Ralph Perrazzo fell in love with food alongside his mother and grandmothers in their Long Island and Brooklyn kitchens.Along with a job at the Country House restaurant in Stony Brook at age 15, that cemented Perrazzo’s passion. Sure, being a dishwasher isn’t glorious, but it’s where he was able to start working with food by peeling potatoes and moving up to cleaning lobster. He quickly realized that life in the kitchen was much more fun than the conventional concept of “work.”Perrazzo continued to work at Country House as a cook for three years before going off to college.
Chef Perrazzo attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park earning a Culinary Degree.During school, Perrazzo packed his knife kit for weekend excursions to volunteer in some of the city’s top kitchens, including Jean Georges under then chef de cuisine Gabriel Kreuther.Perrazzo donated his time to this esteemed kitchen to hone his skills and learn all he could from some of the best around. Ralph worked hard and earned a job offer after graduation in the pastry department. Perrazzo then met and worked with Chef Eric Hubert, who fostered Perrazzo’s creativity over the next three years.He was encouraged to use his mind as vigorously as his hands.
After leaving Jean George, Ralph came back to Long Island and worked at the East Hampton’s beloved, Nick and Toni’s with Chef Joe Realmuto.This is where he fell in love with the East End of Long Island with all of its amazing produce and agriculture. An interest was sparked soon after to learn more about high volume catering. Perrazzo then distorted his experience to land a cook position at East Winds Hotel so he could learn a new side of the business.He achieved his aim and gained valuable knowledge during his stint back on Long Island.
Perrazzo’s next stop was Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where he had complete freedom to explore his ideas and philosophies in the bake shop. This freedom paid off. During his tenure, Bradley Ogden won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and Perrazzo—a Willy Wonka virtuoso of creative pastry—was named a 2005 StarChefs.com Las Vegas Rising Star Pastry Chef along with many other accolades.
A post as corporate executive pastry chef for PURE Management Group followed, with Perrazzo overseeing operations at several—and ultimately award-winning— high volume venues.While Perrazzo’s own restaurant group, Rare Concepts ultimately stalled due to investment complications, the venture helped Perrazzo learn just how brutal the restaurant business can truly be.Picking himself up, Ralph found a home for his pastry and passion at Clio in Boston where he worked tirelessly (but not conventionally) to transform his desserts with the freshest ingredients and concepts.
Ralph’s passion and determination to have his own restaurant and company was relentless.He worked non-stop with his family to launch BBD’s Restaurant in Rocky Point, NY.Home again to Long Island, Perrazzo’s concept for a restaurant focuses on the things he loves, BEERS, BURGERS and DESSERTS.BBD’s quickly became a popular destination creating regulars from Rocky Point and the surrounding areas.It’s fresh, handmade food is a beacon for one and all.Perrazzo’s hard work also paid off as BBD’s has earned many honors: “Top 10 Burgers” of Long Island by Newsday, “Top 10 Restaurants, 2014” Newsday, “Top 3 Restaurants” USA Today, Special Edition Best of New York 2014, “The Best of Long Island,” Restaurant Section.All of these awards have been bestowed upon the restaurant in its infancy, after being open for only four months.Perrazzo embodies BBD’s and will spread “Honest” food to anyone he can, pushing the BBD’s mantra Craftsmanship you Can Taste.
Chef Owner, August
Known among his industry peers as “Shorty,”, New Yorker, Josh Eden grew up cooking for his family and bartending throughout Manhattan. After attending the University of Maine, Eden returned home to enroll in the French Culinary Institute. At the same time, he began bussing tables at Daniel to get into the industry. It worked, and when he graduated from culinary school (with honors) he landed an entry-level position atCascabel with chef Tom Valenti. The next year he began his 12-year tenure with Jean-George Vongerichten.
Eden started as a cook at JoJo (his nickname started there, too), then earned a spot on the team at Vongerichten’s four-star restaurant, Jean Georges, where he worked the kitchen stations from garde manger to saucier. After five years he was promoted to senior sous chef, and later that year, (2000) appointed as executive chef of Vongerichten’s Dune Restaurant in the Ocean Club, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Eden embraced the position, even bringing New York seeds to local Bahamian farmers and encouraging them to cultivate the produce necessary to keep his kitchen running.
