“Don’t let life’s momentum define your journey.”
Cooking and eating have always been passions of mine. I remember sitting on the kitchen counter as a 5 year old, watching my mother cook dinner for countless holiday gatherings that centered around the kitchen. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized how happy all those moments made me and that i wanted to share that experience with others. I want to cook for people and have them feel like they are sitting in my home at a family gathering, unknowingly creating memories.”
Joe Conti’s childhood memories drive his passion for food. During the week, he is seen juggling a hectic schedule like most in New York City. But in his spare time, he works at a Michelin star Japanese restaurant to gain culinary experience. The rest of his time is spent enjoying delicious meals with his girlfriend at various Japanese restaurants, where he can taste and observe the different styles of preparation.
To make his dream of opening a small restaurant of his own come true, every Saturday, Joe prepares a 10-15 course meal to four lucky guests that night, with the help of his friend and future business partner, Chef Ryunosuke Sato. Each course is prepared with local farmer’s market vegetables and high quality meats that may be sous vided for up to 48 hours. He hopes that practicing in his own kitchen first would help him perfect the taste and presentation before opening his own restaurant.
Although, after several months scouting for the right location and having leases fall apart at the last minute, owning his own restaurant seems more like a dream than a reality. Joe hopes to find a place in the West Village before his patience runs thin. Luckily, he has the ability to see both the financial and creative side of the restaurant business, which will allow him to be a successful entrepreneur. It is not just about serving great food he says, but also about giving the best service and hospitality. To Joe, every colleague or employee is not just a person he works with, but a valuable part of his family. Follow Joe Conti at @ichibonnomnom to get a taste of what he serves in his test kitchen.