Studio Visit: Chuck George
Interviewed by Alex Hodor-Lee
Chuck George is a chef, designer, and stylist. He is from Virginia and lives in New York City.
Alex Hodor-Lee: You’ve forayed into fashion and food—what connects both of these undertakings for you?
Chuck George: Textures and practicality.
A: You’re the executive chef at a soon-to-open restaurant—can you tell us about the cuisine and the aesthetic?
C: The restaurant is located in Greenpoint on Franklin. The interior is quite modern, clean with some beautiful touches from local designers. Jon Katayama has been designing and overseeing the project. He sourced a pair of Hans Wegner 375′s that I’d really like to take home. The menu is fun, a little experimental, foraged. You can expect to see some lamb’s head, farm-raised squab, blood in the dessert and a personal favorite, “autumn leaves.”
A: What dining or hospitality experiences have inspired you to take on such a project?
C: My experience in Rio de Janeiro at Casa Fat Radish was very special. Phil Winser (The Fat Radish, bar belly) brought me along on the trip to photograph the journey and he teamed up with Chef David Hertz, founder of Gastromotiva. What’s been called “Brazil’s first socio-gastronomic organization” has truly flourished. It was created to train residents of favelas to cook and a few of the students worked at the pop-up. To be in Brazil during that time and see that was beautiful. It defined hospitality in its truest form. It also inspired me to get back into the kitchen.
A: I have seen it in your Instagram feed and now around the city—what is Giu Chu?
C: It’s a partnership between Giulia Peyrone and I. Not only are we partners in life, but in work as well and so that means fashion & food get really intertwined. It consists of handmade garments that Giulia creates in our Greenpoint home studio that evoke our lifestyle and tastes and will also include a culinary project that is in the works.
A: At the same time, you’re a chef who’s working on a fashion line, Chuck—can you describe the aesthetic and inspiration for that?
C: Chuck was an expression of how I view the female form that is now being translated by Giulia into Giu Chu. The clothing is simple and served as a sort of cocoon for women. It didn’t accentuate the female form or sexualize it in any way. The clothes weren’t made to be comforting, like being at home.
A: Is being involved in a many different projects part of what it means to live in New York and be successful?
C: I think it’s part of the overall make-up of the city, so if I’m not doing anything, I feel lazy and that I should be doing something.
A: S is for Success…what does success mean for you?