Major: Culinary Arts
Job Title: Executive Chef
Location: Port Chester, New York
Standing at the intersection of “art” and “commerce” you’ll find Andy Nusser, partner and executive chef at Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, NY. The route he took to get there was illuminated by the influences of family, science, serendipity, and his own inevitable passion.
Andy came from a family that was serious about both eating (his father founded The Santa Barbara Eating Society) and the arts (his family members were painters, actors, and musicians). He began his work life at General Motors where he filed design drawings in his position as clerk. That led to subsequent jobs as draftsman, CAD operator, and finally associate engineer. But as Andy tells it, even after 10 years at GM, he still really had nothing in common with his cubicle buddies. To his mind, he had not fulfilled the Nusser family artistic legacy!
Downsizing at GM translated into opportunity for Andy. He took a chance and headed straight to the CIA, where he found his artistic expression in the culinary arts. Always a fan of multitasking, he thrived on “having six burners on high, loaded with sauté pans, and cranking out food.” After graduating at the top of his class, Andy worked to help create culinary gems in the miniscule kitchen at Po, Mario Batali’s Greenwich Village restaurant in New York City. In 1998, Andy opened the kitchen of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Babbo Ristorante. He helped earn the restaurant a three-star review from The New York Times and the title of Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation. In 2003, Andy and his partners Batali and Bastianich opened Casa Mono and Bar Jamón. Zagat rated the bar the number one Spanish restaurant in NYC.