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Hudson Valley Bounty attracts new chef to “A Taste Of”

Chef Giuliano's Mushroom Ragout
The Blue Plate

Dominic Giuliano, Executive Chef of The Blue Plate in Chatham since February 2014 and a new Hudson Valley resident, is making his first appearance at Hudson Valley Bounty’s “A Taste Of” on August 4 at Columbia County Fairgrounds. Giuliano joins the ongoing migration of great chefs from New York City moving up to the Hudson Valley. Growing tired of life in the city, he sold out his partnership in restaurants Choza Taqueria last fall, bought an 1804 Victorian home in East Chatham and moved here last October with his wife, Bonnie.

At the Blue Plate, Giuliano says that 95 percent of all the food is made in-house. And, while he has introduced some new items to the menu, many items have remained in respect to steady clientele’s preferences, e.g. the meatloaf, vegetarian selections and the burgers. However, Giuliano has introduced a daily burger special and his buns come from Le Bus in Pennsylvania ~ a bun that he had helped to create. What is most important in his cuisine is freshness and simplicity. Chef Giuliano describes it as “comfort food with an international flair.” The farms he uses predominantly are: Green Mead, Twin Maple Farm and Kinderhook Farm. The dish that he will present at “A Taste Of” has not yet been determined. Whatever it is, given his significant background and experience, will be a dish not to be missed.

The California native and Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate’s credentials are impressive. He has been cooking since he was a young boy, preferring to read cookbooks rather than literary books. He and his brother cooked two nights a week for their working parents. Dominic’s night was Tuesday when he might shock his mother with his shopping list that would include snails to make escargots. He pursued a college degree, studying pre-med, then business. But his growing passion for cooking led him to start a small catering company. That tipped the iceberg; his love for cooking; he enrolled in the CIA.

He interned at the Sonoma Mission and Spa where he not only cooked, but learned to make wine and how to build a brick oven. After graduating from the CIA, his first job was in the kitchen of the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Beach. By the late 90s, and after opening several quick service restaurants, he tired of the California lifestyle and decided to move to New York City. He started out as a line cook at Belgo, a Belgian restaurant, apprenticed under renowned chef David Burke to open One CPS in the Plaza Hotel and returned to Belgo as Chef. It was at this time that Giuliano recognized that his real forté was as a consultant opening restaurants. Punch and Judy was his first project on Clinton Street right near where Wylie Dufresne was opening wd~50. It was a chefs’ mecca. After opening several popular restaurants with a colleague and clientele from Punch and Judy, the restaurant group Park South Hospitality was formed and Giuliano became corporate chef for five restaurants

Eventually, with the desire to be his own boss and a love to have truly authentic Mexican cuisine, he and a partner opened Choza Taqueria on Madison Avenue, with a second one to follow in Greenwich Village. Upon leaving Manhattan for the Hudson Valley, he had thoughts of becoming a private chef ~ a difficult task to procure as a newly relocated chef. The tide turned when Judy Grunberg, owner of The Blue Plate, heard about this young star chef and offered him the chef’s position. The popularity of the restaurant has been booming ever since.

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