James Beard award winner Chef Gross’ culinary endeavors continue with Christopher’s & Crush Lounge, which has consistently earned awards locally and nationally. Most recently, Christopher’s was named Best French Restaurant 2015 from Phoenix New Times, earned the 2015 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, and a Diner’s Choice Award from Open Table. Additionally, Christopher’s was named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. by Gayot.com, Best New Restaurant by William Rice of the Chicago Tribune, and Best New Restaurant by John Mariani of Esquire. Food & Wine Magazine named Chef Gross one of America’s 10 Best New Chefs, and Perrier Jouet and the James Beard Foundation named Christopher Best Chef Southwest. He was the first chef in Arizona to be honored with the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. Christopher has been featured on numerous panels with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. He and his recipes have appeared in cookbooks, including the Julia Child PBS series and cookbook “In the Kitchen with Master Chefs.” He has been a featured chef for the James Beard Foundation Dinner of the Decade, and cooked for Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Vice President Al Gore and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Christopher was a founder of the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF), is on the National Board for the American Liver Foundation, has served as co-chair of the American Liver Foundation’s “Flavors of Phoenix,” and was Chair of the Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation.” He was also on the National Advisory Boards for the James Beard Foundation and for the Art Institute of Phoenix.
Christopher has been known to step up at the last minute to make dinner for Martha Stewart,cook in his personal kitchen with Julia Child, and graciously demonstrate how to make his most famous dish, Pied De Cochon, pigs feet, for media. He’s a favorite among locals, winning many “Best Restaurant Awards” from AZCentral, Arizona Foothills Magazine’s Best of Food and Wine, and Best Of Reviews and Awards from Phoenix New Times. AZCentral.com critic Howard Seftel called Christopher’s & Crush Lounge one of Arizona’s finest dining establishments. His spirited interviews almost always tend to reveal the personal side of Christopher.