Chef Christopher Palmer is a professionally trained chef with more than 25 combined years of experience in the culinary and hospitality industries.
Palmer was born in New York but raised in Cleveland, Ohio where he learned cooking from his father at home before working part time in restaurants throughout middle and high school.
After a brief stint working with sheet metal, he realized his true passion for creating in the kitchen so he took a position at Blue Moose Saloon, a historic Cleveland sports bar where he worked as a line cook, before moving to West Palm Beach to attend school at Florida Culinary.
After attaining his degree in 2004, Palmer served as the Executive Sous Chef for Ocean Properties LLC at resorts in Bar Harbor, ME, Delray Beach, FL and Jupiter, FL. After gaining valuable experience in hotel service, Palmer embarked on a journey of classical European training under Zach Bell at Caf Boulud in Palm Beach, FL. For three years he held the tournant and saucier position under Bell.
In 2010, Palmer assisted with the opening of Chef Allen Susser's Taste Gastropub in Delray Beach FL, as the Chef de Cuisine, where he complimented Chef Allen with menu development and culinary concepts.
After opening Taste Gastropub, Palmer started an independent venture as a personal chef for an international celebrity, while consulting on kitchen design, menus, hiring and training for several South Florida restaurants including Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Lantana Jacks Bar & Grill in Lantana, FL; Slainte Irish Pub & Kitchen in Boynton Beach, FL and Tequila Cowboy in City Place, FL.
Palmer worked at Tequila Cowboy full-time as the Director of Operations before accepting his current position as the Executive Chef at American Social's second location in Downtown Miami.
Palmer has been praised in the Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel as the "gastro pub comfort-food connoisseur", and he is regarded for his knowledge and leadership in the kitchen, advanced culinary techniques and dedication toward using local, fresh ingredients.
Learn More About Chris Palmer
What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
I would say around five years old during lent. Going to our church and watching all the ladies making the pierogies. Potato, farmers cheese, sauerkraut and even prune! Watching how much fun and love they were putting into the production of these hand made pierogies (thousands). I remember being in awe. Could not wait to get home and open up the foil packages and the smell of the sautï¿½ed onions. Spectacular.
If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
To be honest, the memory didn't start out good but finished great. When we were first setting up last year, we were not getting enough electrical juice to the waffle makers. Five minutes before "go time" we finally got the problem solved. To win SOBEWFF Best Bite after a tough beginning, to me, sums up life in a kitchen.
If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
I loved cooking with Daniel Boulud and Zach Bell -very intense. So its tough to pick better Chef in my mind. I would have to say Alice Waters for the simple fact of the way she helped us all really think about food.
I never leave home without my:
If I'm going to be prepping and cooking this is an easy one; My J.A. Henckels Professional Chef Knife. It is not one of those fancy Japanese knives that everyone likes to use now a days, but it has never let me down.