MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Sal’s Pizza, Walter’s Hot Dogs and Cosmo & Alex Pisano Brothers are a few of the Mamaroneck eateries that shaped Joshua Stone, who is one of the world class chefs who appear on NBC’s “Food Fighters.”
Stone, 39, appeared on the Sept. 2 episode of the show, and is up again Sept. 9. Home cooks pick their five best dishes, refine their recipe and cook time and have a cook-off against five levels of pro chefs. Other chefs include Lorena Garcia, Cat Cora and G. Garvin.
Culinary judges decide the winner.
“The pro chef is at a tremendous disadvantage,” Stone said. “One, they don’t know what they’re cooking, never been in the kitchen and they’ve never practiced this dish.”
The Mamaroneck High School graduate is no stranger to television, having been featured for his Los Angeles deli Fat Sal’s. The celebrity-magnet deli has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and the Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise.”
“I’ve done 10-15 local news spots,” Stone said. “We’ve been mentioned from Yahoo’s homepage to Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show.’ We’ve been really lucky to get that kind of exposure.”
Stone has gotten even more exposure recently thanks to the celebrities that frequent Fat Sal’s. He said David Beckham stops at his Los Angeles location four times a week, which drew some recent press from the British paper “The Sun." Jerry Ferrara, of “Entourage” fame, is a co-owner.
“What I do today and what Fat Sal’s is and why I’ve been on TV as many times as I have has everything to do with where I’m from and the restaurants that are there,” he said of his hometown.
Stone’s first job was at a fruit and vegetable store called M&M Farms on Boston Post Road. He cleaned the fish market when it closed on Sundays, before working at Larry’s Deli.
He said no one knows more about Mamaroneck food than him, and that the community has the best traditional Italian-American food.
“We’re as good as Brooklyn, I think,” he said, citing old locations like Cooks and existing places like Larchmont Tavern. “… You don’t have to go far to have a really good Italian-American Experience, or American experience.”
Fat Sal’s has two Los Angeles locations, one in San Diego and one in Austin, Texas. Stone said he plans to expand “aggressively” with more stores this year, including another in Austin and Los Angeles and a first in south Florida and Las Vegas.
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