Welcome to My Perfect Bite!
I’m Craig Charlton. Please join me on a journey in search of MyPerfectBite. I am a recovering restaurateur, chef, eater and culinary explorer. Join me for my recipes, food features and more, as I search for my next PerfectBite.
This project came about as I was having dinner a few years back. My dining partner observed while reviewing the wide array of appetizers I had ordered for our table, “Craig, you are always looking for the PerfectBite, aren’t you?”
She was exactly right and I think, in a way, we all are. Here is where I share my thoughts, experiences and perspectives on food, travel and sometimes the people that help make each of those Bites possible.
One day it might be about a great restaurant that has a dish that has a PerfectBite. Another day I may share a recipe for a dish that contains that PerfectBite and yet another day I may share a travel destination that provided a PerfectBite.
Whatever form the Bite takes, it will be honest, fun and hopefully entertaining.
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you and my zest for “living life one bite at a time”.
A bit(e) about me
My fascination with food and the restaurant business began when I was about eight years old, while delivering the Sunday New York Times to the local diner. I was immediately mesmerized by the energy of the place – it didn’t hurt that the waitresses always hooked me up with a hot chocolate! It quickly became the thing that I looked forward to all week.
As time went on, I discovered a TV show at the time called The Galloping Gourmet starring a charming man named Graham Kerr. Here I saw a man who was cooking on TV, having a ball, drinking wine AND (for those who remember the show), always got the girl to sit down and dine with him at the conclusion of the show. I was hooked. The guy cooks, drinks and gets the girl. What else was there to strive for in life as a thirteen-year-old boy? 🙂
I began my restaurant career at the age of 14, washing dishes at a small family run restaurant in Westport, CT called The Carriage House. I was all of 98 pounds soaking wet, which is likely an exaggeration. That first restaurant job gave me a newfound freedom and a place where I felt I belonged. The staff treated me like an adult, spoke to me with respect and instilled a work ethic that I still carry with me today.
Since then, I’ve held a variety of positions in the restaurant industry including ownership in Trattoria 225 in Oak Park, IL. My experiences at Trattoria 225 taught me so much about local, seasonal food and transformed my food view to where it is today.
Although I’ve worked as a professional chef and owned my own restaurant, my journey of learning and sharing that knowledge is nowhere near finished.