Chef Cristino is a charmer and a visionary. He's got big ideas and more than his fair share of talent. As our Executive Chef, he commands the daily hustle and magic of our kitchen. Making sure everything that leaves the kitchen is perfectly seasoned, garnished, and most importantly, delicious. On any given day, you'll find him dreaming up a new SupperBell dish, throwing down some major dance skills, or even putting in some elbow grease in our dish pit. He's the kind of guy who leads by example. He contributes many of our recipes and is a mentor to our culinary team. Chef Cristino coaches his talented staff daily by teaching them new techniques and coming to work each day with a contagious smile. He is most certainly an asset. We hope you enjoy getting to know him too!
Favorite dish to cook? I love braising, the idea of taking not so popular cuts of meat, and allowing them to slowly break down into a silky dish gets me going.
Favorite song while you work? Anything by Psychedelic Furs. I’m such an 80’s guy, my staff, younger, just don’t get it. I think I’m driving them nuts.
What’s your food philosophy? I love the idea of family, and no family is truly “at one” unless they are around the dinner table. Those were the best memories I have. Food is the great pacifier, food makes people happy, loved, warm, and it should be sexy. It should represent passion.
Why do you love cooking? Cooking for me was always an escape and the most creative outlet I had growing up. When you are born into a Mexican and Italian family, cooking is central. I feel I have been blessed with an instinct for cooking, something that comes naturally, whether from my experiences traveling or from my grandmothers channeling their talents.
Where did you earn your kitchen chops? And, how do you continue to learn as a chef? My parents used to own a hotel, restaurant and two bars when I was young. After school, I would head straight to the kitchen and my friend, the Barber in the hotel, would make me something to eat. Always special. I just always enjoyed how vibrant and chaotic that life was. That being said I followed a different path for a long time until I finally decided to go to culinary school. My life has never been the same since!! It’s a wild ride, and I like it!
What is your favorite food memory from childhood and why? The first time I made my own meal was off this framed recipe in my grandmother’s house, I was 8. It was for Jambalaya from K-Paul restaurant in New Orleans. This has a very soft place in my heart since the recipe was brought back for my grandmother by my uncle, both who are not with us anymore. They were my early inspirations.
Congratulations! You have carte blanche to dine in any city or country in the world. Where would you go? Patagonia with Francis Mallmann!!
What makes SupperBell unique, and why do you love working here? SupperBell is unique in that we still get to be creative without all the stress of a restaurant environment. One of the challenges we have is changing menus every week, don’t know many restaurants that can claim that. I’m proud. The best part is the working relationship I have with my team, such talent and passion, and I feel some of the best cooks in Denver. I am truly excited for the future of this wonderful company!
Thank you for getting to know the people behind our great food! They make our chef-prepared meal delivery possible and are the legs we stand on. We're proud to have a dedicated team.