The Ex-ecutive Chef
BOSTON: LaMorra, Perdix, The Biltmore, LoBellos, City Farm Caterers, Tupelo
WESTCHESTER: Capriccios, Restaurant North, Barley House, Barley on Hudson, Barley Beach House
MANHATTAN: PS450, The Volstead, The Caulfield
LONDON: The Fat Bear, The Big Easy, One-Sixty Smokehouse, Priory Tavern
BROOKLYN: The Freehold
Raised in Croton on Hudson, by two Brooklyn parents, I learned early how to cook with my Sicilian-American mother, while my Lebanese-Haitian American father certainly brought some different flavors and dishes to the table. I worked at my local pizzeria while in school, but it wasn’t until several years later, while working with the Jerry Brenner Group (music promotion company- Woburn, MA), that I stumbled on the website for Newbury College and decided I would pursue a culinary education.
For the first time in my life, I was an honor student with perfect grades, but quickly exited the academic world once I had found a restaurant to fall in love with. La Morra (Brookline, MA), helmed by husband and wife team Josh & Jen Ziskin, was a newly opened Italian restaurant outside of Boston and was nothing like the ‘red sauce’ joints I knew growing up. We were cooking seasonal and regional dishes from parts of Italy i had never heard of. My world opened up in ways I didn’t think possible, as all the foods I ‘didn’t eat’, became foods I loved under the influence of the enormously talented Chef Ziskin. Within a year and a half, I went from Garde-Manger to Sous Chef and never took another line cook position again, preferring a little bit of power & prestige over the chance to just put my head down and cook. Over the years, I worked for many owners, some great, some not. I opened my own little pizza and sandwich shop, only to sell it back after a year. I followed my wife’s career to London where I taught myself to cook BBQ and worked with legends like Kenny Callaghan (Blue Smoke, NYC) and Pete Daversa (Hill Country BBQ, NYC) at the 1,200 cover a day colossus that is the Big Easy (Covent Garden, London). I returned to Brooklyn from London and worked with a few more operations before finally calling it quits in August of 2018. By October, I was a licensed real estate sales person in the state of New York and pursuing my own business on the side.
After an 18 year stint in the restaurant industry opening over a dozen locations in the US and the UK, I’m back at home in Westchester and focusing on two new ventures. As a former executive chef, with both opening and management experience, I started Hudson River Hospitality Services as a way to offer my skills and experience to those who need it, while not being tied down to any specific restaurant or group. This is enormously beneficial for the many restaurant owners out there who do not need a full time executive chef, or manager, but need an experienced set of eyes and hands to get them through an opening or transition. As a licensed real estate agent, I can also help scout new locations and see your through the process of leasing or purchasing your next location. For the home consumer, I can help plan your next event, offer cooking lessons or put together an unforgettable dinner party for you and your friends or family.