In 2003, Eden returned to New York and came full circle to JoJo, as chef de cuisine. He then helped Vongerichten open his restaurant 66 before acting as a consultant on several projects, including Xing in Hell’s Kitchen. Following years of contemplating his own property and supporting his fellow chefs and mentors, Eden opened his namesake 32-seat restaurant and first solo project in SoHo in late 2007. Shorty’s .32 was a direct departure from his fine dining roots; the neighborhood restaurant offered reasonably-priced, straightforward, seasonal American food. But the execution and across-the-board great flavor makes it clear that Eden has some serious experience under his belt. (That talent earned him a 2008 StarChefs.com New York Rising Star Award.)
After Shorty’s .32 closed, Eden opened August a restaurant know for doing some of the most rustic delicious food in New York City for the past 10 years.
Pastry Chef, The Modern
Hailing from Seoul, Korea, Jiho pursued his passion at the Kyung Ju Hotel School, completing two intense years of training to receive the Korean National Culinary Certification and an additional specialized certification in chocolate, confectionary, cakes, patisserie, and show pieces. Jiho began his professional career at the five-star Renaissance Hotel in Seoul, where he spent more than 10 years as pastry chef and lead a team of more than 20 chefs. After that, Jiho moved to the US to join the kitchen of Sandrine Bistro in Boston, followed by a year at Viridian Restaurant in Washington, DC, where he designed and implemented the pastry program. Jiho returned to Boston in 2006 and joined the L’Espalier team. In 2009 Kim was named a StarChefs.com Boston Rising Star pastry chef. In 2013, Jiho moved to New York to take on the role of Executive Pastry Chef for Gordon Ramsay at The London. After that, he moved on to work as opening Pastry Chef of Beautique. In 2014 Jiho became Pastry Chef of The Modern.
First inspired by cooking in his home kitchen in his youth, Chef Johnny took his first job in the restaurant industry washing dishes at age 14.As a young adult, he peered into the Boston restaurant scene making deliveries all over the city as a tractor trailer driver, reigniting his passion for cooking.He courageously made a pivotal turn in his career, enrolling in the acclaimed Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Cambridge, where he earned a degree, alongside life-altering experiences, that support his culinary approach to this day.His instructors, struck by his passion for the culinary art, took Sheehan’s learning to a different level, teaching him in open Asian markets about raw ingredients, and about molecular gastronomy, investing hours in his education past the school day.
Sheehan went on to work under celebrated Chef Ken Oringer at Boston’s renowned French modern-American restaurant Clio, where he worked tirelessly to learn each station and moved up the line. He jumped at the opportunity to work alongside Chef Chris Gould at Clio’s notable sushi bar, Uni, ultimately running it when Gould left his position to pursue his dream of opening Portland, Maine’s Central Provisions.Sheehan’s passion for cooking, attention to detail and his unique take on Asian-inspired cuisine is immediately evident upon speaking with him and sampling his dishes.
Chef Sheehan was featured on an episode of Boston’s popular television program The Phantom Gourmet, and received the rare and coveted “Hidden Jewel” accolade for his innovative fare.
Chef Johnny started hosting a ‘Chef’s Table’ dinner at the New World Tavern, selling out each event and it has taken off partnering with well-known and respected chefs across the South Shore to showcase multi-course dinners with pairings. These events have garnered a cult following, exciting the local South Shore communities and often selling out internally before tickets are released to the public. Sheehan’s passion for using local, sustainable and organic ingredients shines through his events, his menu and his relationships with local purveyors, vendors and farmers.
Born in Normandy, France and raised in the Loire Valley, Reuge began his culinary career at the age of fourteen with a three-year apprenticeship in Orleans, France. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he began the Tour des Compagnons, where he worked in restaurants in Strasbourg and Paris, France and Fribourg, Switzerland. At age 20, Reuge fulfilled his military duty as the personal chef of General Briquet, then the director of the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, where he cooked for the French president and other dignitaries. After re-entering civilian life Reuge came to New York City in September 1973, working in various restaurants in Manhattan, including Rene Pujol and Maxwell’s Plum.
