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Chef Bios

Chef Richard FriedrichAramark
Chef Richard Friedrich

Chef Friedrich has extensive experience in the world of culinary arts having recently served as Executive Chef of Lincoln Financial Field. Originally from Philadelphia, Chef Friedrich received his training from Culinary Institute of America, where he received his Pro Chef Level 2 Certification. Chef Friedrich is also a member of the ACF (American Culinary Federation). Prior to joining ARAMARK Chef Friedrich served as Executive Sous Chef of Citizens Bank Park. In addition to his many awards, citations and contributions, Chef Friedrich also effectively manages a staff of over 70 cooks and pantry personnel. He is an active member of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. Some of his more outstanding accomplishments include nine Philadelphia Flower Shows, a democratic Fund Raising Dinner for former President Bill Clinton, NBA an NHL Finals at the Wachovia Center, silver medal winner of M.A.N.E Regional culinary competition, the Mayor’s Inauguration Dinner and the Republican National Convention. Located in South Philadelphia, the Wachovia Center hosts a variety of conventions, tradeshows, and other special events year-round and is home to the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers.

Chef Blake Joffe

Bar Ferdinand
Chef Blake Joffe
1030 North 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Blake Joffe started cooking in restaurants - mostly mom and pop Italian places - when he was 15 years old. He veered from the culinary track off and on until he started working for Steven Starr at The Continental where he eventually became Sous Chef. Since he had no formal training, Joffe decided to apprentice in the Basque region of Spain at a Three Michelin Star restaurant called Akelarre. It was here that he not only found a love for all things Spanish, but he really grasped the importance of using quality ingredients, techniques and details. When he returned home, he worked with Starr again at Alma de Cuba and El Vez, Starr's Cuban and Mexican themed restaurants. During this time, famed designer Owen Kamihira asked him to become Executive Chef of his first restaurant, Bar Ferdinand, a panish tapas bar in Northern Liberties. Blake has created an interesting Spanish menu that uses local sustainable products whenever possible and changes seasonally.

Beneluxx Tasting Room
Chef Nick Macri
33 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia

Nick Macri grew up in Toronto, Canada to Italian immigrant parents who made everything from scratch, something he strives to do every day at Beneluxx, especially with their charcuterie goods. A soccer
scholarship at Drexel brought Chef Macri to Philadelphia, but a vibrant food scene and the opportunity to work at high-profile restaurants like Osteria (under Jeff Michaud) and FARMiCia (under Kevin Klaus) kept him in the city with his wife and dog.

Chef Marcie Turney

Chef Marcie Turney
105 South 13th Street, Philadelphia
106 South 13th Street, Philadelphia

Marcie Turney, who has been a chef in Philadelphia for more than ten years, launched Mexican BYOT (Bring Your Own Tequila) restaurant Lolita, Indian BYOB restaurant Bindi and housewares boutique Open House between 2002 and 2007 in Center City, Philadelphia. She also founded Grocery, a gourmet market that makes prepared restaurant-quality foods available and accessible on an everyday basis. Last year, Philly Style magazine named Turney one of Philadelphia's Top Ten Hot Chefs. Among its many praises, Lolita has earned Best Margarita by Philadelphia magazine and Philadelphia: Where to Go Next by Food & Wine magazine. in 2009, Chef Turney opened Verde and Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates. Her new restaurant, Barbuzza, will open in December.

Café Estelle
Chef Marshall Green
444 North 4th Street, Philadelphia

Marshall Green has been cooking since childhood. His main inspiration came from his grandmother, Estelle, who owned a catering company in New York City for many years and for whom he named his first restaurant. She had him stuffing turkeys at five and eating at Le Bec Fin by eight. Growing up amongst cooks and gardeners, his family has owned and operated Primex Garden Center since the 1940s, and he learned the pleasures and rewards of cooking what you grow. Green attended New England Culinary Institute where he learned to hone his craft and worked at Fork, Django, Ansill and Meritage before realizing his dream and opening Cafi Estelle in November 2007. At the cafi, Green has a commitment to using natural and local products, and he makes as much in-house as possible from breads and pastries to sausage and cheese. He hopes to extend his knowledge to developing more gluten-free options for his menu that allow EVERYONE to enjoy good meal.

