Tom Colicchio is like the rest of us getting ready for the holidays, only we’re sure his celebrations are a whole lot more delicious. The Elizabeth-born Top Chef head judge opened up recently about how he preps for the big day.
“I pretty much make the same meal every Christmas that I’ve made for the last 15 years,” he told E! News. “Growing up in an Italian-American household on Christmas Eve it was always big fish that we would do.”
So what does his traditional Christmas Eve meal include? “It starts with fritto misto. It’s usually cod, bay scallops. There’s some sol and some calamari,” he said, “and there’s also fried fennel and fried lemon and fried parsley.” He also serves up salt cod and shallots with a beet and anchovy salad, as well as a fish stew and roast cod. Yum!
He also revealed his tips on how to make cooking as stress-free as possible. “If you’re a chef you understand the idea of getting stuff done ahead of time,” he added. “It’s not the final cooking. My goal once I start cooking—I don’t want to use a knife anymore unless I’m cutting something at the very end, like slicing a roast. All the prep work is done. All the chopping is done. If I’m using garlic or parsley or something like that it’s chopped a day in advance. Put into small containers and it’s ready to go.”
Though Tom can whip up a delicious dish, he still has his Garden State favorites. “Spirito’s was always my favorite,” he told OMJ in August. “And pizza is my favorite boardwalk food. If you go down to Atlantic City it’s a Taylor ham sandwich.”
Want to get more cooking tips from the chef? He will be hosting cooking demonstrations at the Brooklyn Food & Wine event at Barclays Center on Feb. 17 and 18, 2017. He’ll be joined by some Top Chef alumni, including Dale Talde and Carla Hall.
More info and tickets are available at the festival’s website.