Chef Justin was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia—a foundational passion for food blooming through spending time with his grandfather in the family vegetable garden or while fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. Justin began working in kitchens at the age of twelve, his first job being dishwasher at the restaurant next to his father’s seafood business in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. In addition to all his hands-on experience, Justin attended The Culinary Institute of America. “It’s been a varied and colorful twenty years,” he reflects.
Having honed his craft across the world, Justin became the Chef at Villa 9 Trois just outside of Paris, where his hyper-seasonal and locally inspired nightly menus earned the restaurant a coveted Bib Gourmand rating. Justin then joined Francis Mallmann in Patagonia, where the pioneering chef of cooking with fire and smoke instilled a love for cooking alongside nature that resonates with Justin even today.
A resident of West Midtown, Justin enjoys reading, writing, watching spooky movies, and trying new restaurants with his husband, Richard. (His current favorite restaurant is Bastone.) When it comes to his kitchen at home, Justin tends to cook a lot of fresh pastas, pizzas, and Indian dishes. “My husband is Italian-American and vegetarian, so my cooking has shifted a bit towards his palate,” Justin explains.