Chef Christopher B. Willis grew up on a farm in Darlington Maryland, where local produce, apple and pear trees were plentiful. The family dinner was the center point of each day, with meals filled with simple, delicious food, and laughter. His most vivid childhood memory is of the smell of his grandmother's apple pie, fresh from the oven with the scent of apples and spice wafting through the golden lattice shell.
Food was his first love.
And thus, began a passion that started professionally at the tender age of 15, and has taken him from Boston to Barcelona; Miami to West Africa; New York to our nation's capital.
Educated at the Pennsylvania Culinary institute, Chef Willis graduated with honors while working full time as a sous chef at Bravo Italian Kitchen. In 1999, Chris earned a Silver medal in an American Culinary Federation for five entrée's in hot food presentation. Throughout his education, he worked closely alongside mentors Scott Schmucker, C.E.C., C.C.E. (personal chef for the Pittsburgh Steelers and formerly, personal chef for U2) and Norman Hart, C.E.C., C.C.E, (2007 ACF Chef Instructor of the Year).
His professional career includes stints as personal chef to author Tom Clancy and working with real estate and media entrepreneur Robert Johnson. Chef Willis was formerly executive chef and director at POSH Restaurant and Supper Club, where accolades included Best of Washington, #1 Hot Spot restaurant, #1 Late Night Find and Top 5 in Vibrant Bar consecutively on Open Table. In addition to locals and numerous dignitaries, celebrities, including Patti Labelle, Lorraine Bracco, Denzel Washington, Smokey Robinson, Forest Whitaker, and Robert De Niro dined at POSH. While at the kitchen helm, Chef Willis introduced Washington, D.C., to his award-winning crab cakes, Korean fried chicken and lamb lollipops, among his many specialties. Today, he has come full circle and is teaching the next generation a love of cooking as the culinary director at North Point High School in Charles County, Md.
A certified +32 handicapper, Chef Willis can be found destroying fairways and losing golf balls by the sleeve at municipal courses around his La Plata, Maryland, home. He's also fond of '90s rock, Playstation, movies, and Texas Hold 'em. However, most of his free time these days is spent with his wife and their two children.