One of the youngest corporate chefs in the state, Jared Calderone, 26, has
an impressive résumé.
He has worked with the some of the top talents in the Northeast, including Peter X. Kelly, who appeared on Iron Chef America, and David Burke. He’s gone fishing with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and was a personal chef for Bruce Springsteen. The most intimidating person he has had to cook for was former president George W. Bush, when he prepared food for a Republican Party event. One day, he would like the opportunity to cook for comedian/actor Larry David. “I believe his outlook on life is exceptional and completely obnoxious,” Calderone said, adding that he’s not sure what he would like to cook for the actor, but he’s sure the experience would be fun.
In the meantime, he is preparing for a career in the spotlight, much like those of his mentors. He regularly does cooking demonstrations for WFSB-TV’s Better Connecticut, and is currently deciding if he wants to accept offers to appear on the Food Network’s Iron Chef or Chopped. He’d like a chance at the Chopped show, to get some television experience before working his culinary magic in the Iron Chef kitchen stadium alongside celebrated chefs Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Masaharu Morimoto, Jose Garces and Michael Symon.
Before the cameras roll, however, Calderone is making a name for himself as the preeminent local chef when it comes to Asian fusion dishes. Calderone, who has an Italian background, wanted to move away from that and create American food with an Asian influence. “It’s a passion,” he said.
The things he most enjoys about his job are meeting new people and developing new dishes. “A lot of people say that… I inspire cooking by creating whimsical cuisine.” When it comes to cooking for guests, he likes to be inventive.
When he has time to get out of the kitchen, Calderone heads to Vermont or he goes out fishing, specifically for tuna. He once caught a 550-pound tuna that he, Burke and guests ripped opened, prepared and ate right there on the boat.
Calderone says when it comes to cooking, it all comes down to “simple, fresh ingredients, teamwork and having fun.”