Behind the Scenes

Toast and Talk:
Christian Petroni

Welcome to Toast and Talk! Each month, we’ll sit down for a conversation with chefs, restauranteurs, business owners, and fellow foodies who inspire us and love food just as much as we do.

Christian Petroni is living his dream. He is the Chef-Owner of Fortina, an Italian restaurant that brought his vision of serving rustic, wholesome, seasonal food to life with five locations in New York and Connecticut. Petroni is also the winner of season 14 of Food Network Star, has appeared as a judge on both Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, and has been on shows such as Thanksgiving Challenge, Guys Grocery Games, Bite Club, and Family Food Showdown.

What is your favorite toast?
Whole wheat toast, with grass-fed butter, and my mother in law’s Harry’s Berries Strawberry Marmalade.

What is your favorite thing to order at Fortina?
Famous Rays Pizza (marinara, shredded mozzarella, and oregano).

Who is your biggest food inspiration?
Cesare Casella

What’s your go-to weeknight meal to cook at home?
My wife’s sausage and peppers.

What’s your favorite restaurant to go to when you’re celebrating something special? And, conversely, on any given night?
Special – Peasant in NYC
Every night – Kawa Ni in Westport, CT

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?
Auguste Escoffier

What’s the best cooking advice you ever got?
K.I.S.S. – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one food, what would it be?
Mashed potatoes

Sweet or salty? Salty
Burger or hot dog? Burger
New York or Chicago style pizza? New York!
Soup or salad? Neither
Chocolate or vanilla? Depends on the situation

Photos courtesy of Fortina.

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