Chef Q + A: Greg Johnson of Sala on Hudson in Croton-on-Hudson

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Chef Greg Johnson

Sala on Hudson is a newcomer on the Croton-on-Hudson dining scene. With a full lineup of tapas and wine list to boot, the eatery offers traditional Spanish flavors through a variety of different plates. Here’s the inside scoop on the man behind the menu— from the chef at Sala on Hudson, Greg Johnson.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? 

Even though I never had an “aha” moment, I thought becoming a chef would be a good fit for me. I always enjoyed throwing huge BBQs in the summer and cooking with my family. I started working in restaurants when I was 15. I had no idea what was involved when I started going to cooking school, but I worked into it.

 You mentioned school. What is your background and training?

I graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2001. I worked for Mario Batali,  at Fresco By Scotto, then Abbocatto Ristorante for the Livanos Family.

Sala on Hudson, where you are now, is a Spanish tapas restaurant. What do you like most about working with that kind of menu? 

Tapas are a challenge, and I like that challenge. As a chef, you have to get as much flavor as possible into one or two bites. Some on the things on the menu seem simple, but are complex in flavor.

What is your favorite dish on the menu and why?

Fideos con Almejas (clams served with thin pasta). It’s my Spanish version of linguine and clams, which is one of my favorite dishes!

What is your favorite dish to cook at home? 

I still have to go with the linguine and clams. My wife absolutely loves it!

What are three must-have items everyone should have in their kitchen? 

Bacon, anything seafood, and really good Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

What’s your favorite ingredient to work with?

I love fresh heirloom tomatoes. You can do so many different things with them and pair them with just about anything.

Sala on Hudson, 44 Maple St., Croton-on-Hudson. 914-862-4100, www.SalaOnHudson.com

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IntoxiKate.com creator Katie Schlientz started her love affair with food after she cooked her first dinner for her family. On the menu? Straight out of the box mac 'n cheese. While her cooking skills and palate have certainly matured since then, she still loves watching people experience good food. To join the Westchester #foodienation, visit IntoxiKate.com.

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