Chef Shawn Sollberger

Capital Grille
Chef Shawn Sollberger
1338 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Shawn is a 1991 graduate of the International Culinary Academy in Pittsburgh. While attending culinary school, he worked at Jakes Above the Square which, in 1991 was voted by Esquire magazine as America's Best New Restaurant.  After finishing culinary school, Shawn was hired at the Cal-Italian concept Sfuzzi in Washington D.C. and was then promoted to Chef  and transferred to the Philadelphia location. In 1995, Shawn landed at Morton's of Chicago as Chef and helped open five new Morton's around the country as the Training Chef. In the Summer of 1999 Shawn left to be the Executive Chef and for the Italian Steakhouse Davio's. Shawn left Davio's in the summer of 2001 to open his own restaurant Ravenna, A northern Italian BYOB, to critical acclaim. One of Philadelphia's top Italian Restaurants and One of the top BYOB's in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine. During this time Shawn also helped develop the business plan, kitchen and menu design for the 1.5 million renovation of The Blue Horse Tavern in Blue Bell. In 2007 Shawn sold his restaurant and became the Executive Chef of The Capital Grille Philadelphia.

Chef Miguel Leon
563 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ

Born in Caracas, the most cosmopolite city in Venezuela, Miguel graduated superior in his university with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Marketing. His finesse for cuisine started when he lived independently from his family. He found himself entertaining and creating innovative recipes inherited from his family. Eventually he enrolled in culinary school at Centro Venezolano de Capacitacisn Gastronsmica and graduated as International Chef. He worked for The Four Seasons at their Hotel in Banquent. Miguel has worked at different Philadelphia restaurants such as Mixto, Cafi Habana and Sol. 

Chef Jose Garces

Chef Jose Garces
Chifa: 707 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Distrito: 3945 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

At age 35, Chef Jose Garces is one of the country's most distinguished chefs, a reputation that he solidified with the success of his first restau-rant Amada, an authentic Andalusian tapas bar, which opened to rave reviews in Fall 2005.  He reinforced this standing with his second venture Tinto, a wine bar inspired by Basque country, the coastal and mountainous region shared by Spain and France, which was one of the city's most highly anticipated restaurants when it opened in March 2007. In March 2008, Garces, who was recently chosen as a challenger on the Food Network's hit show Iron Chef America, launched Mercat a la Planxa restaurant in his hometown of Chicago. His third Philadelphia restaurant, Distrito, celebrates the cuisine of Mexico City. His first cookbook, Latin Evolution, was recently released by Lake Isle Press.

Chef Walter Staib

City Tavern
Chef Walter Staib
138 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia

A third generation restaurateur for over four decades, Chef Staib was trained in Europe's finest hotels and restaurants before coming to the U.S. He is the driving force behind Philadelphia's City Tavern, a faithful recreation of an original 18th century tavern. In addition to being a top chef, restaurateur and consultant, Chef Staib has also authored four cookbooks, City Tavern Cookbook, City Tavern Baking & Dessert Cookbook, Black Forest Cuisine and City Tavern: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine. Walter Staib has made numerous appearances on local and national cooking shows, such as the Food Network's Cooking Live with Sara Moulton and CBS Chef on a Shoestring and The Chef's Kitchen. In 2008, Chef Staib's cooking show, World Cuisine of the Black Forest debuted on Comcast's CN8 and received two Emmy Award nominations. He is currently filming A Taste of History based on his fourth cookbook which explores America's culinary beginnings through the lens of the venerable City Tavern. His passion for culinary excellence has earned him numerous awards' among them the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mirite Agricole de la Ripublique Frangaise. In 1996, was also appointed the First Culinary Ambassador to the City of Philadelphia and Culinary Ambassador to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. German President Dr. Horst Kvhler conferred the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany upon Staib in 2007. Among Chef Staib's recent awards are the 2009 Entrie of the Year by Philadelphia Magazine.

