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Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Anthony DiCocco of GRAY HAWK GRILL on the Upper East Side

Executive Chef Anthony DiCocco of GRAY HAWK GRILL

Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Anthony DiCocco of GRAY HAWK GRILL on the Upper East Side

Gray Hawk Grill is a New American restaurant located on the Upper East Side owned by hospitality industry veteran Steve Millan whose talented team includes Executive Chef Anthony DiCocco. The neighborhood grill sources only the best ingredients from New York's finest purveyors including Master Purveyors for beef, Pierless for fish, Orwashers for bread and The Little Pie Company for desserts to give guests a memorable dining experience in a comfortable, yet chic, atmosphere.

Executive Chef Anthony DiCocco has a rich history in the culinary industry. Working at highly reputable restaurants in New York City such as Esca and Eataly and then traveling to Los Angeles, California as Sous Chef for Cecconi's. Chef DiCocco has catered the Golden Globe Awards, Grammy Awards and Oscar Awards. He then went to become Sous Chef at Craig's in West Hollywood and most recently Executive Sous Chef at the iconic Chateau Marmont. He has cooked for VIP's such as Sir Elton John, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and many more. had the pleasure of interviewing Chef DiCocco for our "Chef Spotlight."

What was your earliest interest in cooking?

My earliest interest in cooking was when I was a kid. Waking up to the smell of hand sliced garlic cooking in extra virgin olive oil made by my mother for Sunday gravy. Periodically I would venture to my grandmother's house, and that's where it all began. The smells, the taste and complete bliss of whatever was cooking in the pot aroused my interest completely. To this day, I can still smell that garlic simmering away. Steak pizzaola, tripe stew and stuffed calamari were among many favorites.

Who were some of your career mentors?

My career mentors are my family. I've learned more from two women smoking cigarettes hovering over a pot of food than any chef I've worked with. I learned a lot and being a professional chef on my own while observing.

What culinary styles have influenced your career?

The culinary style that influenced my career most is authentic Italian cuisine. Everything from handmade pastas, to curing meats. I am also influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine. There's nothing like a freshly cooked Dolma and bowl full of Kibbeh. It's the simple things.

What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?

The most distinguished features of my work as a Chef is attention to detail and that simple is always better. Very few ingredients can come a long way. There's no need for complex dishes with an abundance of different ingredients. Just let the key ingredient speak for itself and build upon it. A few signature dishes I enjoy cooking is Tripe stew, Cioppino and freshly made pastas.

What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal in all honesty is chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and corn. Basic and nothing extravagant, but I can polish off that meal every day if I could especially when it's made by my mother.

Tell me a little bit about your restaurant for our readers.

Gray Hawk Grill is an elegant American Grill restaurant that serves simple and delicious dishes. Nothing complex, just straight and to the point. The Upper East Side has a wonderful community and during these trying times our goal is to bring the people back together and offer a fantastic dining experience where they can relax, enjoy and make some of the best memories here.

Gray Hawk Grill is located at 1556 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10028. They are open for dinner and weekend brunch. Hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The restaurant is closed on Monday. They also have convenient take out and delivery options. For menus, more information, to order online, and purchase a gift cards, visit or call 646.669.7376. You can also contact them at Follow Gray Hawk Grill on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gray Hawk Grill

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