Michael Carrino

Essex County Country Club
Participating Events
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Saturday, May 4

Table 35 – Essex County Country Club – The Grand Tasting – Crystal Tavern {View Map}

Dish – Spring Rabbit Stew with yellow curry, peas, sanguinaccio dolce

Chef – Creator – Dreamer – Storyteller

Currently the Executive Chef of the historic Essex County Country Club, Chef Carrino brings his nearly three decades of culinary experience to the palates of the private club members in West Orange NJ.  Here Chef Carrino is able to use his expansive knowledge to merge and meld his experiences in a la carte fine dining, comfortable and cozy fair, large scale banquet and small intimate dinner settings all together for the benefit of the membership. 

Creator, Chef and owner of Pig & Prince Restaurant and the renowned French restaurant, Passionné, and co-owner of Mike’s Pasta and Sandwich Shoppe, is considered by many to be a pillar of the culinary world, and staple of the NJ restaurant and hospitality industry.  Carrino is known for creating progressive French-centric and Modern American cuisines, utilizing both classical and modern techniques all the while remaining hungry to innovate and expand his repertoire.  Staying true to his Garden State roots, Carrino is steadfastly committed to using local and sustainable raw materials to keep his cuisine purely, Jersey Fresh; a direct reflection of the place in which he works, plays, and resides.  Chef Carrino also maintains bountiful gardens of his own to use as not only a source of sustenance but a teaching tool for cooks and chefs alike.

A graduate of the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Carrino embarked on what is now a quarter century journey starting as a dishwasher/porter and honing his craft in every corner of the kitchen working towards Executive Chef and owner.  Carrino worked vigilantly through hotel kitchens in New Jersey, New York City and Virginia expanding his knowledge in cooking, baking, patisserie and butchery.  Within his tenure, he helped build and maintain four and five diamond dining status’ for the likes of Benchmark Hospitality International, and the Hilton Corporation before venturing out on his own.

Chef Carrino was inducted into the prestigious society of wine gurus, chefs, hotel executives and restaurant owners, known as The Chaîne des Rotisseurs, at the impressive age of 28.  On a remarkable ten separate occasions, Chef Carrino was invited to the prestigious James Beard Foundation in New York City to present his views and philosophies through food.  He was also invited to assist the chefs of Colonial Williamsburg for the 400th anniversary celebration of Jamestown, cooking for the likes of President George W. Bush, former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and dignitaries such as Margret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

Carrino supports local food, education and civic organizations including the NJ Foodshed Alliance (2019 Volunteer or the year) in which he has assisted in raising over one  million dollars in the past ten years for land and farm rescue,  the community food bank of New Jersey, Buy Fresh-Buy Local, North East Earth Coalition (awarded 2019 Urban Farmer of the year),  and Jersey Fresh to name a few.  He is a registered mentor at the Culinary Institute of America and has served on advisory committees for Nutley High School, Newark Vocational High School and Bergen Community College.  Chef Carrino is a fixture as the Culinary Mentor for the Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) Pro Start Culinary Competition Team.  In 2018 and 2019, he helped guide them as State Champions and to earn fourth place in the National Competition.

He also supports local charities including the Montclair Salvation Army where he has prepared and donated over 15,000 Thanksgiving meals over the course of a decade, Vincent Care Kitchen in Nutley, Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair, and has served as a participant and board member for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson’s Cooking for Kids fundraiser which has raised over one million dollars in donations over ten years for various wards of the hospital.   

He has made guest appearances on NBC’s Today Show, Good Day New York, CBS 2 Saturday Morning, PIX 11, ABC Morning Show, Today in New York, LX New York, News 12 New Jersey and has been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, New Jersey Monthly, The Star-Ledger, Inside NJ Magazine (NJ’s Best Chefs 2013), Edible New Jersey (Local Hero “Chef” 2015), Wall Street Journal,  New York Post and Zagat Dinning Guide and more.  He was also declared the winner of Food Network’s inaugural season cooking competition “Chopped.”