Chef Chris joined the Tsillan Familia in November of 2015, and has been creating culinary masterpieces with his elite team at Sorrento’s Ristorante. For Chris, being an executive chef means more than just serving great food, it’s about the experience, the passion and the memory.

Chef Chris began his culinary career when he was 14 years old at Campbell’s as a dishwasher. It was there that he found his love for food. Chris began working on the kitchen line as a cook when he was 17 and his responsibilities grew from there. He says, “that was my first bite in my culinary journey.”

When Chris graduated from high school, he spent four years in the military only to return to the kitchen once he had served four years, saying “As soon as I got out, I went right back into it.”

Chris excelled and ran the veranda kitchen at Campbell’s and moved up the ranks from there, becoming a sous chef and diving into all aspects of fine dining. Throughout his career, Chris has worn many hats in the industry: He’s been a line cook, a sous chef, a server, bartender and general manager.

And yet, after seeing every aspect of food service, Chris’s home is in the kitchen. “That’s where you really find the passion, the creativity. I always come back to food. Always.”

Chef Chris is intensely focused on the final product his team sends out of the kitchen. “When I serve something, that is me on the plate.”

Chris enjoys different styles of cuisine but holds a special place in his heart for Creole, Cajun and especially Italian food. “It’s all about passion with Italian, Cajun and Creole it’s all about passion. You through fresh ingredients together and let them cook for 12 hours and let them intensify. To me, there is nothing better.”

The family dynamic has been a source of inspiration for Chef Chris, and it feeds into his philosophy of teaching and growing together as a team. “I don’t have people who work for me, I have people I work with.”

For Chef Chris, working at Sorrento’s has been challenging and wonderful. “The matter of the way we feel when we go to work. We’re appreciated. We are a part of the family,” says Chef Chris. “Bob comes and speaks to every day. He’s totally invested, pulling weeds, talking to guests, in the tasting room pouring wine. When the owner loves life, everyone loves life.”

Chef Chris is dedicated to creating not just an amazing meal but a full-on experience. “We are in the business of making memories. Many times people come out for a meal. Sometimes it’s just a stop in to get lunch. Sometimes it’s a wedding anniversary or a first date, we want to help create that memory for them.”