Marc Forgione

Marc Forgione

Every son who has a famous dad eventually has to ask himself: “Can I fill my old man's shoes?” In the case of Marc Forgione, the shoes he seeks to fill are those of Larry Forgione, a culinary pioneer who embraced America's bounty in the 1970s when this country was obsessed with all things French. Marc has a way to go before he can walk with giants, but he's taken some long steps in that direction.

His lessons under the master began at age 16 at his father's legendary New York City restaurant, An American Place. He went on to get a degree in hotel and restaurant management, while cooking during the summer for big name chefs, including Kazuto Matsusaka at Chinois on Main in L.A. and Patricia Yeo at AZ in N.Y.C.

Eventually, he caught the eye of Laurent Tourondel (he's this month's coverboy), who recruited Marc as sous chef of his flagship BLT Steak in Manhattan. He so impressed the Frenchman that Tourondel made him chef de cuisine at BLT Prime, and Marc returned the favor when the restaurant became the highest-rated steakhouse ever in Zagat. Forgione was later named corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, which has opened several other brands of restaurants (BLT Fish, BLT Market) around the country and in Puerto Rico.

Now at Forge (his nickname) in New York City, Marc is continuing what his dad helped start, farm-to-table American cuisine. Consider, for exmple, a starter he calls Chicken Nuggets, a mixture of shredded confit chicken thighs, chilies. red peppers and chives. It's not your daddy's chicken nuggets, and that's likely Marc's point.