Michael Carrino, chef and partner of Trois Cochons, operators of Pig & Prince Restaurant and Gastro-Lounge in Montclair, NJ, is considered by many a rising star in the culinary world. Recognized for his first concept, Restaurant Passionné, Carrino is known for creating progressive French cuisine utilizing both classical and modern techniques using local, sustainable foods that give true meaning to the term, Jersey Fresh.
His views are global; his passions are local, and true to his roots. Carrino is a proud New Jersey resident - born and raised in the Garden State. New Jersey is his home. His food is a reflection of the place he calls home.
Chef Carrino raises the bar on the farm-to-table concept. He cures his own meats, frequents local farmers markets, helps in the operation of a local greenhouse and proactively works with breeders assisting in raising the livestock that appear on the menus at Pig & Prince. Close involvement with these sources enables him to offer the most superior quality meats, poultry, produce and charcuterie possible.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, 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. He has worked in kitchens from New York City to Virginia where he helped build and maintain a four diamond dining status. Upon his return to New Jersey, he worked at such notable restaurants as the North Maple Inn at Basking Ridge and Church and Dey restaurant in Manhattan’s Millennium Hilton before venturing out on his own.
On three separate occasions, Carrino was invited to present his views of sustainable foods through his “Jersey’s Best” dinner concept for the prestigious members of the world famous James Beard Foundation in New York City. 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.
He has made guest appearances on NBC’s Today Show, Good Day New York, CBS 2 Saturday Morning, 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, Inside New Jersey, The Star-Ledger, New York Post and Zagat Dinning Guide and more. He was also declared the winner of his episode of Food Network’s inaugural season cooking competition “Chopped,” hosted by Ted Allen.
Carrino supports local food, education and civic organizations including the NJ Foodshed Alliance, Buy Fresh, Buy Local and Jersey Fresh. He is a registered mentor at the Culinary Institute of America and serves on advisory committees for Nutley High School, Newark Vocational High School and Bergen Community College. He supports local charities including Toni’s Kitchen of Montclair, and the Montclair Salvation Army where he prepares and donates over 300 Thanksgiving meals annualy, Vincent Care Kitchen in Nutley and regularly appears at the annual Cooking for Kids fundraiser for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson.