Video Best New Chef Carlo Mirarchi.
Born 1980; Queens, NY. Raised Long Island, NY.
Education New York University, New York City.
Experience Good World, New York City.
How he got into cooking "My mom is from Panama and my dad is from Italy, and both sides of my family were really serious about food and going to markets. Every August when I was growing up, we'd go to Calabria, Italy. We'd go diving for sea urchin, we'd spear-fish, then we'd eat all day. We'd crack open the sea urchin right on the beach and eat them. And take a lot of naps."
Near-death experience "I was in Australia and went swimming at a beach called Brunswick Heads. The current was really strong, and it pulled me out. The waves bashed me like I was a doll against a jagged rock covered with dirty oysters. I'd had a mediocre falafel for lunch, and I thought, I can't believe the last thing I'm going to eat is a mediocre falafel. Two fishermen heard me crying and dragged me out. I was in the hospital for five days. Since I was so beat up, I couldn't work, so instead of going home, I traveled around Australia and Thailand."
Influences David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, CA, and Mark Ladner of Del Posto in New York City. "Kinch's food is amazing. And Ladner is incredibly talented, incredibly intelligent; the food he produces is like a proper translation of what it means to eat in Italy."
Memorable cooking experience Making dinner for renowned French chef Michel Bras and 20 other people at Roberta's. "It was for an Omnivore event. I thought they were kidding when they first said Michel Bras was coming. We did a bunch of seafood, a 50-day dry-aged rib eye, a lot of vegetables. I can barely remember it; that whole day was a blur."
Equipment obsession Holbein painting knife. "It's good for picking up uni and other delicate items."
Favorite food city A tie between Tokyo and Rome. "Their approaches to food are so similar but so, so different. They both have so much respect for their food traditions and for cooking."
Guilty pleasure Häagen-Dazs chocolate–chocolate chip ice cream.
After-hours hangout The Brooklyn Star. "They're open until two. The pig tails, the tripe chili, the chicken wings; they're all really good."
Favorite thing about New York City The chef community. "Guys like Mario Batali really supported us. We were not a busy restaurant when we first opened. But we had chefs coming in, and chefs drove people to us; they made people get on that train and come out to Bushwick."
Favorite cookbooks Famed Italian gourmand Pellegrino Artusi's books, especially Science in the Kitchen and Art of Eating Well.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.