What is the best thing I love about my work?
If I weren’t a caterer I’d probably get arrested for force-feeding people. My mother taught me that food is love. I love to share the love.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
In Provincetown Massachusetts. There is a spectacular white angelic light that appears just before the sun stars to set. Looking out at the aging fishing boats on the bay illuminated in that light is as close to heaven as it gets.
What is my greatest fear?
My mother passed away just as she was starting to live. I’m okay with dying but not with not truly living while I’m here.
What is the trait I most deplore in myself?
I have spent too much time in the past worrying. Worrying never helped anyone.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
As a writer and an activist I admire Hillary Clinton. She took more crap than anyone should endure and still manages to speak in a loving, powerful, forgiving way.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I spend way too much money on hotels. I’m a 4-star and 5-star hotel junkie.
One what occasion would I lie?
I’m a famously terrible liar. You never want me a poker game! Really! I’m pathetic! I would lie if it was to save another person.
What is the thing I dislike the most about my work?
In catering, I hate all the annoying legal crap. Between the fire inspector and the board of health. It’s a wonder I have time to cook.
When and where was I the happiest in my work ?
I’ve been all over the country on the world’s longest book tour for “The Raging Skillet.” People have given me standing ovations. They laugh at “almost” all of my jokes. I have to keep pinching myself!
If I could what would I change about myself?
I wish that I could be a little more available in the morning. Lordy I’m a terrible morning person!
What is my greatest achievement in work?
We have won The Knot best of wedding caterer in NYC 7 years in a row! All sorts of other awards. But having my memoir published is the achievement I am most proud of.
Where would I most like to live?
I’d love to live in Provincetown 9 months a year and go to a MUCH warmer place for the coldest 3 months of winter. A different place every year.
What is my most treasured possession?
I have a gorgeous, old, impressionistic oil painting of a young woman. She brings me melancholy joy. Melancholy joy is the perfect home for my writing brain.
What is my most marked characteristic?
I am famous for being loud and rude but so funny you will laugh and not be offended, hopefully. I will probably say the word vagina within five minutes of meeting you.
What is the most inspirational location in my city?
I love walking along the water east near the FDR in Manhattan. It has a rough a ready charm. I like to see nature and urban life mix it up.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city?
I love pastrami at Katz deli! It’s not really kosher so my mother would not approve but as close to the lower east side of my childhood as I can get. I’m not much of a drinker.
What books influenced my life and how?
I never recuperated from reading “Call of the Wild” by Jack London as a child. It opened me up to thinking of books as a journey. I was right there on that ice in the middle of summer. Better than air conditioning.
Who are my favorite writers?
I love David Sedaris, Patti Smith, Anthony Bourdain, Jacques (Jack) Kerouac, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, an eclectic mix I know.
You only die once what music would I listen to on my last day?
Joan Jett would rock my last day. “Don’t give a damn bout my bad reputation!”
Who is my hero or heroin in fiction?
I’m a fan of “Mildred Pierce”. She lost it all over love then got it back again in a different way. Also love my super heroes; The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
I love courage. My BRAVE stars are; Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Ashley Judd and Gloria Steinem.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
“13 Going on 30.” It’s embarrassing to admit but I just love that movie.
What role plays art in my work and life?
My whole life is art. I’m a painter, writer and chef. Whether I am cooking or painting or writing I try to share my soul every day.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, and partner in crime?
My mother was always a huge champion of mine. It took decades after she died to find another cheerleader. My girlfriend Lydia is always there front and center applauding, sometimes scolding, but always there.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017?
I’d love to go on Anthony Bourdain’s show, only I’m gluten free and owing to growing up Jewish, don’t eat pork and shellfish. He might hate me!
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017?
I’d love to meet Anthony Bourdain and Patti Smith.
What Project in 2017 am I looking forward to work on?
I am really jazzed about working with my publisher on my second book. But I am equally jazzed about my first screen play. I want Natasha Lyonne to play me and Harvey Fierstein to play my mother.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
“The Raging Skillet” was adapted into a play by awesome play wright Jacques Lamarre. It is scheduled to run the month of August at Theatre Works in Hartford Connecticut. How often in life do you get to see someone play you?!
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
Passion is the base sauce for life stew. I’m not talking about sex, although yeah that’s nice. I’m talking deep, glorious, base of your soul, passion for all that you love to do.
How can you contact me?
My web site www.theragingskillet.com is a great way to find me.
Or my Facebook page chefrossinyc