He met his wife Maria Harrison, who was an editor at Gourmet magazine in 1975. After testing recipes for Gourmet France, Reuge was introduced to Sally Darr, who hired him as chef at La Tulipe, one of New York City’s most renowned restaurants in the late 1970s and 1980s. He also worked at Le Cygne, one of only four restaurants to receive a four-star rating by The New York Times in the 1970s. Later, he served as an executive chef at the Tavern on the Green, then one of America’s highest grossing restaurants.
After spending nearly 10 years in some of the best kitchens in New York City, Reuge decided to open his own restaurant outside of the major metropolis. He and his wife launched the original Mirabelle Restaurant in an old farmhouse in St. James, Long Island in 1983. The subject of a coverstory in Newsday, Mirabelle Restaurant was awarded “Exceptional” (four stars). Florence Fabricant of The New York Times rated the restaurant “Excellent” (three stars) while Zagat called it, “Not widely known, but the few who know it want to keep it a secret.”
La Toque d’Argent (the Silver Toque), one of the culinary world’s most prized possessions, was awarded in 2006 to Guy Reuge, culinary director of Three Village Inn, along with the title “Chef of the Year” by the Maitres Cuisiniers de France (Society of Master Chefs). Past recipients of this prestigious honor include Jacques Pepin, Daniel Boulud, Pierre Orsi, René Verdon, and André Soltner.
After a successful 25-year run in St. James, Lessing’s Hospitality invited Reuge in 2009 to bring the Mirabelle name to Three Village Inn in Stony Brook, New York, where he operates two restaurants – Mirabelle Restaurant and Mirabelle Tavern. Mirabelle Restaurant, received an “Exceptional” rating from Peter Gianotti of Newsday stating, “The reborn Mirabelle, haute in cuisine and refined in style, improves on the original and in a handsome, serene setting. It’s still a plum.” In spring 2009, Mirabelle Tavern garnered a “Very Good” (two stars) rating from The New York Times and an “Excellent” (three stars) from Newsday, for which Gianotti commends Reuge saying, “The star chef… jump-starts appetites and invigorates the Inn.”
Reuge is the author of the cookbook Le Petit Mirabelle and has contributed recipes to many others. He is also involved with the All-Clad Cookware company, giving demonstrations in the use of this superior cookware in stores across Long Island. He participates regularly in culinary festivals and fund-raising events such as March of Dimes across the country. In addition, he has been a guest on several shows on The Food Network and Fox Television and has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food Arts, New York magazine, Gourmet, The New York Times, Newsday, and The Daily News among others.
Reuge is a dynamic promoter of French culinary arts. In July 2001, he received the Chevalier du Merite Agricol, by the Minister of Agriculture of France in recognition of his contribution to the French agriculture industry. He was inducted into the Maitre Cuisinier de France in October 1990. He is a member of Le Commanderie Des Cordons Bleus, the Academie Culinaire de France, and the James Beard Foundation.
Chef Reuge, who lives in Stony Brook with his wife Maria, is the father of two daughters. His oldest daughter Maria has followed her parents in the restaurant business and is currently working at Eleven Madison Park in New York City. His younger daughter Cecile will graduate from the University of Vermont and is working with Rural Vermont, an organization that promotes sustainable farming in Vermont.
Chef/Owner, Blackbird Pizzeria
Mark Mebus is a vegan chef currently residing in Philadelphia PA. Mark began his cooking career by attending the chef program at the natural gourmet institute in Manhattan in 2002. Upon graduation, he began working in some of new yorks best vegan restaurants such as Candle 79 and Pure Food and Wine.
In 2005 Mark relocated to Philadelphia PA to work at the highly enjoyed restaurant Horizons. It was at Horizons, working under chef Rich Landau, that Mark really learned about vegan cuisine and was able to develop as a cook.
In late 2008 Mark returned to Manhattan to take over as head chef of Blossom restaurant. He ran the kitchen at Blossom for 2 years before deciding to move back to Philadelphia and open a place of his own.
In 2010 Mark opened the popular casual eatery Blackbird Pizzeria and has owned and operated it since.
Executive Chef, Sun Noodle
George Kao’s passion for food started at an early age. Native of New Jersey, George became familiar with different food and culture at an early age.
