Chef George DeMarsico
Born: June 16, 1974, Suffern
Grew up: Bardonia
Culinary school: “Life has been my culinary school. I was never formally trained — I just always had a passion for food.”
Experience: Doral Arrowwood in Purchase, N.Y., Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard; Harvest Bistro in Closter, N.J.; Relish in Sparkill; Bedford Post Inn in Bedford; X20 in Yonkers.
Cooking style: “My cooking style is in a constant state of evolution. My philosophy, I would say, is if you start with spectacular local and regional products its hard to go wrong.”
Signature dish: “I have never understood why anyone would like to be known for one specific dish. I try to keep my cooking in the moment.”
Favorite ingredient: “All things pig.”
Why we chose him: DeMarisco first made a name for himself at the now-closed Relish in Sparkill, where his beautifully plated, innovative dishes belied the simple, schoolhouse setting of the restaurant. His love for local ingredients has made its way onto Xaviars’ Sunday menu, which features a farmers market dinner. In October, for example, he served a steamed Long Island black bass with local Swiss chard gratin and ginger-beet coulis, a colorful combination of sweet and tart.
Future influence: “I would love to be known as someone who inspired other chefs to take more of an active role in sourcing and using local products.”
Karen Croke contributed. Photo by Peter Carr/TJN.