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  • Chef Fonze Griger
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Chef Alphonse (Fonze)

Chef at The Chopping Block since: 2022

Favorite class to teach: Pasta Workshop & Flavor Dynamics  

Training/education: Bachelors in Culinary Nutrition with a focus in Research and Development from Johnson & Wales, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach

Cooking since: I was a kid but professionally started at the age of 13 in camp kitchens. Going on 11 years of cooking professional now.

Favorite childhood food experience: Having family dinner every night no matter what was going on was always something to look forward to and enjoy.

What made you want to become a chef? My original intention was to become a astronomer but due to placement issues, I switched to food centric studies, later to learn that there is more science in food then I originally thought.

What is your signature dish? Many people have asked me this and truth be told, I don't have one. I'm very much a mystery basket kind of person. Hand me your pantry, and I'll make something that tastes good, and if it doesn't taste good then at least we'll have a good time and get a few laughs throughout the experience.

What are the 5 ingredients you can't live without? Salt, Butter, Cream, Eggs, Flour

What do you love about cooking? The science that goes into it. Understand why and how something reacts the way it does and how to manipulate it to what I want it to do.

When you're creating a new recipe, what influences and inspires you? Usually when I'm traveling or out doing something with people, I'll notice an oddity and wonder, what if I applied this to XYZ and that's where it starts. What triggers that thought could have nothing to do with food, these usually result in the most unique creations.

What advice would you give a new cook? Don't take jobs solely for the money. Take them for the experience you'll get and the connections you'll make from it. Money will come later down the road, being both successful and happy is more about who you know than the skill level you possess.

What are you doing when you're not cooking? I'm either going on long 40 mile bike rides, reading, eating out with friends or de-stressing by playing some games with old friends.

Describe your perfect evening. Good drinks, good food, good company.

If you had friends in from out of town, where would you take them to eat? For quite a while, I would recommend Rosemary, which is still a solid option but with so many new places opening post-pandemic, it's hard to say.

Where are you from? Northeast Pennsylvania, middle of nowhere in the woods.

What was your favorite vacation? Took a trip to the country Jordan a little over a year ago, and it was a life-changing experience.

What are your hobbies? Photography, cooking, learning new things

What is your favorite band? I don't pay much attention to the names when listening to music. I really listen to anything except country.

What is your favorite sports team? I don't watch sports.

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be? My chef crush, Dominique Crenn. Something about the way she tells stories through her food and the energy she exudes that is magical.

What are your guilty pleasures? Eating ice cream and binging thriller TV shows.

Who is your favorite celebrity chef? Dominique Crenn

What 5 tools should every new cook have in the kitchen?

  • A utility knife

  • 10-inch metal tweezers (you'll thank me after using them for everything)

  • Microplane

  • Honing steel

  • Peeler. I feel like with those 5 items, you can do almost any task in a kitchen.

What resources would you suggest for Chopping Block clients? Utilize cooking books as a primary resource. Online sources are watered down versions of books. Books are written based on first hand experience or a large amount of research most times so the information is richer and typically well tested.

List three of your favorite tips or techniques you use in the kitchen.

  • Clean as you go (put everything back from where you grabbed it) this will make life much easier and cooking a lot more fun.

  • Have a game plan and prep everything you can in advance.

  • Think outside the box, there is more ways to do a single job than what you already know.


Fonze's Favorite Tool

Chopping KnivesI love the variety of knives we have at The Chopping Block. Everyone has a different preference for knives. This means there will never be a one-fit-all knife for everyone. We offer a variety of knives that can be tested so customers can truly get a knife that fits them best.