Faces in the Kitchen with Phil Corona

Phil Corona serves as the catering manager for Alltown Fresh. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, there is no event too big or small that Phil can’t tackle. 

What is your favorite part about working for Alltown Fresh?
What I enjoy most is the fact that no two days are the same. I could be hosting an in-house event made up of lunch in the boardroom or cocktails at an executive happy hour. Then I could be offsite smoking a whole pig on a farm in Plymouth, making pizzas in the wood oven at a baseball game or serving a 5-course meal in a private home.

What made you want to work in culinary as a career?
I fell into events unexpectedly. I was producing documentaries, tv shows and museum projects, but September 11th happened and everything changed. I went back into the service industry, but decided that I didn’t want to work in a restaurant. Catering felt very similar to my previous life in production – months of planning for events, anticipating needs, problem solving and creating a stage for guests to enjoy. I fell in love with it instantly and though I went back to working in production a few times, it didn’t give me the same thrill.

Who is your biggest role model?
My dad had the most amazing work ethic that continually inspired me. He was always at his barber shop five days a week and when he was off, he made sure the garden was tended, the house was maintained and our bellies were full.  He always had a funny story, ready to help anyone in need and greeted everyone with a smile.

If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be and what dish would you eat?
A little repetitive on my part, but my father. We would not be alone; it would also include my two boys who did not get a chance to meet him. It would be his Sunday backyard feast of carnitas cooked in a copper pot over an open fire. There would be ceviche and guac with homemade chips and multiple courses to get the oils and pot just right for the chicharrons and carnitas.  Maybe even some smoked salmon from his homemade smoker.

What is your advice for young chefs and people looking to make a career in culinary?
Do what you love and enjoy the little moments. If that is not happening, don’t do it.