eat them with some of the barely cooked sauce. Still to this day if I make meatballs with my Mom or siblings, we do the same but now I tend to add some fresh Parm, Cracked Pepper & a good EVOO.
Who were some of your career mentors?
My Parents stand out in the category for personal reasons. I was lucky enough to grow up with 3 parents in my life and all 3 were extremely hardworking and dedicated to their family and making sure we understood the value of our lives. In my professional life, there have been different people at different phases. The first phase was Claudio Cesena who resides in Fiorenzuola d'Arda, Italy. Claudio's ideas were magnetic. The first day I met him he was whisking a bowl and the only word he said was Mojito. What I thought was a welcome cocktail, he set with gelatin and served over a piece of seared Rare Tuna set on top of a sweet & sour Japanese eggplant. The Mojito melted around the Tuna as it went to the table and to me, that was my first WOW- kitchen moment. Then I had Eric Lind, of Inatteso Pizzabar in Battery Park. I still have kitchen dreams that involve him pushing me to "work smarter, not harder" and he taught me my best kitchen lessons over an ice-cold bud while breaking down at night. Lastly, Chef H. Who accepted me into his little culinary family without hesitation and gave me the opportunity to grow, mess up, be myself and learn a ton. The path I've taken in both my personal and professional lives is widely shaped by his example and lessons.
What culinary styles have influenced your career?
Italian Cuisine will always be number one for me. It's my past, my present, and my future. For as long as I can remember my family made some of the best memories around a pot of sauce and a loaf of Semolina. I had the privilege of studying abroad in Italy and I kept numerous notebooks of recipes and experiences and food I had tried. Once a year I read through them and pick out a recipe, I'll do it for a family meal for my own personal enjoyment, so the staff gets a bit of the happiness it brings me.
What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?
Everybody always talks about food being the most distinguishing features of a Chef, but I think its the team that is. Yeah, we make an unreal Brick Chicken, our Meatballs have beat all the boys at the Movember ball and we can throw down a bad-ass Rigatoni Bolognese, but what really makes all that special, are the people that we have here. Some of the team have been here since day 1 and to me, that's a real achievement. People come in and enjoy themselves and that's a testament to the teamwork, to the mentoring, to the family we built behind the scenes.
What is your favorite meal?
Depends on the time and place, if I'm here the rest of the staff will tell you, Double Patty, if I'm home and it's Sunday, Chicken Parm & Spaghetti Pomodoro from my favorite neighborhood Italian is my guilty pleasure. If I'm out with friends, I usually go with a Steak.
Tell me a little bit about your restaurant for our readers.
Trademark Taste + Grind is a fun place. It's a dual concept venue, but you can read about that on our website. It's really the people we have here that make it the place it is. Our bar team is lead by a woman named Mariel, who's just got a great palette and a mind for making cocktails and a team that really supports that vision. Our FOH is lead by Chris, who happens to be my cousin and we really try and bring that Family feeling into the dining room and experience. There's no stuffy dinners or pretentious service, we are just a bunch of people in the Hospitality Biz, that want people to come in, enjoy and leave like friends and family.
Trademark Taste + Grind is located on 38 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018. They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, Happy Hour, and weekend brunches. For more information visit their web site at https://trademarktaste.com/ or call them at 646.858.2320.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Adrienne Guttieri