Culinary Manager

Brian Palombo

AAS Avionics Technology, Community College of Beaver County
AAS Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University
PC-1 ProChef Certification, Culinary Institute of America

Brian first set foot in a busy kitchen at age 11, when he would help his mom and grandfather wash dishes at the Croatian social club. By the time he was 13, he was churning out the Friday fish fries himself and joining a family legacy.

“My mom, grandmother, dad and uncles cooked – everybody cooked in the family, and everybody had a high opinion of it.”

It wasn’t until he was in his 30s, after serving in the air force as an electronics technician, that he began to think seriously about being a chef. But even during his service he cooked at the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) club as often as he could, learning about cultural dishes while stationed in the United Kingdom.

After serving in the armed forces, Brian rejoined the culinary corps as a line cook at a country club kitchen run by a chef who taught him the nuances of leadership, purchasing, scheduling and food costs. This on-the-job training prepared him for the pressure cooker of running his own kitchens where he thrives on the pace and creativity in places like a private country club, a corporate headquarters and even at the Olympics.

Brian attended culinary school at Johnson and Wells, which helped him land an executive chef position as soon as he graduated. After several years of long hours while nurturing a growing family, Brian took a job in contract management where he could still work with food but be home by dinner time. Ten years later in 2016, he joined the team at Rich’s, where he considers his culinary colleagues family that inspire him every day.

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