Chef Gene Giuffi
801 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia

Gene Giuffi is the Chef-Owner of Cochon, a casual, French-inspired BYOB located in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia. A graduate of Philadelphia's The Restaurant School, Giuffi has worked at some of
Philadelphia's most renowned restaurants, including: Pasion, Nan, Davio's and La Boheme. His food philosophy espouses rustic reparation and bold, yet simple flavors with frequent pork cameos. Open since October 2007, Cochon has received critical acclaim both locally and nationally. Most recently, Cochon has been cited as Best BYO in Philadelphia by Main Line Today (July 2008), and as a notable Place to Eat in Philadelphia (April 2008) in Travel and Leisure.

Chef Allen Dann

Devils Den
Chef Allen Dann
1148 South 11th Street, Philadelphia

Allen Dann started his career when he was 16 years old, learning the trade as a short order cook around Rochester, NY. At 19, he moved to Chicago and started an apprenticeship at the Omni Ambassador Hotel. For the next 10 years, Dann worked in fine dining restaurants in the Chicagoland area, including Pump Room at The Omni Ambassador, Tomboy and Bistro 110. A few years later, opportunity brought him out to the West Coast where he worked in French California Cuisine estab-lishments, such as Plouf Bistro in San Francisco. After fifteen years as a career chef, Dann returned home to open Stone Creek Tavern and Milange Grill in Ellicottville, NY. After five successful years the City called him back to Philly where he is now the head chef at the Devil's Den, a gastro pub and exotic beer bar located in South Philly at 11th and Ellsworth.

Chef Wade Harvin

Drexelbrook Catering
Chef Wade Harvin
Office: 484.257.1009

Chef Wade Harvin began his career as a Pastry Chef. He has worked at some of the best and unique organizations in the area including the Hotel DuPont, ATT Headquarters, The Hershey Hotel, Adams Mark Hotel and the Franklin Plaza. Chef Harvin joined the Drexelbrook Team in 1993 as a Sous Chef and quickly advanced to become the Assistant Executive Chef.  In 2007, he became Drexelbrook's Executive Chef. Chef Harvin is a member of the International Chef's Association and serves as the "host" chef for the "SYSCO Foods Iron Chefs Competition" held each year during Taste and Tour of the Countryside. Chef Harvin is very active in the community and assists with the execution of the annual Drexelbrook Project, a cooperative effort between Drexelbrook and Upper Darby High School where culinary students learn to prepare and execute a catered event.

Chef Lynn Buono

Feast Your Eyes
Lynn Buono
1750 North Front Street, Philadelphia

Lynn Buono founded Feast Your Eyes in January 1980. Chef Buono worked in kitchens throughout high school and college in both the United States and Switzerland. Returning to Philadelphia in 1976, she immersed herself in the burgeoning Philadelphia restaurant renaissance. Feast Your Eyes began in a small storefront, eventually relocating to the current headquarters, a 9000 square foot facility in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Her husband, Skip Schwarzman, joined the company full time in 1982. Feast Your Eyes' staff of 4 oversees events ranging from formal sit-down dinners for six to events for 8,000. In 1991, Buono and Schwarzman opened a new company, Miss Amelia's Bar-B-Que, which specializes in authentic pit BBQ. Feast Your Eyes has recently opened a new catering and event space called Front & Palmer as well as a kosher division named Essen.

Little Fish
Chef Michael Stollenwerk
600 Catharine Street, Philadelphia

Born and raised at the Jersey shore, Chef Michael Stollenwerk's inspirations began at a very young age.  Mike started as a busboy at age 13 and by the time he was 15, he realized he wanted to cook and moved into the kitchen. Stollenwerk attended The Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing and graduated with honors while working as the Sous Chef at Cape May's Washington Inn. From there, Stollenwerk attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. By age 25, he purchased Cafi Loren in Avalon. While Cafi Loren closed for the winter, Stollenwerk spent his time in Philadelphia working at Latest Dish, Davios and Avenue B.  Deciding to stay in Philadelphia year round, stumbled upon Little Fish at 6th and Catharine. Six months later, he purchased it and, since then, Mike has put Little Fish on the map as one of the top BYOBs in the city, earning Philadelphia magazine's Dish of the Year.

