Chef Tommy Carlucci is taking over the kitchen at Hudson’s Christ Church Episcopal where, under the auspices of Columbia County Recovery Kitchen, he prepares almost 1150 meals weekly. Volunteers deliver the meals to food insecure individuals and families throughout Columbia County.
Carlucci brings a wide breadth of experience to this position. He got his start working at Tom’s Luncheonette, his father’s establishment in New York City. After moving to Spencertown, Carlucci headed kitchens at the now closed popular dining establishment, Quintessence, in Albany, Chatham’s Blue Plate, Hawthorne Valley and most recently the Chatham Food Coop. His catering business, Carlucci Catering, did events for such diverse organizations as Art Omi, the Columbia Land Conservancy and the Spencertown Fire Department.
Carlucci came to cooking during what he calls his “Kerouac years.” He was on the road for several years, “running towards something, not away” he says, and realized that cooking allowed him to work anywhere. Despite his years of experience in the kitchen, Carlucci says: “No one can call me a chef. I am a cook”
“My goal at CCRK is to do restaurant quality meals, “he says. “I try to rotate meals so each week recipients receive a different dish than the week before. I also try to get feedback. For instance, the Hudson Youth Center gets eighty meals on Monday but we never send fish!”
He is also reviving his catering business, now called Thomas Carlucci Catering, but intending to restrict it to small events. “I have one job now,” he says,” I grew up in a New Jersey neighborhood of Italians and Jews where everyone would want to feed me. Food was love and that’s how I feel about this job.”
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Welcome Chef Tommy Carlucci! Thank you for doing such important work. Jane Ehrlich