From Finance To Flavor: The Story of Nettie’s Chris Calabrese

by Mike Ham

In a cozy corner of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, we had the pleasure of sitting down with the charismatic and passionate owner of Nettie’s House of Spaghetti, Chris Calabrese. Our conversation with Chris was a journey through his remarkable evolution from the world of finance to the heart of the culinary realm, peppered with anecdotes of early kitchen experiences that ignited his love for cooking.

As Chris shared his story, it became evident that Nettie’s is not just a restaurant; it’s a labor of love, a culmination of dreams, and a testament to the resilience of passion. The challenges of navigating the intricate landscape of running a restaurant business were not lost on Chris, who candidly spoke about the hurdles and triumphs that have shaped Nettie’s over the years.

A pivotal figure in this culinary adventure is Tania, Chris’s partner, who manages the financial aspects of Nettie’s. Chris emphasized the indispensable role she plays, ensuring the smooth operation of the restaurant. The synergy between Chris and Tania is palpable, reflecting the teamwork required to succeed in the demanding world of hospitality.

The genesis of Nettie’s House of Spaghetti is as intriguing as its menu. Calabrese took us on a journey through the restaurant’s historical roots. He recounted the challenges of revitalizing the space, once an Italian Social Club for hunters, and the transformative decision to sign the lease despite initial doubts.

The heart of Nettie’s lies in its commitment to homemade dishes, and Chris’s eyes lit up as he passionately discussed their famed chicken parm, featuring a distinctive chicken patty. Nettie’s dedication to authenticity shines through, with every dish crafted to evoke the warmth of Sunday family gatherings. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience, and Chris’s enthusiasm is contagious as he describes the process of creating memorable dining moments.

The episode beautifully captures the essence of Nettie’s House of Spaghetti—the dedication to authenticity, the collaborative efforts that have fueled its success, and the rich history that forms its foundation. As the conversation drew to a close, a sense of restlessness surfaced in Chris, hinting at a desire to explore new ideas within the ever-evolving restaurant industry.

Listeners are treated to a rich tapestry of insights into Chris Calabrese’s culinary background, the intricacies of running Nettie’s, and the flavorful journey that has shaped this beloved establishment. Nettie’s House of Spaghetti is not just a place to dine; it’s a destination where passion and history blend seamlessly to create an unforgettable experience for all who enter its doors.

About the Author/s

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Mike Ham is the voice behind the popular podcast, "Greetings From the Garden State". Traveling up and down New Jersey, Mike brings his listeners the stories of the people and places shaping the Garden State. Not only is he a Jersey diehard, he is also a respected member of the podcast community and has spoken at several podcasting conferences. As he continues to amplify the voices of New Jersey, Mike Ham remains a passionate advocate for the diverse narratives woven into the fabric of the Garden State.

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