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Food Network's Chris Santos fuses his love of boxing and design

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Chris Santos is a tough judge on the Food Network's Chopped and a partner and chef at restaurants Beauty & Essex and The Stanton Social. That means while he's spending 14-hour days in the Food Network studios, Santos is also focused on the kitchens of the two Lower East Side hotspots, serving celebrities like Justin Timberlake, the Olsen twins, Beyonce and Jay-Z, among others. He spends most nights of the week between the two establishments.

He's also a big fan of boxing, and told us about the most attention-grabbing piece in his one-bedroom (with a home office) in the East Village.
 
One of the greatest perks of being on television and thus a public figure is that people learn about your interests. Since most of my interviews touch on my love of boxing, I have been fortunate enough through the years to have my amazing fans send me boxing-related gifts.
 

This portrait of Muhammad Ali hangs in the front entrance of Chris Santos' apartment

The one that most stands out is this incredible Brian Fox portrait of Muhammad Ali that is prominently displayed in the entry of my home. Being such a large piece of art--about three feet by four feet--it is the first thing that most people notice and perfectly reflects my combined admiration of beautiful art and the People's Champ. 
 
The painting was a gift from a friend I grew up with in Rhode Island who is friends with the artist. It's done in all black and white tones so it goes perfectly with my apartment, as I painted the walls a cool slate gray. It also goes well with my black and white photography--I have prints on the walls from one of my favorites, John Goodman
 
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