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Recipe for success

Charlestown welcomes award-winning Executive Chef Victor Cirrincione

Created date

October 23rd, 2015
Charlestown staff
Charlestown staff

Growing up in an Italian family with a grandmother who loved to cook, it’s not surprising Victor Cirrincione was destined to become a chef. 

“I have fond memories of visiting my grandmother in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she would make us four-course meals,” says Cirrincione. “She inspired me to make special meals for my parents for things like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.” 

But Cirrincione has come a long way from his first job in the food industry as a prep cook at the Sir Walter Raleigh Inn in Wheaton, Md. Three decades later, his passion for food and hospitality is still growing as he takes on a new role as the executive chef at

Extended family

As executive chef, Cirrincione strives to make every meal special for the men and women who call Charlestown home; he considers them his extended family. He oversees ten restaurants, two cafes, and three marketplace stores located throughout Charlestown’s 110-acre campus and is involved with the community’s menu planning. 

“I value our residents’ opinions and enjoy interacting with the people I serve,” says Cirrincione. “They really are a joy to be around. We encourage residents to give us their feedback. We have comment cards available in every restaurant. We hold focus groups. We are in constant contact. In fact, in response to an increasing interest in adding more variety to our menus, we incorporated many residents’ suggestions when developing our latest menu.”

First taste

After Cirrincione got his first taste of the culinary industry as a teenager, he decided to pursue a career in the hospitality field and honed his skills at restaurants and dining facilities like the Sagamore Hotel & Resort in New York; the Equinox Hotel in Vermont; and the Boar’s Head Inn, Kingsmill Resort, and The Inn at Little Washington, all in Virginia. 

He spent the last 12 years at Riderwood, Charlestown’s sister community in Silver Spring, Md., where in 2009, he won first place in the annual Maryland Crab Soup Cook-off. Later, in 2011, he earned his executive chef title through the American Culinary Federation. 

Ingredients for a promising career

Experience aside, Cirrincione insists honesty is the most important quality a good chef can possess and stresses the importance of having an excellent support staff. 

“The staff that works with me are really the ones on the front lines doing all the hard work and deserves recognition,” says Cirrincione. “A chef who can stand by his product good or bad, admit to his faults, be humble with his successes, and recognize those who helped make him successful is a chef who will have a promising career.” 

Cirrincione has set his sights high in his new role at Charlestown.  

“My goal is to make the name Charlestown synonymous with exceptional dining so that our restaurants become more than just an amenity but a destination themselves,” he says.

Cirrincione recently attended the grand reopening of the newly renovated 3,000-square-foot Atrium Restaurant. Located in the community’s St. Charles neighborhood, The Atrium seats 118 people and features an adjoining bar and lounge/library. The Atrium offers American fare, ranging from comfort foods like spaghetti with meatballs and barbeque chicken to upscale offerings such as beef tenderloin, lamb chops, or salmon with bourbon glaze.

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Chef Victor Cirrincione’s Apple Cranberry Chicken Marsala

Serves 6

 

Ingredients

3 tblsp butter, divided

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1½ tsp lemon juice

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Salt and ground white pepper

3 tblsp butter

1/3 cup Marsala wine

3 tblsp apple jelly

½ cup Ocean Spray® sweetened dried
cranberries

Chopped fresh parsley garnish

Directions

1. Place apple slices in a bowl; toss with lemon juice. 

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside. 

3. Melt 1½ tblsp butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple slices. Cook until apples begin to soften. Remove from pan; set aside. 

4. Melt 1½ tblsp butter in skillet. Add chicken. Cook until no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and place on serving plate; set aside. 

5. Stir wine and jelly into skillet. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. 

6. Return apples to the skillet. Add dried cranberries. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

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