Sign up for our Newsletter

News that star chef Tom Colicchio is leaving Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton (pictured above) has North Fork foodies speculating whether or not he would consider opening a North Fork restaurant. (Credit: File photo)

News that star chef Tom Colicchip and his restaurant group Craft are leaving Topping Rose House, has North Fork foodies speculating whether or not he would consider opening a eatery on the East End’s top fork.

We decided to ask the man himself.

His answer? No way.

“I promised my wife [Lori Silverbush] I wouldn’t work out there,” Colicchio, who owns a home in Mattituck, told northforker Wednesday. “The last thing I want to do is leave a family dinner to put out a [work-related] fire at 7 at night.”

He specifically put to bed rumors that he would take over North Fork Table & Inn, owned by his friends Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming and recently put on the market for $3.8 million. Colicchio is the co-founder of Gramercy Tavern where Fleming, a James Beard Award winner, once worked as pastry chef.

“No, no, no. That’s not in the plans,” Colicchio, also a James Beard winner, said with a laugh.

Still, Colicchio was quick to praise the local food and agriculture scene, adding that some of his favorite North Fork activities are fishing and working in his garden.

“What’s really amazing to me is that the food scene is less about the restaurants and more about people producing great stuff,” he said, mentioning in particular Mattituck poultry farm Browder’s Birds. “It keeps growing every year and I think that’s going to continue.

“That’s what excited me about being there.”

Meanwhile, two new projects and a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old are keeping the Top Chef star busy. Colicchio will open a restaurant at 1 Hotel & Residences in Miami Beach in March 2015. He also plans to open a lounge called the Living Room at the upcoming 5 Beekman in New York City.