Chef Chris Nirschel is the owner and executive chef of NY Catering Service, a renowned catering company in New York City. A “Self-Proclaimed Culinary Bad Boy”, Nirschel is known for his innovative and creative cuisine, which is inspired by his travels around the world. He is also a passionate educator, and he regularly teaches cooking classes and workshops.
Nirschel talks about his path to becoming a chef, his time on reality TV, and his plans for the future of NY Catering Service. He also shares some of his favorite kitchen gadgets, and offers advice to aspiring chefs.
Explain what you do for a living?
I am a chef, entertainer, teacher and speaker.
What is both your favorite and least favorite part of your job?
In my business I love it all; even when chaos ensues because only the strong survive!
This industry is always changing, and there’s always something new to learn. I love the challenge of putting together a perfect event, and I love the satisfaction of seeing my clients happy.
I know that not everyone loves chaos, but I thrive on it. I think that’s what makes me a good chef. I’m able to stay calm under pressure, and I’m able to think on my feet. I’m also able to adapt to change, which is essential in the restaurant and catering businesses.
I’m not afraid of a challenge, and I’m always up for a new adventure. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
What are some of your favorite culinary tech gadgets and why?
I love using my dehydrator to make beef jerky. For a different flavor, try using different types of marinades. Some popular options include teriyaki, honey-mustard, and barbecue. You can also add other ingredients to the marinade, such as dried fruit, nuts, or seeds.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can make beef jerky in the oven. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the beef strips for 3–4 hours, or until they are dry and chewy. Just be sure to cook the beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that it is safe to eat.
I also love my ice cream maker! It’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I use it to make all sorts of ice cream, from classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate to more creative flavors like lavender and honey. I also love making ice cream with fresh fruit, like strawberries or peaches.
One of the best things about making ice cream at home is that you can control the ingredients. You can use high-quality ingredients, and you can avoid artificial flavors and colors. You can also experiment with different flavors and combinations.
An ice cream maker is a great way to be creative in the kitchen, and it’s a lot of fun to share your homemade ice cream with others.
What are some tips for amateur cooks just trying to get started in the restaurant industry?
- Be patient. Practice makes perfect and reach for the stars because dreams become realities.
- Get your hands dirty. The best way to learn how to cook is by doing it. Get a job in a restaurant, even if it’s just as a prep cook. You’ll learn the basics of kitchen safety, sanitation, and cooking techniques.
- Be willing to learn. The restaurant industry is constantly evolving, so you need to be willing to learn new things. Even if you have a formal culinary education, you should still be constantly reading cookbooks, watching cooking shows, and taking cooking classes. The more you know, the better cook you’ll be.
- Be passionate about food. If you’re not passionate about food, you’re not going to be successful in the restaurant industry. Food is all about passion, creativity, and attention to detail. If you love food, you’ll be able to convey that passion to your customers.
- Start small. Don’t try to open your own restaurant right away. Start by working in a small restaurant or catering company. This will give you the opportunity to learn the ropes and to build your experience.
- Be persistent. The restaurant industry is a tough industry, but it’s also very rewarding. If you’re persistent, and you’re willing to work hard, you can achieve your dreams.
- Have fun! Cooking should be fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to be successful. So relax, enjoy the process, and let your creativity shine through.
Tell us something about yourself that your friends reading this right now won’t already know.
I love skiing, boating, being adventurous and romantic. The most romantic thing I’ve ever done – taken a spontaneous trip to Aruba with an ex-girlfriend!
Do you have any upcoming projects to tell us about?
Sure! I’ll be teaching a cooking class for Valentine’s Day, doing a demonstration in Miami at the Food and Wine Festival, catering parties during New York Spring Fashion Week, and participating as a featured chef at the American Ballet Theater’s Culinary Pas De Deux in March.
I’m also currently in a few reality TV shows, including Chopped All Stars on the Food Network (airs in February 2012). After being a Season 7 finalist on Chopped, I was invited back for the All Stars episodes.
And, I’m also working on a Chris Nirschel clothing line and some more projects that I can’t talk about right now. So lots of exciting things are going on.
What is your favorite MethodShop article and why?
Oh, that’s hard to choose. I can only pick one? What about the infamous Sad Keanu Reeves meme? It is one of my favs because it’s a great use of Adobe Photoshop art and humor, and he’s an actor I enjoy.
Please complete this sentence: Chris Nirschel wants all MethodShop.com readers to….
I want all MethodShop readers to… keep reaching for the stars because dreams do become realities!