ABOUT CHEF Justin
Justin began his career in Tulsa in 2002 as Sous Chef of the Polo Grill. After six months, he was offered the challenge of building and developing Ciao, Baby! He opened the restaurant in June 2003 and created its Northern Italian cuisine with valuable guidance from his long-time mentors, chefs Ouida & Robert Merrifield of the Polo Grill. While at Ciao, Baby! Justin was charged with developing and opening another venture, Osage Restaurant at Gilcrease Museum.
His notable roles prior to opening his own restaurants include the Executive Chef title at The Brasserie, Sonoma, and Duke’s. During this time, Justin was recognized by Tulsa People Magazine, Oklahoma Magazine and Urban Tulsa as being one of Tulsa’s Best Chefs. He has served as Operating Chef for the 2010 Philbrook Wine Experience and was invited to be the featured chef for a fundraising dinner for President Bill Clinton in 2009.
Justin has donated his time and efforts in support of many of Tulsa’s charities, including Alzheimer's Association, the Child Abuse Network, Chefs for the Cure (Cancer Treatment Centers of America), Cooking for a Cause (Iron Gate Ministries), Chef Fest, Sip for Sight, Cooking Up Compassion (Catholic Charities), March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, Meals on Wheels, Uncorking the Cure for MS, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RAIN Oklahoma, Bella Cucina (Tulsa Ballet), and Philbrook Museum.
In addition to his charitable contributions, Justin has spent numerous hours teaching cooking classes at The Stock Pot and Sage Culinary Studio. He has been a featured chef at Odyssey de Culinaire for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and ProStart Program. Justin was the winner of Blank Canvas, Youth Services of Tulsa’s chef competition and fundraiser in 2009 and 2010 and served as Chef Coordinator and Judge for the 2011 event. He has recently served as an Industry and Occupation Expert for the accreditation of the Culinary Program at Platt College here in Tulsa.