While preparing a slab of tripe, Chris Cosentino '94, the 183rd Distinguished Visiting Chef to the Providence Campus, addressed an amphitheater audience. He was replicating his grandmother's recipe for the underutilized organ that made him run when he was a kid but has ironically become a signature dish. His weeklong homecoming to campus included leading two demo-lectures for students, a Q&A interview streamed on Facebook, an alumni reception, book signing, and the role of guest chef for JWU's exclusive Epicurean Society dinner.
While the tripe was simmering in a pressure cooker, he prepared the popular item. Adding more butter, noting not as much as Paula Deen, he browned the sourdough bread that held the melting taleggio cheese, duck egg, bitter honey and truffle. "Grilled cheese is the most taken for granted item," he said. "I want to make the sexiest grilled cheese ever." By the moans among the audience, he is on the money.
The chef revealed his journey, both personal and professional. He lives with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, finding ways to thrive. Turning away from the audience for a moment to compose himself, he said softly, "Don't let anyone tell you can't. You have superpowers. Harness it." Winner of the fourth season of "Top Chef Masters," Cosentino resides in San Francisco with his wife and son.