Born in Taiwan, and raised in Japan during his elementary school years, George’s food is heavily influenced by these early years in Asia.
After a brief stint in finance, George followed his true passion in food. Currently, George is the Sales Director at Sun Noodle, leading the path for the public. George works extensively with chefs of notable restaurants and hotels to create unique ramen.
Prior to joining Sun Noodle, George worked at D’Artagnan, Harry Wils & CO and New York Mutual Trading, INC. specializing in gourmet specialty foods such as Truffles, Foie Gras, Wagyu Beef and Japanese Sake.
Executive Chef, Fascino
Recognized as one of New Jersey’s most talented and respected chefs, executive chef Ryan DePersio brings a wealth of epicurean knowledge and award-winning experience to Battello. DePersio oversees all culinary aspects of Battello, delivering on a promise to provide its guests with progressive, modern Italian dishes that – as found at the finest establishments in Northern Italy – feature market-driven and seasonal ingredients.
Since his debut, DePersio has made an indelible mark on the New Jersey culinary scene. In July 2003, a then 25-year old DePersio opened his family’s new-Italian restaurant – Montclair’s Fascino – where his concept of ‘Italian without borders’ paired flawlessly with the establishment’s impeccable and attentive service. Fascino piqued the attention of the region’s most discerning food critics and reviewers, steadily earning his menu three-star reviews, the highly-coveted and allusive New York Times rating of ‘Excellent’ and mention that he was ‘born to run a restaurant.’
Growing up in Nutley, DePersio’s first and fondest memories of cooking are of the legendary meals prepared by his grandmothers and pastry chef mother Cynthia DePersio. It was their influence that ignited Ryan’s passion to pursue a career in the culinary arts and attend New York Restaurant School.
After graduation, DePersio worked at NYC’s famed Bouley Bakery and Judson Grill, where he received the opportunity of a lifetime – to relocate to Paris and work at the one-star Michelin rated La Braserie. It was there where DePersio advanced his craft and appreciation for creating food that electrified one’s palate just as much as ones senses matured.
Immediately upon his return to the United States, DePersio’s reputation as a talented and disciplined chef piqued the interest of master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, for whom he worked at Vong and then at Vongerichten’s self-titled four-star restaurant, Jean-Georges. After two years, opportunity in Europe once again beckoned and DePersio relocated to Florence to work at the two-star Enoteca Pinchiorri.
In addition to his work at Battello, Fascino and Nico, which DePersio also opened in 2003, chef DePersio regularly appears in media, having served as a guest on NBC’s Today Show, the Food Network and with Tony Tantilo’s CBS morning segment.
Executive Chef, The Tip Tap room
Rodrigues got his first taste of the restaurant industry at 14 years old when he was driven to find a job that would underwrite his penchant for skateboards. He spent one year flipping burgers at Bergson’s, a local diner chain, but yearned to recreate the kind of cooking he saw Julia Child do while watching television with his mother. He made the jump to fine dining, working in the kitchens of some of the South Shore’s most prestigious restaurants.After eight years of working under Ken Oringer alumnae like Kevin Long at Tosca in Hingham (incidentally, the same restaurant at which Oringer got his Massachusetts start in the early ‘90s) and Eric and Annemarie Stenfors at Saporito’s Florence Club Café in Hull, Rodrigues decided it was time to work for Oringer himself. He cold-called Clio in 2006, set up a stage and was offered the position of garde manger after one night.
In a major departure from the rustic-style cooking he was familiar with at Tosca and Saporito’s, Rodrigues was thrust into Clio’s disciplined world where each ingredient is treated with a different, globally-influenced technique. Countless hours of research and education go into the dishes at Clio, and Rodrigues was all too eager to learn from Oringer. Over the years, he learned how French, Asian, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian techniques and ingredients come together in modern, painstakingly-concepted and crafted dishes. Rodrigues continued his education in fine dining under Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin, when he took a brief hiatus from Clio and joined the opening team of Sensing in Boston for six months in 2009.