Chef Jim Birkbeck

Maggiano's Little Italy
Chef Jim Birkbeck
1201 Filbert Street, Philadelphia

Currently the Executive Chef at Maggiano's in Philadelphia, Jim Birkbeck grew up in South Philadelphia. He attended Franklin Learning Center as an art major and graduated in 1992. He continued his studies in the art field until he decided to attend the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill, graduating in 1994. He started his professional career at Monserrat, a small restaurant on South Street. Chef Birkbeck worked at various restaurants and hotels and eventually joined Aramark as a Sous Chef.  In 2002, he joined Maggiano's, moving up through the ranks to his current position.

Chef Gianluca Demontis

Melograno, Tuscan Bistro
Chef Gianluca Demontis
2012 Sansom Street, Philadelphia

Gianluca was born in Rome and spent summers in the mountains cooking with friends and family where he acquired a natural desire for the culinary arts. Educated at the Culinary Institute of Rome, he has learned to incorporate both modern and traditional styles of cooking. Bringing back long forgotten dishes with a fresh twist.  He has worked in several restaurants throughout Tuscany and Umbria. Chef Demontis opened his own restaurant, Melograno. The menu is based on fresh and seasonal ingredients, including homemade pastas, seafood and meats. Gianluca focuses mainly on the taste of each dish, bringing out its natural flavors and enhancing it with fresh herbs and delicate sauces.

Chef Keith Taylor

K. Taylor Holy Smoke
Chef Keith M. Taylor
473 Leverington Avenue, Philadelphia
200 Larchmont Boulevard, Mt. Laurel, NJ

Chef Keith Taylor fuses his prowess in the kitchen with his undeniable knack for business as the Executive Chef and President of Sami Rose Culinary Productions, Inc., which he founded in 1991. His newest restaurant concept, K. Taylor Holy Smoke, has just grown to two states. Taylor is no stranger to special dietary requirements.  He embraces being part of the NFCA movement and is committed to keeping it simple. Taylor acts as a consultant for culinary operations, providing contract services and freelance culinary assistance for various engagements. Taylor has additionally re-tooled failing operations and successfully executed restaurant and food and beverage openings in both the private and corporate sectors. As part of his business, he educates how to effectively manage and impact the cost of goods sold a key component to success in the industry. Although Taylor has a flair for turning a profit, he will tell you his first priority is pleasing the customer.  Among his numerous accomplishments, Taylor has experi-
ence working with Walt Disney World's Restaurant and Resorts Division, Hilton Hotels and the NY Giants Luxury Suites. He also is the founder of Zachary's BBQ and K. Taylor Signature.

Chef Jeff Michaud

Chef Jeff Michaud
640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia

Chef Jeff Michaud is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Osteria Restaurant, which was named Best New Restaurant by Philadelphia Magazine just five months after its February 2007 opening. Upon graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in 1998, Michaud worked his way to Executive Sous Chef at the Caribous Club in Aspen
before moving to Philadelphia to work as Marc Vetri's Sous Chef at Ristorante Vetri. After moving to Italy for three years to further his career and enhance his culinary skills, Michaud took several chef positions in New England before returning to Philadelphia to work with Vetri and his team again and open Osteria.

Chef Pasquale Masters

Pasta Pomodoro
Chef Pasquale Masters
Eagle Plaza, Route 561, Voorhees, NJ

Pasquale Masters, the chef and owner of Pasta Pomodoro, is no stranger to dietary restrictions. The 26-year restaurant and hospitality veteran has a four-year-old son who has numerous fatal food allergies and strives to help those with multiple food allergies and celiac so they can dine out and enjoy themselves amongst friends and family without the worries. Prior to establishing his restaurant, Masters spent 22 years as chef and general manager of several restaurants and institutions throughout the area. Pasquale offers a wide range of services from family friendly dining to pharmaceutical luncheon deliveries and on and off-premise catering. He specializes in gluten-free, macro and
healthy heart meals. After winning the 2007 NFCA Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, Masters established a national clientele base, as well as several customers from abroad, and his business is still growing!

