Christopher Albrecht was born and raised in Central New Jersey. Growing up he spent most of his time either down the shore on Long Beach Island, playing baseball or immersed in the theater at Plays in the Park. It was the theater that instilled in him the appreciation and electricity for the nightly rise of the curtain. If he wasn’t at the theater he could be found on the baseball diamond all over New Jersey and eventually at the University of Southern California, where three years of varsity baseball would teach him the dedication and sacrifice needed for success.
But it was his time on Long Beach Island that would lead him to his first cooking job at the Gourmet Mooring in Beach Haven, a busy seasonal Seafood and Steakhouse. Here Chris got his first taste of kitchen management eventually working his way thru the entire kitchen.
Since then he has worked with some of the worlds most renown chefs. After college Albrecht returned to New Jersey to work with chef Richard Baulis at the acclaimed Mulberry Street Restaurant in South Brunswick. Simultaneously Albrecht worked at the Princeton Hyatt, before being inspired to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, graduating in October of 1996.
Albrecht then went to Manhattan to work at Danny Meyer’s world renown and Zagat rated, Gramercy Tavern. There he worked closely with “Top Chef”, and James Beard award winner Tom Colicchio for 3 years becoming the Saucier. He then studied the next 3 years with James Beard award winning pastry chef Claudia Fleming, working his way to Assistant Pastry Chef. As Claudia’s right hand, Albrecht worked directly with her to publish The Final Course, while traveling extensively to promote Gramercy Tavern, Danny, Tom and Claudia.
Chris then went on the participate as a sous chef in the opening of Colicchio’s innovative Craft Restaurant in New York City before assuming the role of Executive Chef at Craftsteak Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino for 4 years, ultimately overseeing the entire Craft operation there including the Wichcraft Sandwich concept. Under his guidance Craftsteak in Las Vegas was named the Best New Restaurant, Best Steakhouse, and Best American Restaurant by Las Vegas Life magazine. It was also named Best Overall by the New York Times and Best Steakhouse in North America by Travel and Leisure magazine. Following his time in Las Vegas Chef Albrecht returned to New York City to open the eagerly awaited Craftsteak New York, completing a 12 year run with Chef Colicchio.
From there Chef Albrecht partnered with the Terra Momo Group opening Eno Terra in Kingston, NJ, and subsequently Canal Farm the two acre farm that produced most of the produce used at Eno Terra; soil fertility, seed selection and crop diversity were at the forefront of Canal Farm. Eno Terra received 4 stars from the New York Times, 3.5 stars from the star Ledger, and was a perennial top 25 in NJ Monthly’s Top Restaurants. After 7 years at the helm of Eno Terra, Albrecht left his home state of NJ to work with the Farmer’s Restaurant Group in the Washington DC Area. After almost two years on the road, missing his home state and family, Albrecht returned to the Garden State to assisted in the reopening of the legendary Park and Orchard Restaurant in East Rutherford NJ.
Since then, Albrecht’s awareness and disgust of the processed food industry has lead him back to the soil, the place where flavor and nutrition intersect. Feeling a responsibility to feed people not just delicious flavorful food but food that makes you feel good about eating, has lead Albrecht to arguably the most prestigious restaurant in NJ, The Ryland Inn. “I am thrilled to put my mark on the great legacy of the Ryland Inn, there is no better platform for all things Food & Beverage in the Garden State” says Albrecht and thus the stage is set. Albrecht continues “My food reflects an understanding of technique, seasonality, flavor, and nutritional density, while taking inspiration from American, French and Italian regional sensibilities”
Albrecht has worked in charity and industry events such as the Masters of Food and Wine, Taste of the Nation, Bon Appetit Focus, and frequent dinners at the James Beard House. He has cooked with a veritable who’s who of America’s culinary celebrities such as Thomas Keller, Jean-Louis Paladin, Jacques Pepin, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton, and countless others.
He has often been invited to lead cooking seminars, give a Tedx talk, participate in panel discussions at Princeton University and give live demonstrations, besides appearing on numerous radio, and television segments as well as trade magazines.
His culinary style focuses on high quality, nutrient dense, seasonal ingredients from small Family owned and operated Farms and Ranches, delivered at the peak of flavor, and combining those ingredients with the attention to details, integrity and technique he has learned over the past twenty-five years. “Food is Medicine, and we don’t need a prescription to reap the benefits, just a table and a fork.”
Chef Albrecht also has two wonderful daughters, Olivia and Lily, both of whom enjoy spending time in the kitchen and exploring local farms and food.