Menu Innovator Blog


Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia, PA (Italian)

By Tony Lagana / September 23, 2021

Chef Marc Vetri spent many of the early years of his culinary career working in Bergamo, Italy alongside the most respected chefs in that area of Europe. It was during his time in Italy that Chef Vetri perfected his craft of rustic, classic Italian dishes. He took this love of Italian cuisine back to his…

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Smyth, Chicago, IL (Eclectic)

By Tony Lagana / September 16, 2021

Chefs John and Karen Shields originally met while pursuing their individual culinary passions working for the renowned Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago where John was Sous Chef and Karen was Pastry Chef. The husband and wife team later took an opportunity to move to Virginia to redesign the Town House Restaurant that soon became world-renowned for imaginative…

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Next, Chicago, IL (American)

By Tony Lagana / September 9, 2021

Chef Achatz’s career began working in his own parent’s restaurants in St. Clair, Michigan. Shortly after,  he enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America and found himself graduating with a position at Charlie  Trotters. After working through many acclaimed restaurants, Achatz landed at The French Laundry as the sous chef for 4 years. After his…

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Neptune Oyster Bar, Boston, MA (Seafood)

By Tony Lagana / September 2, 2021

Florida native, Chef Eric Frier had a love of food from a young age but did not immediately pursue a  career in the culinary industry. After attending college, Chef Frier decided to pursue a culinary program. He set out to learn all he could about the craft. Following that, he came to Boston in 2010…

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Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA (Seafood)

By Tony Lagana / August 26, 2021

Chicago native, Chef Justin Cogley, traveled the world as a professional ice skater before settling into his chef position. During his time touring with ‘Disney on Ice’, Chef Cogley was exposed to new flavors and cuisines as well as a myriad of food markets and international techniques. Upon his return, he enrolled at the Western…

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Erizo, Portland, OR (Seafood)

By Tony Lagana / August 19, 2021

Chef Jacob Harth has made it his mission to tackle the world’s seafood sustainability. As a young chef,  Harth set out to understand where the seafood for many restaurants was coming from. He took the education he learned from the fishermen to open his own seafood restaurant, Erizo, in 2019. Erizo does things a bit…

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italian cuisine

Christini’s, Orlando, FL (Italian)

By Tony Lagana / August 12, 2021

In 1984, Chef and Restaurateur Chris Christini opened his namesake restaurant; Christini’s Ristorante  Italiano in Orlando, Florida. It is highly regarded as one of the best Italian cuisines in Orlando. Chef Christini ran the restaurant and it’s until turning the kitchen over to Executive Chef Jason Gonsalves in  2019. Mr. Christini can still be found greeting…

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Blue Hill, New York, NY (New American)

By Nadja Jauregui / August 5, 2021

Since 2014, Chef Dan Barber has brought his loves of farming and cooking together to New York to create a locally sourced, seasonal menu served in a cozy townhouse in Greenwich Village. In August of 2020, Chef Barber launched a Chef-in-Residence series where each chef contestant from different culinary backgrounds provides meals at Blue Hill…

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Blanca, Brooklyn, NY (Italian)

By Tony Lagana / July 29, 2021

Chef Carlo Mirarchi is a self-taught culinary genius who is regularly referred to as a misfit in the kitchen  for his original and somewhat unconventional techniques and flavor combinations. Chef Mirarchi does not look at food the way that many others do and that is what makes dining at Blanca so exciting; you  truly never…

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The Grey, Savannah, GA (Southern)

By Tony Lagana / July 22, 2021

Chef Mashama Bailey was born in the Bronx and raised in Queens but has family in Georgia where she  spent most of her young life. She learned to cook from her grandmother, aunts and mother during  summers in Georgia. She went on to attend ICE and then travelled to France and around the world to …

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