Saute Restaurant

Sauté Restaurant
Chef Nicholas Cassidy
775 South Front Street, Philadelphia

Executive Chef Nicholas J Cassidy was educated at Le Cordon Bleu institute at the International Art of Culinary and held previous executive chef positions at Wallibias Restaurant, and worked under award winning chef Douglas Rodriguez. Cassidy cooks a style that is French-influenced American, combining flavors and ingredients from cuisines
around the globe. Chef Cassidy's inspired menu features bold flavors, fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as the finest meats and seafood offered through our support of the best local purveyors. Nowhere else will you find a culinary experience quite like the flavors, textures and color found in Nicholas J Cassidy's cuisine.
The restaurant features dark wood furnishings, dimmed lighting and twinkling candles throughout, coupled in a contemporary yet romantic setting all of which provides an ambience unlike anything in Queen Village.

Executive Chef Joshua D. McCullough

Executive Chef Joshua D. McCullough
1315 Sansom Street, Philadelphia PA

Born and raised in the Indiana countryside, Josh McCullough began cooking with his father in this rural setting over wood fires and open skies. A graduate of culinary school, Josh continued his formal education in the kitchens of Georges Perrier's Le Bec Fin, Daniel Stern's Gayle and Charles Roman's Blackfish. In 2008, Josh became the Executive Chef of Time Restaurant where he continues to hone his craft with dishes that showcase simple but distinctive flavors. His dedication to using quality ingredients and imaginative presentations is evidenced in every dish. Josh also consults for various people and establishments across the region.

Chef Brad Spence

Chef Brad Spence
1312 Spruce Street, Philadelphia

Brad Spence, Chef de Cuisine at Vetri in Philadelphia, developed his passion for food as a little boy cooking with his mom.  It wasn't long before he decided he wanted to make a career of it and began working in small kitchens as a teenager, prior to entering the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park to formalize his studies.  While at the CIA, he
worked at The Fifth Floor in San Francisco under Chef George Marrone. Upon graduation, Brad moved to New York to work for Tom Colicchio at Craftbar and Mario Batali at Casa Mono. In 2006, Brad relocated to Philadelphia to take the helm at Vetri. While working for Marc Vetri, Brad traveled to Italy to gain experience at Ristorante Loro and Taverna Colleoni in Bergamo.  In his first full year as Chef De Cuisine, Brad continued to hone his skills in Italian food production, having helped construct a curing room so that all cured meats at both Vetri and Osteria are made in house. His culinary leadership helps to promote Vetri as one of the top Italian restaurants in the country.

Chef P. Wesley Lieberher

Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro
Chef P. Wesley Lieberher
129 South 13th Street, Philadelphia

Chef Wesley Lieberher's career began just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the township of Flourtown. Wes studied classic Italian cuisine under the eye of CIA graduate Chef Robert Rosato. Under Chef Rosato for 5 years, he learned the basic skills and foundation of one of the mother cuisines and the importance of fresh local ingredients. In 2006, Wesley relocated to Center City, Philadelphia and signed on as line cook of newly opened Vintage Wine Bar and Bistro. In the new environment of French bistro style cooking Wesley's desire to learn everything in and out of the kitchen grew rapidly. Wesley quickly climbed to Sous Chef and, in under three years of dedication to his craft and the restaurant, he proved worthy to take the Executive Chef position of the Center City hot spot.
With ever-growing knowledge and ideas, Chef Wesley continues to grow as a Chef and is quickly becoming well established in the industry.

Chef Trent O'DrainWegman's
Chef Trent O'Drain

Trent attended the Philadelphia Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. After a time in the South Jersey/Philadelphia restaurant circuit, Trent became Executive Chef for Zagara’s Specialty and Natural Foods. Trent is now Executive Chef for Wegmans Food Markets in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

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