“Cooking is the art of balancing flavor and texture, and the kitchen is my canvas.”
Chef Sean Piccarreto’s story is about passion, dedication, and culinary innovation. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Chef Piccarreto began his foray into the culinary world at a young age, washing dishes at the Diplomat Party House. This early experience in a bustling kitchen environment laid the foundation for a remarkable career in the culinary arts.
During his college years, Chef Piccarreto continued to nurture his growing passion for cooking at the Freight Yard Pub, where working the line helped finance his education and solidify his aspirations. Upon his return to Rochester, he took up the mantle of Kitchen Manager at Pelicans Nest, dedicating four years to refining his culinary and leadership skills.
Seeking to formalize his culinary education, Chef Piccarreto then ventured to Portland, Oregon. Here, he earned a culinary degree, broadening his culinary perspective and deepening his appreciation for diverse cuisines and techniques.
His expertise was particularly evident in the way he balanced the bold flavors typical of Mediterranean cuisine—olive oil, fresh herbs, ripe tomatoes, and succulent seafood—with a modern twist that appealed to the palates of his diverse clientele. From perfectly grilled seafood that echoed the freshness of the Mediterranean shores to richly flavored meats seasoned with a symphony of herbs and spices, each dish was a testament to his culinary prowess.
Moreover, Chef Piccarreto’s commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients was pivotal in bringing his Mediterranean-inspired menu to life. He believed in the importance of fresh, seasonal produce, ensuring every dish served at Virtu tasted exceptional, and supported local producers and suppliers. His journey led him to Los Angeles in 2012, marking a significant turning point in his career.
In Los Angeles, Chef Piccarreto’s culinary artistry flourished. Starting as a Sous Chef at Rockefeller in Hermosa Beach, he immersed himself in Gastro Pub style cuisine. His talent and relentless drive soon led him to work with Michelin Star Chef Joe Miller at Joe’s in Venice Beach, where he ascended to the position of Sous Chef. In this role, Chef Piccarreto specialized in farm-to-table ingredients, creating seasonal tasting menus that were both innovative and delightful.
Chef Piccarreto’s journey continued with prestigious roles as the Executive Sous Chef at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, Executive Chef at the Culver Hotel, and Executive Chef at the AC Marriott & Flora Rooftop Restaurant in El Segundo. He left a unique culinary imprint in these positions, drawing inspiration from a rich tapestry of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines.
As the Executive Chef at VENTANAS in Fort Lee, Chef Piccarreto continues redefining culinary boundaries. The Modern-American, Latin, and Asian-inspired dishes have become a magnet for upscale clientele from New Jersey and New York. Chef Sean Piccarreto’s journey, marked by an unwavering dedication to culinary excellence and a continuous quest for innovation, is a testament to the transformative power of passion and hard work in gastronomy.