Chef’s participating in Back to the Future support Billion Oyster Project year-round in our shell collection program. They shuck, sort, and store oyster shells from their restaurants every week, which we eventually use as the base for new oyster reefs and a home for young oysters in NY Harbor.
Alain Allegretti hails from a prominent culinary background developed in kitchens across France and the United States. The love for food began on his family’s farm in the South of France under his Italian grandmother’s guidance where it is often the core of the culture and everyday life.
Allegretti arrived on the New York restaurant scene in 2000, as Co-Executive Chef, at Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque. In 2005, Allegretti moved on to become the executive chef at the New York City Ritz-Carlton’s highly acclaimed restaurant, Atelier, where he solidified its place among the top restaurants in the city, earning three stars from the New York Times, one-Michelin star, and a tremendous 27 food rating in Zagat. In 2008, Allegretti launched his eponymous restaurant Allegretti in the Flatiron Iron District, earning a rave two- star review by the New York Times. In 2011, he opened La Promenade des Anglais, in New York’s trendy neighborhood of Chelsea, to a slew of critical acclaim including a two- star review from the New York Times¸ in which Pete Wells called Allegretti “the king of modern French cuisine.” In 2012, Allegretti opened Azure by Allegretti in Atlantic City, where he had been consistently been featured among the city’s best chefs, and Azure had been praised as one of the hottest restaurants on the Jersey Shore by Zagat.
Allegretti is currently focusing his attention on new culinary endeavors in various markets, where he will continue on expanding his culinary vision.
For nearly a decade, Executive Chef Billy Oliva has helmed the iconic kitchens of Delmonico’s—America’s first restaurant and birthplace of classics such as the Delmonico Steak, Lobster Newburg, and Baked Alaska—continuing to advance its rich culinary legacy with his modern, seasonally-driven approach. Throughout his prolific career, Chef Billy has been recognized by some of the world’s most prestigious culinary institutions—from earning his first Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction in 2006 at age 31 to being named one of the country’s top chefs by Best Chefs America in 2013. His talents have also been highlighted by leading media outlets including CNN, CBS News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, BBC, NPR, Cooking Channel, Food Network, and more.
Corey Chow ascended to the role of chef de cuisine of Per Se in the summer of 2017. In his role, Corey oversees a collaborative and committed kitchen team and is responsible for developing all menus and exceeding guests’ expectations at the three Michelin-starred restaurant.
Corey first joined Per Se in 2007 as a commis. He quickly advanced to chef de partie, working all the stations, and in June 2010 became sous chef. At the end of 2013, Corey decided to expand his knowledge and gain additional experience through a position at The Nomad, and later as the chef de cuisine of Torrisi Italian Specialties. In 2015, Corey returned to Per Se as an executive sous chef before being promoted to his current role.
From a young age, Corey was inspired by how Chinese food and culture went hand in hand with family and being together. He grew up in San Gabriel, CA attending Saturday night dinners at his paternal grandparents’ house and Sunday night dinners at his maternal grandparents’ house, understanding early on why Chinese greetings often start with: “Have you eaten yet?” After Corey earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal Poly Pomona, it was memories of those dinners that drove him to pursue a culinary path. He went on to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, and still uses his family recipes and, on occasion, shares them with his team during family meal.
Growing up on the South Shore of Long Island, David Seigal always had a deep-rooted appreciation for all things fish, buying fresh flounder, scallops, and cod straight off the boats with his mother. David’s fine dining experience spans almost two decades and comprises some of the top kitchens in NYC including working under acclaimed Chefs, Charlie Palmer, Jean- Georges Vongerichten, Gray Kunz, and David Bouley. Professional stages abroad at the three-Michelin star Martin Berasategui and El Raco D’en Freixa in Spain, and Hotel Lenkerhof in Switzerland round out David’s unqiue culinary background. David returned to his roots in 2013 and joined forces with the Lobster Place to open Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar in the heart of New York City. The accessibility to pristine fish that Lobster Place provides, combined with David’s culinary ingenuity benefit the thousands of people who visit Chelsea Market each day. The ever-changing, globally-inspired seafood menu at Cull & Pistol has been recognized each year by the Michelin Guide, as well as local critics and seafood lovers alike. David has been a member of the Norwegian Seafood Council, and actively supports the Billion Oyster Project’s reef restoration efforts in New York Harbor.
Hugue Dufour was found in a snow covered cabbage patch in Alma, Lac St. Jean, Quebec in 1977. The family that raised him introduced Hugue to the finer things of dairy farming. His connection to ruminants deepened when he learned how to cook beef. Leaving his small town for Montreal, he quickly started and ended a tour in culinary school and began working in kitchens throughout the province, including Toqué and Au Pied de Cochon. As a partner in Au Pied de Cochon, he was the subject of a documentary, a cookbook album and a tv show. In 2010 he opened M. Wells in Long Island City, a dirty but charming 1954 diner which he cleaned up with his Sarah Obraitis. The place closed and Hugue and Sarah since opened M. Wells Dinette and M. Wells Steakhouse in the same neighborhood. M. Wells is not easy to define. Chef Hugue Dufour happens to be from Quebec and he happened to be trained in France and he happens to love Queens. All this combined gives the food its fun, flavorful and unconscious flare.
Naama Tamir was born and raised in the city of Rehovot in Israel and moved to NY in 2000 after her mandatory IDF service. She studied Philosophy and Psychology at Hunter College while working in the hospitality industry. In 2011, along with her bother-partner Assaf Tamir, they opened Lighthouse and in August 2016 the opened their second location Lighthouse Outpost. She is chair of sustainability practices and green initiative at BaBar (bar & restaurant alliance) and a contributor to NFL - No Free Lunch sustainability platform.
A few places to note; Employees Only, Macao Trading Co., Craft Steak, Mainland, Smith and Mills.
Producer of Umami Food and Art Festival.