Anyone wondering what has become of Christian Graciano, the former executive chef at Witherspoon Grill, should know that for the past year he has been working at his own successful restaurant in New Brunswick.
Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar, which opened in September, 2018, serves a seafood-heavy menu for lunch and dinner, but also offers vegetarian and meat options, including the dry-aged steak he was known for at Witherspoon Grill.
In his late twenties, after working at a distribution center for 8 years, Graciano followed his dream of becoming a chef, and attended The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, where he studied under Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, well known from her many appearances on the Food Network.
After graduating in 2003, he interned at Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville, eventually becoming sous chef. After a few years he left to serve as sous chef at Big Fish, a Landry’s restaurant in MarketFair. Less than a year later, he was promoted to executive chef.
He left Big Fish for Witherspoon Grill, where he worked first as executive sous chef and later as executive chef, before leaving Witherspoon to open Salt, which he describes as “a comfortable spot where you feel welcome to come sit at the bar with friends and share some small plates and throw back some oysters.”
Originally from Queens, Graciano grew up in Spotswood. He lives in Ocean County with his wife of 19 years and three children. Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar, 103 Church St., New Brunswick. Phone: (732) 745-7258.