From the Table to the Page: Chefs of the Meadowlands

As a culture, our appetite to know more about the masters behind the meals is insatiable, with more than 100 chef-centered television shows in production. Celebrity chefs rose in number and popularity since Julia Child’s debut in 1963. Today, three chefs have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The real celebrity chefs, however, are those right here in the Meadowlands. These kitchen artists know you by name and often know what you will order. These are the local eateries and elegant dining rooms you turn to for date night, takeout, or any reason to nosh. These are the local chefs (and even celebs) who have earned your trust no matter the occasion. 

Chefs of the Meadowlands: The Series

Some of the region’s brightest food stars sit down with Meadowlands Magazine in a series of one-on-one conversations that serve up backstories about food, cooking, and working in the restaurant business. 

The series kicks off with Glen Ridge Country Club Executive Chef Dennis Crouse. Longtime Meadowlands journalist Kelly Nicolaides goes behind the scenes at a wine pairing event and talks to kitchen maestro Dennis Crouse. 

Next Up In Chefs of the Meadowlands

Elia Mediterranean Restaurant Executive Chef Jose Luis Falcón 

Meadowlands Racetrack Executive Chef Chris Burnett

There’s something irresistible when a chef wields a knife with clever precision and has dominion over fish, fowl, and everything else that could become or complement a meal. The restaurant industry, like many that rose from the swamps to prominence, continues to expand with mouth-watering accolades.

The Meadowlands region has the recipe for success for launching top restaurants, attracting the best chefs, and growing brands that can go the distance. The writing team at Meadowlands Magazine (with expanded coverage at can’t wait to introduce you to the movers and shakers who make mealtime magic.

Elia Mediterranean Restaurant Executive Chef Jose Luis Falcón 

In the December issue, Meadowlands Magazine Editor Cindy Capitani dishes with Jose Luis Falcón, the Executive Chef at Elia Mediterranean Restaurant. Chef Falcón’s impressive background and deep expertise are the ingredients that help ensure Elia serves up an authentic Greek estiatório that feeds mind, body, and soul.

The elegant East Rutherford brasserie offers a Greek feast for all of the senses and homes in on tiny details that cook up a discernible difference. Elia opened just in time to ring in 2018 after overhauling the decor and menu of the iconic Park & Orchard restaurant. The stylish, trendsetting Park & Orchard was a pioneer in 1978 South Bergen County, a time when vegetarian and health-centered fine dining was so avant-garde. 

More than five years later and with a global pandemic thrown in, Elia and Chef Falcón are several chapters deep into the writing of another restaurant success story at 240 Hackensack St. in East Rutherford.

Meadowlands Racetrack Executive Chef Chris Burnett 

Chef Chris Burnett will indulge anyone who asks – because people always do – about his time as a contestant on “Chopped” (he was on Season 32; the show is now at 52). But like any chef worth his salt, Chef Burnett really just wants to talk food.

The celebrated chef took the executive reins at the Meadowlands Racetrack in June and will bring his spin on flavors and pairings to both the Pink and Trotters dining rooms. His culinary touch will also be felt throughout the racetrack wherever food is offered.

On “Chopped,” Chef Burnett was critiqued by renowned culinary artists Aarón Sánchez, Geoffrey Zakarian and Chris Santos. The judges loved what Chef Burnett prepared: Japanese whiskey barbecue wings with Chinese broccoli salad. Chef Burnett prepared an appetizer of Japanese whiskey barbecue wings with Chinese broccoli salad. 

See the December issue of Meadowlands Magazine for more!

Cindy Capitani is the Communications & Content Manager at the Meadowlands Chamber. Send press releases and inquiries to