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Christopher       Paola

Christopher Gross

Christopher Gross has a love of food and wine. He has spent years discovering and learning about food and wine in kitchens throughout Europe and the great dining rooms of notable American restaurants. Today, he has a solid reputation of a highly regarded, award-winning chef.

From renowned kitchens in Europe to the great dining rooms of American restaurants, Christopher Gross discovered and perfected his love of food and wine, devoting all of his knowledge and experience to establishing his reputation as a highly regarded chef.

His culinary legacy continues with the opening of his newest and most modern restaurant and lounge to date at the Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix, Christopher’s & Crush Lounge, which was already named one of the top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. by Gayot.com.

Christopher's love of food came about by chance. He landed a position with Phoenix's Adam's Hotel in 1974 where he was first exposed to cooking in the French tradition. He relocated to Los Angeles, working at the Marina City Club and Century Plaza from 1975-1978, which eventually led to a decision to head to Europe. He worked in London for a short time at the Thierry Restaurant, but set on Paris, he secured a position in 1979 at Chez Albert, a Michelin starred restaurant. After Chez Albert, Christopher worked in Normandy in a patisserie, Maison Koberly, before returning to the United States.

In 1981, Christopher chose Los Angeles and the outstanding L'Orangerie as the place to continue his cooking career. Returning to the Phoenix valley in 1983, Christopher was Chef de Cuisine at La Champagne, at the Registry Resort in Scottsdale. His first joint venture in 1985 was Le Relais. In 1990, Christopher opened Christopher's and Christopher's Bistro, in the heart of the Biltmore area of Phoenix. In 1998, Christopher opened Christopher's Fermier Brasserie & Paola’s Wine Bar within the Biltmore Fashion Park.

Among his many media recognitions, Christopher was named one of America's 10 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine. Christopher's, the restaurant, was named Best New Restaurant by William Rice of the Chicago Tribune and Best New Restaurant by John Mariani of Esquire. In 1995, Perrier Jouet and the James Beard Foundation named Christopher Best Chef Southwest. In 1997 Christopher was the first chef in Arizona to be bestowed the honor of the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence.

His previous restaurants, Christopher's and Christopher's Bistro, and Christopher’s Fermier at Biltmore Fashion Park received prestigious accolades in Gourmet, Conde Nast, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Bon Appetit, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, Phoenix Home and Garden, The New York Times, Connoisseur, Home Beautiful, and others. Christopher’s Fermier Brasserie & Paola’s Wine Bar were also awarded America’s Best Restaurant – Phoenix & Scottsdale, Gourmet Magazine 2002, Best French Restaurant – Best of Phoenix 2002 & 2003, The New Times, and Best Lunch – The Rep’s Best 2002, Arizona Republic.

Christopher has become a dominating figure within the industry, consulting regularly for Club Med, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Lines, Disney and others. Christopher has also been featured on numerous panels with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. He and his recipes have appeared in numerous cookbooks, including the Julia Child PBS series and cookbook "In the Kitchen with Master Chefs."

He has also been a featured chef for the James Beard Foundation Dinner of the Decade,, "A Salute to Peter Kump"; and the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games; and has cooked for President Ford, President Reagan, President Bush, Vice President Al Gore and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Christopher orchestrated the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) and was its founding chairman, is on the National Board for the American Liver Foundation, has served as co-chair of the American Liver Foundation’s “Flavors of Phoenix” events, and was former Chair of the Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation” events. Christopher was also on the National Advisory Board for the James Beard Foundation and the Advisory Board of the Art Institute of Phoenix.

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