Between working on plans for a new San Francisco restaurant to open later this year, serving as co-creator and chef of Boccalone artisanal salumeria and raising a family in San Francisco, chef and offal enthusiast Chris Cosentino partnered with local skateboard company FTC for a limited-edition signature skateboard.
We caught up with him to discuss skateboarding, his favorite bike rides and what inspired the FTC project.
GIVEAWAY: Enter for a chance to win Chris Cosentino’s limited-edition FTC Skateboard, plus a signed copy of Cosentino’s cookbook Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal and Marvel’s Wolverine comic book featuring Cosentino as the super hero’s sidekick.
How do you find time between your various projects and life commitments to work on fun projects like this?
I work after the restaurant is closed, in the middle of the night, whenever and wherever I can find time.
When did you first discover skateboarding?
I started skating as a young kid around 12 years old growing up in Rhode Island. There was a big surf and skate culture. There were vert ramps in backyards and there were skateboard tours that would come through town regularly.
What’s the best trick you ever landed?
The best trick I ever landed is a very tough question. It’s subjective, for sure. I think for me, it was when I first started skating. I learned slappies and was finally able to ollie big gaps. It all grew from there.
How often do you hop on a board now?
Not nearly enough. I try to get out at least a few times a week. It’s good to rattle these bones once in a while.
What inspired the graphic on your FTC deck?
The graphic is inspired by Mike Carroll, a legendary skateboarder, who has this design of a grumpy kid in front of a plate of macaroni and cheese. On this board you have me, with fork and knife in hand, sitting down to a big pig head and a pint of beer.
Mike Carroll is obviously huge in SF and worldwide. How else did San Francisco’s heyday in skateboarding in the 90s influence you?
The skateboard era was pre-90s for sure, the bones brigade and SF local Tommy Guerrero was a huge influence. Skaters like Julien Stranger and, of course, Mark Gonzales—these guys were huge inspiration and game changers in skateboarding for me.
What’s your favorite SF skate spot, current or past?
For past, the Embaracadero. For the present, the curb in front of my house, teaching my son to skate.
You are also an avid cyclist. What is your favorite local ride of the moment?
I like be able to ride over the Golden Gate bridge and either do an off-road ride in the headlands or do a long road loop. Either is great—it’s the freedom of being out there that I love the most.
We are also hooking up one of SF Station’s readers with a copy of your Wolverine comic book. Any more super hero, crime-fighting plans in the works?
Not at this time. There are rumors that Wolverine will be dying this fall.
You share 60 recipes in your cookbook. What’s the most important dish home cooks show know how to make?
I can’t choose the most important. You just have to dig in and see which one speaks to you and try it out.
What’s one lesson that can’t be taught in culinary school?
Drive and passion.
It’s officially summer: what are three things San Francisco eaters should try this season?
Try everything. If it tastes good and it is at the market, try it.
What’s next for you?
Opening a new restaurant this year.