Tom Colicchio's Headshot

Tom Colicchio

Celebrity Chef & Author, Top Chef Judge - Panelist Blurb

Tom Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food, cooking with his mother and grandmother. It was his father, however, who suggested that he make a career of it. Colicchio taught himself to cook with the help of Jacques Pepin's legendary illustrated manuals on French cooking, La Technique and La Methode. At age 17, he made his kitchen debut in his native town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, at Evelyn's Seafood Restaurant.

Colicchio then cooked at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. During his tenure as executive chef of Mondrian, Food & Wine magazine selected him as one of the top 10 "Best New Chefs" in the U.S. and the New York Times awarded the restaurant three stars.

In July 1994, Colicchio and his business partner Danny Meyer opened Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood. His cooking at Gramercy Tavern won consistent recognition, garnering three stars from Ruth Reichl of the New York Times and earning him The James Beard Foundation's 2000 "Best Chef-New York" Award.

In 2001, Colicchio opened Craft one block south of Gramercy Tavern. Soon after, The New York Times awarded Craft with three stars, deeming the restaurant "a vision of food heaven." Craft was awarded The James Beard Foundation Award for "Best New Restaurant" in 2002. That same year, Colicchio received The Bon Apetit American Food and Entertaining Award for "Chef of the Year." The New York Times revisited Craft in September 2011, ten years after its debut, upholding its three stars and stating that the restaurant is "as magical and delicious as it was when it was opened."

With Craft and its casual sibling, Craftbar, established in New York City, Colicchio set out to expand his simple, elegant brand of cooking. He has since opened Craftsteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (2002), Craft and Craftbar in Los Angeles (2007, 2009) and Craftsteak at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods (2008).

Colicchio opened his first 'wichcraft - a sandwich shop rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft - in New York City in 2003. Today 'wichcraft has 14 New York City locations, as well as locations at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Westfield Center in San Francisco.

He has published three cookbooks to date. The first, Think Like a Chef (2000), won The James Beard Foundation "KitchenAid" Cokbook Award in May 2001. His second cookbook, Craft of Cooking, was released in 2003. A sandwich book inspired by 'wichcraft was released in 2009.

Since 2006,  Colicchio has been applying his experience and expertise to cable television as the head judge on Bravo's hit reality cooking series Top Chef. The Emmy-winning show is currently in its 11th season.

In January 2010, he opened Colicchio & Sons in New York. At Colicchio & Sons, he improvises with small-batch ingredients from microproducers and family farmers, with whom he has forged decades-long relationships. The restaurant earned three stars from the New York Times. Later that year, Colicchio opened Riverpark in New York, with chef and partner Sish Ortuzar. Riverapark features views of the East River and urban farm supplied produce. In May of the same year, Colicchio was awarded The James Beard Foundation's coveted "Outstanding Chef" award, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work in the restaurant industry.

In fall 2012, he opened the restaurant at Topping Rose House, a new inn he is operating in Bridgehampton, New York, which made its full debut in 2013.

Colicchio appears in and served as Executive Producer on A Place at the Table, Participant Media's documentary about food and security in America. It was produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Colicchio's wife, Lori Silverbush and premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures released the film on March 1, 2013.

Colicchio brings his passion for cooking with fire to the Las Vegas Strip with the opening of Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at the Mirage. Opened in August 2013, the 250-seat restaurant focuses on meats prepared entirely over an open flame from wood burning ovens to charcoal grills. Looking forward, Colicchio will open a restaurant at One Hotel & Homes South Beach with a Mediterranean inspired menu, showcasing South Florida's local farms and fisherman.

Colicchio and his restaurants give back to the community by supporting charities including Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, Alex's Lemonade Foundation, United Way of New York, and Food Bank for New York City. He lives in the West Village with his wife, Lori Silverbush, and three sons.