Meet Chef Kristen Quito

Meet Chef Kristen Quito

Eataly Magazine is pleased to introduce you to Kristen Quito, the head chef of Le Verdure and La Piazza at Eataly NYC Flatiron!

At Eataly, we are proud to work with world-class chefs, who transform simple, high-quality ingredients into the delicious dishes in our restaurants. We want you to get to know the people behind the food, so we interviewed Chef Kristen about her love for cooking and life in the kitchen.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I've always dreamed of becoming a pastry chef until one day in culinary school, when my chef told me that I should consider becoming a chef as he saw that I possess qualities of becoming successful in the field.

Did you train at an institute?
Santa Barbara community college in California. I graduated with an associate's degree in hotel and restaurant management (culinary arts).

Tell us about your past professional experience.
My experience comprises more of catering and personal chef jobs in California. I happened to be in New York and saw a job posting for Eataly, so I went ahead and applied. I was hired as a vegetable butcher but ended up working as a line cook. I worked my way to expediter, sous chef, and now am the chef in charge of le verdure and la piazza.

What is your specialty Italian dish, and why?
Vegetarian. I feel that I could convert a meat lover to become a vegetarian or at least appreciate vegetables a lot more. There are a lot of people who think that vegetarian food is just comprised of salads, so we are here to introduce them to different possibilities.

What ingredients are you craving the most right now?
Summer is just passing, and many of the awesome vegetables are still available at the farmers market, like tomatoes, berries, corn, stone fruit, and cucumbers. This is one of the most exciting seasons for Le Verdure (our vegetable-centric restaurant), though now I'm getting ready for the cozy dishes of the fall.

Do you have any quirks that your team teases you about?
Hmmm...I don't think so...!

If you weren't a chef, what profession would you have?
Probably still with my first career as a software engineer.

Tell us a behind-the-counter secret about Eataly!
We have a lot of patrons that are looking for take-away salads. Good (and hot) news: we are now offering an exciting array of salads that are offered in our take-away fridge!

Stop by Le Verdure and La Piazza to meet Chef Kristen and enjoy one of her signature fruit and vegetable-centric dishes!

peaches balsamic arugula

Piacere di conoscerti, Chef Kristen: nice to meet you!