Benefiting: Sweets Foundation
John Vermiglio is Detroit born, Providence schooled, and Chicago trained. His first restaurant job was in a bagel joint at 14, where he washed dishes instead of rolling dough and baking bagels. Aspiring to a more culinary future, Vermiglio left the Midwest to study at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated with honors.
Next up for Vermiglio were a series of catering jobs, restaurant gigs, and work as a private chef. Then his big chance came through: he accepted a position as head chef of Charlie Trotter catering company, Trotter’s To Go. With his foot in the door, Vermiglio spent two-plus years learning, catering events and private dinners, and eventually working at the group’s two-star Michelin flagship. Moving from one Chicago lion to the next, Vermiglio took on the role of executive sous chef at Art Smith’s Table Fifty-two. He spent four years running the restaurant and overseeing private events and travels for the Art Smith Company before signing on to work at Graham Elliot Bowles’ two-star Michelin Graham Elliot Bistro.
Reuniting with Trotter alum Matthias Merges, Vermiglio took over as director of culinary operations for Merges’ Folkart Restaurant Management with restaurants A10 Hyde Park, Billy Sunday, Yusho Hyde Park, and Yusho Logan Square. Having ascended the heights of Chicago fine-dining, Vermiglio decided it was time to come home to Detroit. In summer 2016, he opened casual, fun, cocktail-centric Grey Ghost in Brush Park—likely one of many restaurants to come for team Vermiglio in Detroit.
Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails
Douglas Hewitt Jr. is a native of Howell, Michigan, entered the restaurant business at 14, and graduated with a degree in culinary arts from Schoolcraft College. After working at acclaimed restaurants such as Five Lakes Grill and Terry B’s, chef Doug opened Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails in 2015, which was named the Detroit Free Press restaurant of the year in 2016. Hewitt’s focus on local, natural ingredients gives his food a vibrant brightness that has delighted his guests. Critics have referred to him as a “vegetable wizard” and his food has made them “feel like a kick ass woodland fairy”. When he’s not in the kitchen, Doug is usually playing golf, watching the Lions, or hanging out with his wife Jen and their dog Bo.
As an advocate for all things Michigan, James Rigato is a leader in Detroit’s culinary scene renaissance. Rigato opened Mabel Gray in a small Coney-style diner on an abandoned stretch of Hazel Park’s main street in 2015. His sophisticated yet approachable menu aims to delight and nurture guests.
His tireless work has not gone unnoticed: Mabel Gray earned one of James Beard’s “Best New Restaurant” semi-finalists and Eater’s “21 Best New Restaurants in America,” and the Detroit Free Press “Restaurant of the Year.” Rigato himself was three times a James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” semi-finalist; a Top Chef season 12 contestant; and was named “The People’s Best New Chef: Great Lakes Region” by Food & Wine.
In June 2018, SheWolf Pastificio and Bar opened in Detroit’s Cass Corridor under the leadership of chef Anthony Lombardo. He and his team craft contemporary Italian food. Inspired by the cuisine of Rome, the food represents Chef Lombardo’s travels throughout Italy while focusing on heritage grains from Michigan and the Midwest, milled in house and used in the handcrafted pastas. SheWolf is HOUR Magazine Detroit’s 2020 restaurant of the year, Thrillest Best New Restaurant in America in 2019 and Chef Anthony Lombardo was a nominated for a James Beard award in 2019.
Previously, Lombardo was Executive Chef for the historic 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown. A 2004 graduate of Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Lombardo took over the kitchen of this destination restaurant in late summer and Washingtonian magazine recognized it in the “100 Very Best Restaurants” issue with three stars in January, 2012 and again in January, 2014. Forbes featured 1789 and Anthony’s “daily changing, rarified, extremely locally sourced menu with lamb and pork from the Shenendoah Valley. 1789 Restaurant was the winner of Open Table’s Dinner’s Choice Awards for three categories: American, Best Ambiance and Best Service 2012, and once again it was named as one of the nation’s capital’s best restaurants for 2013 by Washingtonian. Lombardo was also chosen for the 2013 edition of Best Chefs America, a comprehensive, peer reviewed guide to chefs. Lombardo was also invited to be a featured chef at the acclaimed James Beard House for August, 2013. In August of 2014, Chef Lombardo took over The Hamilton, Clyde’s newest and largest venture.
Prior to relocating to the nation’s capital, Lombardo worked in Southfield, Michigan for four years as the chef de cuisine of Bacco Ristorante, which has captured numerous awards and is ranked by Zagat as a one of “America’s Top Restaurants.” He also gained valuable experience at other notable establishments including Galileo Ristorante in Washington, Villa Maiella Ristorante in Guardiagrele, Italy and at the four-star, five-diamond Everest Room in Chicago.
$160.00 per person
Rain or Shine | Tickets are non-refundable | Adults 21 and over please
Transfer to another date during the 2019/2020 season; $25.00 per person
For sponsorship opportunities, call Jodi Swank at 561-202-5648.