Partner and Chef, The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex
After graduating with honors from Johnson & Wales University and traveling extensively through Europe, Chef Chris Santos honed his craft, palette and style with Executive Chef stints at the famed Time Café, and award-winning Latin restaurant, Suba. Sam Sifton described his first restaurant, the cult classic Wyanoka, in a 2002 $25 AND UNDER review as “sexy…and outrageously flavorful.”
In 2005, Santos introduced the world to his unique brand of communal dining with his debut restaurant, The Stanton Social. Inspired by Santos’ own world travels, The Stanton Social’s multi-cultural menu, designed for sharing, made for experiential dining with cuisine as delicious as it was entertaining.
The success of The Stanton Social had The New York Times once again praising Santos’ imagination and talent for the innovative way he tweaks traditional classics with an “infectious playfulness.” In 2007, he was named Star Chefs Rising Star Chef and began developing a sister-restaurant to his first smash hit.
In December of 2010, Chris welcomed Beauty & Essex to the Lower East Side.
With an operational pawnshop entrance, the estimable design firm AvroKo transformed the turn-of-the-century townhouse into a seductive, bi-level restaurant and lounge with a twenty-foot skylight and dramatic crystal chandeliers. The bigger space commands a larger menu and Santos accessorizes his signature share plates with bountiful Raw Bar offerings, creative twists on bruschetta cleverly named “Jewels on Toast,” and a selection of prime meats anchored by the show-stopping Dry Aged Bone-in Ribeye and feta-topped Beauty & Essex Lamb Burger.
Throughout his career, Santos has appeared as guest chef on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Rachael Ray Show, and has been a long-running judge on the Food Network’s most popular series Chopped. Santos has also worked as food stylist and consultant on movie sets including “No Reservations” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, and ”Hitch,” starring Will Smith. Outside of his chef whites, Santos’ involvement in boxing was well documented in the book “An Unforgiving Sport” by Muhammad Ali’s biographer, and he also pens his own articles for Eastside Boxing. His other loves— rock n’ roll and tattoos, have been featured in Inked and People Magazine amongst others.