New York native chef Christopher Faulkner’s take on food is innovative and perfectly encapsulates his travels, culinary heritage and training. As a ’94 graduate of Culinary Institute of America, his dishes incorporate international ingredients found in the regional cuisines of Asia, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean and Europe, where he has travelled and gathered ideas and techniques, working with professional chefs and inspired natural cooks.
It was in West Africa’s Ghana and Togo where Faulkner’s love for food began to take shape as a child when he snuck out of the house to sample the savory seasonings of thyme, garlic, ginger, chilies, basil and nutmeg found in the rich and spicy food at roadside food stands. His childhood also included trips to the Caribbean, where he learned to fish as well as season and smoke local seafood with his father and grandfather, whose roots hail from the British Virgin Islands.
Faulkner worked alongside his Brooklyn-native mother at her brownie factory in t he Bronx, did a stint in the late 80s as a bartender at world-music hotspot S.O.S.’s (Sounds of Brazil)-he was once known as “Crisco” in the club scene- and took a job at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant to help pay for school. Faulkner earned a degree from CIA and went on to work under American Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian at the Royalton Hotel’s restaurant Forty Four, where he focused on techniques in European and New American cuisine. His journey next took him to St. Galien, Switzerland to work in a regional restaurant and immerse himself in European culture and gastronomy, before returning to New York to work at Della Femina and again with Zakarian at Patroon and Town.
Faulkner would go on to work in various restaurants in Australia, Northern Italy, and travel throughout Europe and parts of Asia before assuming executive chef positions starting in 2005 at: Earl Monroe’s Restaurant, where he introduced the “New Harlem Cuisine”, a blend of cultural foods representative of the diverse Harlem community that now lives there; Solo, a top Glatt Kosher steakhouse; and Colors, a cooperative restaurant with a global cuisine. In 2011, he was tapped as Melba’s corporate executive chef and in 2015 he opened Dogs & Tails, an American-themed high-end hot dog and cocktail restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine.
Currently, Faulkner is the Executive Chef at Solomon & Kuff (opened December 2015 in West Harlem, NYC), where he is bringing a range of Caribbean flavors to those looking to experience the taste of a modern translation of West Indian culture and style. At home Faulkner enjoys experimenting with his prized rotisserie and variations of curry-and indulging his passions as a movie buff. He is also the founder of Potfish, a Harlem-based food startup.