Years of Participation
Joe credits his Grandma Mary for beginning his culinary career–she taught him how to truly cook pastas, ravioli, and pizzas, all made by hand. He received his culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu and then went on to work alongside some of Chicago's most renowned chefs, including Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat, Art Smith at Table Fifty-Two, and Bill Kim at bellyQ. In 2014, Joe joined James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano to become Chef de Cuisine at Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia, eventually becoming Executive Chef in 2015. While at Spiaggia, Joe competed on Top Chef 15 in Colorado, going on to win his season.
After helming the Spiaggia kitchen for 6 years, Joe opened his debut restaurant, Rose Mary, with Sancerre Hospitality in Chicago’s Fulton Market District in April 2021. Named for Joe’s grandmothers, Mary and Mary Rose, the restaurant is inspired by his Italian heritage and the bold, bright flavors of Croatian cuisine, offering a seasonal menu of what Joe has coined “Adriatic drinking food”.
In 2022, Joe became Culinary Director of Sancerre, taking over the food program at the group’s first restaurant, BLVD Steakhouse, while continuing to oversee all aspects of the Rose Mary kitchen.