A three-time Food Network "Chopped" champion who has been battling Multiple Sclerosis since 2004 has opened a new restaurant in the Hudson Valley.
Chris Holland's Kantina, located in Rockland County, puts an Asian twist on small plates, tacos, and more in the hamlet of Sparkill in Orangetown.
Holland has cooked Asian cuisine for most of his culinary career. That began for Holland shortly after being diagnosed with MS, when he ended his career as a paralegal and a battle with addiction.
"I always wanted to be a chef, but thought it would be far too difficult. Thinking about further; however, I realized that nothing could be more difficult than what I had just been through," Holland said in an interview with
"A conversation with my wife one day clinched it. In 2011, I told her that I wanted to give cooking a shot, that I would regret it if I never gave it a shot. She responded, 'It's your turn. Go for it.'"
And he hasn't looked back since.
Peruvian sashimi, a Koji butter board, mini spare ribs, and a variety of dumplings are on the Kantina menu. Items range beween $6 and $15. The atmosphere is comfortable with a 10-seat bar, tables and a small open kitchen in the back.
"In Japanese culture, the phrase dumplings over flowers emphasizes sustenance over the superficial," the Kantina website reads. "It’s in our logo, and it’s our goal: to serve up just really good food that fills the belly, with killer drinks to match."
Holland opened his first restaurant in Bergen County -- Session Bistro, in Maywood -- and later brought D'Vine Bar to Sparkill, serving as the executive chef from 2014 to 2022.
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