Chef Stephanie Landis
Born: Dec. 30, 1973, Marion, Ind.
Grew up: La Fontaine, Ind.
Culinary school: Culinary Institute of America
Experience: The Bird & Bottle Inn in Garrison, MacMenamin’s Grill in New Rochelle
Cooking style: Farm-to-table
Signature dish: Pernil, our slow-cooked pork, which is authentically Puerto Rican cuisine: perfectly marinated, slow-cooked and fall-off-the-bone tender, with the delish crispy chicharron also known as crispy skin.
Why she’s one to watch: It’s hard to stand out around here, and Landis has done just that with aplomb. She makes dining exciting, and we think she’s brave to tackle a style of cuisine that no one else is. Her Puerto Rican menu is gutsy — garlicky ropa vieja, hearty arroz con pollo — but never over-the-top. And if you’ve never had pernil, a lip-smacking, finger-licking Latino take on pulled pork — here is the place to try it.
Future influence: “I focus on cooking classes, team-building events and interactive cooking parties at Don Coqui. I believe that cooking for yourself is a valuable skill … You have to eat to survive and you can’t go out to eat every night.”
Linda Lombroso contributed. Photo by Xavier Mascarenas/TJN.