Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Bruce has spent almost his entire life working in kitchens, and was trained by some of the nation’s top chefs. His culinary career began at a local pizzeria owned by a family friend, where he fell in love with fresh ingredients and the beat of the kitchen. He attended a small hands-on culinary program at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ, where he began to hone his skills. Bruce has since traveled the United States, working in New York City with David Burke at Park Ave Cafe, and in Chicago with Paul Bartalotta at Spiaggia. His executive chef stints span the nation from Chicago (Okno, Green Dolphin Street and Coco Pazzo) to Santa Fe, NM (Il Piatto) and Phoenix, AZ (Chelsea’s Kitchen). Bruce made the final move to Los Angeles, CA to open The Misfit in Santa Monica, serving farmer’s market driven fare, with a strong emphasis on Northern Italian and Mediterranean flavors and preparations. He continued this tradition as executive chef of The Churchill in West Hollywood, CA, where he continued to perfect the art of hand crafted cuisine. House made charcuterie and pickles, along with fresh pasta and desserts are some of the highlights of the menu at this market driven restaurant.Accolades include a James Beard nomination for “Rising Star Chef”, and appearances on many local and national TV programs, including the Food Network, mostly recently the winner of Chopped, season 15, episode 1 “head’s up”, aired 3/31/13. Bruce left the Churchill to start his specialty company, Bruce’s Prime Pickle Co, a line of “vine to jar”, hand packed pickled vegetables inspired by fresh, seasonal produce of the west coast.
As the co-owner and visionary behind KP Hospitality Group – known for Pasadena, CA’s Northern Italian restaurant UNION, and Grand Central Market’s KNEAD & CO Pasta Bar + Market – Marie Petulla draws on almost two decades of experience in restaurant hospitality and prides herself in delivering personalized service to each guest while fostering a warm family atmosphere among her team. Each of her restaurants is unique and different in style and presentation, but what unifies them is a foundation that focuses on the importance of hospitality, community and sustainability. Although Petulla is known for her expertise in hospitality and operations, her main focus as an owner is to mentor her staff in both the front and back of the house. “I believe we can achieve greatness when each team member is given equal respect and opportunity to grow.” Throughout her career, Petulla has broken down barriers and kicked through ceilings in this male dominated field which has naturally led her to be an advocate and champion for women in the restaurant industry.