Upon his return, Rodrigues dove into the role of Sous Chef, working alongside Chef de Cuisine Andres Grundy. He challenged himself with the task of creating original dishes for the Clio menu, such as a White Orchid Root Gazpacho with Castillo de Canena Olive Oil, Molasses Croutons and Cocoa Nibs. Less than a year later, when Grundy left to take a position in NYC’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Rodrigues was promoted to Chef de Cuisine.
Rodrigues now is at home at The Tip Tap Room in Bostons Beacon Hill where he applied his style of cooking to a more approachable crowd and looser style of service.
Since becoming a Chef, Rodrigues has been a featured chef at the James Beard House in New York City, where he flexed his culinary skills as Ken Oringer’s protégé and presented a menu completely in line with his own unique vision and style. He has also appeared in the kitchen with Andrew Zimmern and Ken Oringer on The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods program.
Outside of the Clio kitchen, Rodrigues frequently returns to his hometown of Scituate, a small fishing village on the South Shore, where he fishes for bass, pickerel and flounder, and spends time on his grandfather’s farm.
Pastry Chef, Ritz Carlton
Anthony is a true New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn and richly rooted in Italian culture where his appreciation for culinary art was birthed. His passion and talent for baking was nurtured through his attendance at The New York Restaurant School which led him to his first job at The Grill Room by Larry Forgione.
Shortly thereafter in 1996 he was sought out by Jean George where he fine tuned his artistry by working underneath and eventually alongside his mentor, the very brilliant Eric Hubert. Anthony worked his way up to sous chef at Jean George where he remained for 5 years before transitioning to the Ritz Carlton in April 2002.
He has been with the ritz Carlton for thirteen years and continues to bring exuberance and devotion to his craft day in and day out. His love for pastry is exacerbated by the joy he brings countless guests as they experience his delicious flavor pairings executed with detail and precision. Anthony still loves what he does as much as the day he began and considers the art of pastry an integral part of the man he is today.
Joe Murphy – Returning Chef
Pastry Chef, Jean George
If there was an appealing dessert enjoyed in New York City within the past 20 years,
chances are Joseph Murphy had something to do with it.As his 21st year in the restaurant business approaches, Murphy has taken his passion for all things sweet (and some salty) to the kitchen of Jean-Georges as executive pastry chef.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in baking and pastry, Murphy wasted little time before working in the pastry departments at the Symphony Café, La Côte Basque and Park Avenue Café, gaining the professional experience needed to further his cooking and baking techniques.
In 1997, Murphy joined the culinary team at the revered Gotham Bar and Grill as the executive pastry chef.Throughout the next four years, Murphy honed his managerial skills with his involvement in the menu development, food purchasing and staff hiring of the restaurant.It was while at Gotham Bar and Grill that diners began to take notice of Murphy’s collaboration with Executive Chef Alfred Portale to create desserts that illustrated the restaurant’s signature approach to epicurean juxtapositions.With such knowledge and recognition in hand, he set out to teach pastry classes at Macy’s, the Culinary Institute of America and the French Culinary Institute as well as to design and research recipes for a variety of food publications including Gourmet and Food & Wine, and the New York Times.
In 2001, Murphy took up the reigns at B.R. Guest’s Bluefin in the W Times Square Hotel.Less than a year later, an irresistible opportunity arose.Along with partners, Murphy opened Fresh, a 100-seat TriBeCa seafood restaurant that quickly received two stars from Eric Asimov of The New York Times.
In the spring of 2003, Murphy was offered the position of corporate pastry chef for Jean-Georges Management, where he supervised the pastry kitchens of Vong, V Steak, Mercer Kitchen and JoJo.Murphy also spent his time traveling to London, Paris, the Bahamas and Shanghai assuring that each of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s famed restaurants continued to maintain the standards implemented by the world-renowned chef. It comes as no surprise that in 2006 Pastry Art and Design magazine named Murphy one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the country.
In 2007, Murphy has joined with another venerable French chef, Laurent Tourondel.As the executive pastry chef of BLT Market and The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, Murphy oversaw the pastry stations at both BLT Market and the Ritz-Carlton’s Star Lounge, executing sumptuous desserts and pastry items for all meals including afternoon tea.
In 2008 Murphy joined the team at Harvest Restaurants in New Jersey, preparing many of the dishes he made in New York.