A Voice For People With Disabilities

Chef Adrian continues to teach and learn at Lifestyles Caffe


Since the Covid-19 lockdown, Chef Adrian has been dazzling Lifestyles Zoom audiences with cooking demonstrations that leave them hungry and/or inspired to expand their repertoire in the kitchen. 

How did he get to be a pro?

Adrian Gresnigt knew from a young age that he wanted to travel. He got a lifetime ticket when he chose to pursue a career as a chef.

Born in Holland, he headed for Amsterdam when he was 18 where he began working and studying to be a chef in Frommer’s, the first of many prestigious hotels he trained in. 

Next stop was Brussels, then Paris and the Sofitel hotels, with stints in Corsica and in Marseille, as he expanded his professional skills and learned French.

“In this business, you never stop learning. I even learn today,” said Chef. At Lifestyles his teachers include his program participants and staff Loriann Ryan, Jeff Gaal, Vincent Porto, and Andrew Corosone.

In 1982, he came to New York to work in a number of French restaurants and clubs, eventually opening his own restaurant, bakery and catering business. 

“You have to have feelings to cook properly. In order to get a feel for what the end product is going to look like and taste like,” said Chef.

In 2009, he came to Lifestyles and turned his talents to expanding its culinary services to include the Caffe, the Zoo Cafe, catering at the LEC and LAC and Staten Island Tech.

The staff has shifted gears during the Covid-19 lockdown. Since April, they have been preparing meals for about 100 families to be delivered Monday, Wednesday and Friday. (See page 2 for details on the Food for Families program.)

In addition, the Caffe program participants gather on Zoom everyday for a demonstration by Adrian or Jeff. On Fridays, Chef “Burns Down the House” during Super Happy Funday with dishes such as sushi, icebox cake, quiche, orange rosemary Cornish hen and sesame salmon fingers. 

Guess what? Informed that it was National Junk Food Day, Chef revealed that you might find him in McDonald’s. And hot dogs? Loves them, especially with ketchup and mustard. He has not, however, tasted a taco!

— Written collaboratively by Aaron Bialer, Anthony DiFato, Michael Halbreich, Andrew Moszenberg, Joseph Padalino, and Gregory Perosi for Life-Wire News Service with Kathryn Carse

Chef Adrian is a boss with a good heart who wants everyone to succeed

Laurence Oliveri can be found at a familiar spot in Lifestyles Caffe, the grill where he works everyday, learning from Chef Adrian and sharing some of his own ideas for what to cook. (Life-Wire News)

There’s no one quite like Chef Adrian Gresnigt to have as a boss at Lifestyles Caffe. True that he works us hard, but that’s because he loves us and wants us to do our best and be better employees. The food that he cooks is unbelievable.

He and I have good laughs and a good collaboration.

He taught me how to make a variety of foods and add-ons such as caramelized onions and chili. He even accepts food ideas from me, and we succeed at it. For example, I suggested chili-cheeseburgers, loaded fries, stuff on a shingle (cream-chipped beef on toast), and we end up selling a lot of them, leaving smiles on happy faces.

What Chef Adrian loves to do is teach us how to do our best and achieve our goals in life. He has such a great heart and wants everyone to succeed. 

My warm heart goes out to Chef Adrian and I would love to say thank you for all you have done for Lifestyles For The Disabled.
Laurence Oliveri

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