Every article I write is special to me, but interviewing Chris Santos (@santoscooks) was a real treat. I met Santos about a year and a half ago when Justine Joli (@justinejoli) invited me to dinner at his restaurant, Beauty & Essex. As usual, she gave me no warning and I showed up underdressed and disheveled. And of course it turned out that she was one of Santos’s guests that night, and we ended up dining with the chef and his friends. I’d known of Santos and was a fan of his incredible culinary concoctions already, but I was fortunate enough to become friends with him after that dinner.
About a year later, I was trying to come up with something new to write about when I ran into the chef at a friend’s party. A truly badass dude, Santos is a fixture of New York City’s nightlife scene, and every lady I know who’s met him—or even watched him on TV—is smitten. A lightbulb went off. He was the perfect guy to teach other men the importance of knowing their way around the kitchen. And I do love getting to hang out with my friends under the guise of interviewing them for work. (What? If you could do it, too, you would.)
If you’re in New York, you should check out his restaurants, Beauty & Essex and Stanton Social, and see for yourself why he was my go-to chef for this article. His menus are to die for, and after devouring most of the offerings at each establishment, I can assure you that there’s not a single disappointing dish. (Current favorites include the red snapper tacos, crab cake corndogs, and tequila gazpacho, washed down with a nice emerald gimlet.) If you’re lucky, you’ll bump into the chef while you’re there. Or me. Because even though all my article “research” (read: dining and drinking) is done, I can’t stay away from his incredible restaurants.
To read my interview with Santos, which appeared in the September 2012 issue of Penthouse, click here.