A Q&A with Chef Chris Ferris of Nessa in Port Chester



Chris Ferris

nessa
325 N Main St, Port Chester
(914) 939-0119; nessarestaurant.com

Dish I Do the Best…Red-beet gnocchi with portobello mushrooms and Gorgonzola cream sauce

Drink of Choice…Hoppy pale ales

Favorite Guilty-Pleasure Food…Grilled cheese—but it has to be Kraft Singles and Wonder Bread.

Culinary Hero…My grandparents on my mom’s side. Whether it was my grandma’s chicken cacciatore or papa’s osso buco, the best things I’ve ever tasted came from their kitchen, and they continue to cook with love.

If Not a Chef, I’d Be an…English teacher. I was halfway through my first semester as an English/education double major when I decided to go to culinary school.

Favorite Kitchen Utensil…My seven-inch Santoku knife. I cut almost everything with it.

Last Book Read…Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

On a Day Off, I’d Likely Be…snowboarding in the winter, hanging out at the beach in the summer. And I’m a big gamer.

I Never Eat...margarine. I can’t put my finger on why; it just never tasted right to me.

Favorite Place to Dine Out…My girlfriend and I are huge sushi eaters. We’re always looking for a better place than the last one we ate at. Recently, we went to Toyo in Mamaroneck. It was outstanding.

I Hate It When a Diner at My Restaurant...says, ‘Give me your cheapest glass of…’

What Diners Don’t Know but Should…If we can’t give you a seven-thirty reservation on a Friday or Saturday, it’s not because we don’t want to!

Favorite Food Network Show…Chopped. If there’s more than one episode on when I’m in bed, I cannot fall asleep.

I Hate It When I’m Dining at a Restaurant and…more than one server visits the table to ask you the same thing. All they have to do is talk to each other!

The Toughest or Craziest Part of My Job Is...working with my friends. They’re insane.

What Waiters Should Never Do…Lie about what’s in a dish. Just excuse yourself and go find out for sure.

Once I Start Eating [FILL IN THE BLANK], I Can’t Stop…Bacon. I really, really, can’t stop. If you ever see this happening, please take the bacon away from me.

Culinary School Can’t Teach You…as much as customers can teach you.

My Favorite Website…ign.com. I love browsing new games and technologies that are coming out and IGN reviews are usually spot on.

My Favorite Movie Is…Pulp Fiction

When Cooking, Chefs Tend to Use Too Much...sauce. I see more over-sauced plates when dining out than anything else.