Team Fred Meyer: Celebrity Chefs Chris Cosentino and Rick Gencarelli

February 4, 2019

When the spellers take the stage at the Schoolhouse Supplies 2019 Celebrity Spelling Bee presented by Fred Meyer, will Chris Cosentino and Rick Gencarelli cook up a championship team?  Representing Team Fred Meyer, these celebrity chefs will definitely heat up the competition.  Read on to learn more about Chris Cosentino, Chef & Owner of Portland’s lauded Jack Rabbit and spelling teammate Rick Gencarelli, Chef & Owner of acclaimed Lardo and Grassa.

Chef, author, cyclist and philanthropist, Chris Cosentino is co-owner of Jackrabbit restaurant in Portland, OR, San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb restaurant, and Acacia House at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Napa Valley, along with business partner Oliver Wharton, through their hospitality company Delicious MFG & CO.

Jackrabbit, which opened in spring 2017, draws inspiration from Portland’s history and highlights the Pacific Northwest’s rich ingredient palate and talented artisans. Cosentino’s love affair with Portland started eight years prior to opening Jackrabbit. He had been traveling to the Pacific Northwest often and fell in love with everything Portland had to offer – stunning nature, beautiful bike routes, and a community unlike any other; but it’s the passion for craftsmanship that lives within the people of Portland that truly kept him coming back and eventually led him to opening Jackrabbit.

A graduate of the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University, Cosentino has cooked at some of the country’s most beloved restaurants, including Red Sage in Washington, D.C. and Rubicon, Belon, and Redwood Park in San Francisco. At Incanto, his first executive chef position, Cosentino drew critical acclaim for his innovative Italian and whole animal cooking. During Incanto’s twelve-year tenure, Cosentino mastered the art of handcrafted cured meats and sustainable cooking, addressing often-overlooked meats, vegetables and food waste.

Cosentino is the author of two cookbooks, Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal, and Offal Good: Cooking from the Heart with Guts, celebrating whole-animal cooking. He has also collaborated with Marvel to write “Wolverine: In The Flesh.” Cosentino won season four of BRAVO’s “Top Chef Masters,” earning over $140,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation and is also a member of Chefs Cycle, a 300-mile annual bicycle ride that raises funds and awareness in support of No Kid Hungry.

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Rick Gencarelli spent four years as sous chef at Todd English’s Olives. Rick moved cross country to San Francisco where he worked at both Rubicon and One Market restaurants. He crossed the continent once again to open Miramar Restaurant and Olives Restaurant in New York City. Later, Rick became the Chef at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, located on the non-profit environmental education center and working farm in Shelburne, Vermont. In 2009, Rick and his family moved to Portland, drawn to the diverse food culture and its commitment to local, sustainable, farm to table cuisine. Rick opened Lardo as a food cart in September 2010, and now has three thriving brick-and-mortar restaurants.