Hot Chef: Carmine Di Giovanni, Greenwich Project
The masterminds behind The Mulberry Project and Vinatta Project are back. Chef Carmine Di Giovanni brings fine dining with the Project Group’s signature cocktails to Greenwich Project, which opens Thursday (47 W. 8th Street, 212-253-9335).
How did you get your start as a chef?
I started at a young age. I was 16 when I started working at catering halls. Two years later I realized I had a passion for what I was doing. I started in New Jersey where I grew up. Shortly thereafter, at age 20, I was working in Manhattan. After finishing culinary school at New York Restaurant School I started working at Picholine.
Tell us about the menu at Greenwich Project.
Greenwich Project is modern American cuisine with European influences. The menu, like with any modern restaurant nowadays, is open to carnivores, vegetarians, pescatarians and everyone in between.
What’s your favorite dish currently on the menu?
My favorite dish is an odd couple: It’s sweet breads, snails and bacon.
What’s different about Greenwich Project?
The unique thing about the place is the upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs is casual, a place you can come to everyday. Upstairs is more upscale and classy without being pretentious. It’s approachable.
The Project Group is known for its interesting take on cocktails.
We have an extensive cocktail program. Guests can custom-make their own cocktails and use seasonal ingredients. My favorite cocktail would be bourbon and pineapple.
Do you cook when you’re at home?
I’m not much of a home cooker. I prefer to do it at the restaurant where we have more ingredients. I’ll have an occasional dinner party here and there, though.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant