Alumni Profile: Anthony Paris

Three times a year, ICE publishes The Main Course, our school newsletter. In addition to listing all the upcoming classes, each issue is filled with interviews, articles and school news. We always find it interesting to hear about where our students come from and more importantly, where they go when they leave here.  Today, we are sharing a profile of ICE alum Anthony Paris (Culinary Arts ’97) who was featured in the Winter 2012 issue.

Anthony Paris, Culinary Arts ‘97

Anthony Paris has a simple reason for doing what he does for a living: he loves cooking. He grew up surrounded by good food, with a father whose passion is also cooking and who used dinner as a showcase for his talent, and a heritage that is half Italian and half Scottish-Irish. His first career was in music, working as a producer, writing jingles, producing promotional videos and commercials, and being a drummer. He studied music, composition, and piano at the Berkley College of Music, and still plays in a band that rehearses every week and performs occasionally.

When music became “just a job” and Paris found himself much more excited about cooking for friends and gathering them around a table, he decided to switch careers. Paris completed his ICE externship at Alison on Dominick Street, where he was then hired. From there he went on to work for David Bouley for two years, whom he credits as having most influenced him in teaching him how to cook. Paris learned by example, he said, watching Bouley at the fish station every night, always first and last in the kitchen.

He then left to work in restaurants in Austria and in Alto-Adige in Italy. Wanting to experience as many of the great New York restaurants as he could when getting back to Manhattan, he joined the team at Jean Georges and stayed there for two years, until it was time for a stint in Italy and Austria again. Paris wasn’t sure of what he wanted to do next and had hoped to open a restaurant, but 9/11 brought those plans to a halt.

Because he had been living near the World Trade Center, he was also forced to relocate. He moved to Westchester and launched a four-star catering business that became immediately successful. It took breaking his leg and being out of commission for nearly half a year for Paris to realize he needed to breathe and regroup. He started opening restaurants for culinary figures such as restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and chef Zak Pelaccio.

He opened Chop Suey and Fatty Crab with Pelaccio, and then got the opportunity to join the Crosby St. Hotel as executive chef in December 2009. At the SoHo boutique hotel, Paris serves a seasonally focused gastropub-style menu that covers breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, handles room service for the hotel’s guests, and is famous for the high tea service offered in the afternoon.

He is on call nearly 24/7, he says, to make sure that all things culinary are handled to perfection for the restaurant and hotel’s discerning clientele. While he can be found mostly in his restaurant, he took time in July 2010 to tape and win an episode of the Food Network’s Chopped; he hopes to repeat the television experience with a show of his own, in the future.

For more info about ICE’s successful alumni, check out our Alumni Hall of Achievement.

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