Michael Mastrantuono, 26, executive chef of Roux in Slingerlands, has been named one of "40 Restaurant Stars On the Rise" -- all under age 40 -- across the country.
Here's the magazine's rundown on him:
"Not everyone can handle the intensity of a kitchen. But Michael Mastrantuono thrives on it. The 26-year-old executive chef at Roux, a farm-to-table restaurant outside Albany, New York, says he remembers working the line at his father’s restaurant when he was 9 years old -- and loving every minute of it.Mastrantuono studied culinary arts at Schenectady County Community College. His professional resume includes stops at MezzaNotte in Guilderland and the former Milestone Restaurant in Glenmont. You can get a look at his imaginative menu online.
“ 'I grew up in the restaurant business with my family, and when it was time to go to college, this was all I knew,' Mastrantuono says. 'I fell in love with food, and I fell in love with the intensity.'
"These days, Mastrantuono is directing that intensity toward sourcing. He visits nearby farms every week to select ingredients and educates staff and guests on the importance of quality food. 'I’m at the farms just as much as I’m at the restaurant. I not only respect the craft; I respect the food, and what it eats and what it is grown in,' he says. 'Thomas Keller once said, ‘You could be just as passionate, have the same work ethic, the same drive, but if you are able to get better ingredients, then you will be the better chef.’ I live my life around this concept, and so does my staff.' ”
Roux is located at 10-01 Vista Boulevard in Slingerlands, just off Route 85. Phone: (518) 487-4358. Hours: noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook