Chris Albrecht, Kir Rodriguez, Joe Tartamella, & David Drake - Landmark Hospitality

Chris Albrecht, Kir Rodriguez, Joe Tartamella, & David Drake - Landmark Hospitality

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WHO: Ryland Inn Executive Chef Chris Albrecht , and Ryland Inn Pastry Chef and Chocolatier Kir Rodriguez,  Felina Executive Chef Joe Tartamella, &   Stone House Executive Chef David Drake. 

Born and raised in Central New Jersey, Christopher Albrecht graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and proceeded to work with some of New York’s finest. This includes stints at Gramercy Tavern (with Tom Colicchio and pastry chef Claudia Fleming). Eventually, he became executive chef at Craftsteak Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, overseeing everything including Wichcraft Sandwich. Under his guidance, Craftsteak was named the Best New Restaurant, Best Steakhouse, and Best American Restaurant by Las Vegas Life magazine. It was also named Best Overall by the New York Times and Best Steakhouse in North America by Travel and Leisure.From there, Albrecht partnered with the Terra Momo Restaurant Group opening Eno Terrain Kingston, NJ, which received 4 stars from the New York Times, 3.5 stars from the Star Ledger, and was a perennial top 25 in NJ Monthly’s Top Restaurants. He’s cooked at the James Beard House, given a TEDx talk, and competed in the Great American Seafood Cookoff (3rd place!).

The son of a Sicilian immigrant and bakery owner in Staten Island, Joe Tartamella embarked upon his culinary journey after enrolling in the French Culinary Institute in New York, where he trained under many of the most renowned instructors in the world. While growing up, Chef's experiences span from executive culinary positions across New York City hotels, like the Park Hyatt New York, Intercontinental New York Times Square, and The Plaza to cultivating relationships with local farmers and small businesses in New Jersey through the Harvest Restaurant Group as executive chef. Now bringing his expertise to Landmark Hospitality’s Felina and Felina Steak at Hudson House, Chef Tartamella’s menu is based on his belief in merging tradition with modern culinary techniques. Drawing from his Sicilian roots, Chef brings a traditional Italian Mediterranean touch to all dishes he delivers.

David Drake, one of the most prominent chefs in New Jersey, was executive chef at the Frog and the Peach in New Brunswick, chef-owner at the Stage House Restaurant in Scotch Plains, co-founder of the restaurant David Drake, and executive chef-partner at the Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick, earning exceptional praise from The New York Times, among other media outlets. His Stage House was named by Gourmetmagazine as one of the nation’s best restaurants. He also worked with chef Jean Francois Taquet, at the River Café with chef David Burke, and at the Ryland Inn with chef Craig Shelton in Whitehouse. David has also been nominated for a James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant.” 

Kir Rodriguez has twenty years of experience in the culinary arts specializing in pastry, chocolate, and sugar sculpting — as well as a degree from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He’s competed in multiple pastry competitions and appeared on the Food Network. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, he has worked in many renowned restaurants including Daniel, Union Square Cafe, Le Cirque and Orso. He’s also taught at the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute) for 16 years. In 2021, he started working as Head Pastry Chef at the Ryland Inn. He loves to explore food during his travels, which have taken him to Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, and China.

WHAT: The focus is on American classics. Each Landmark chef will be highlighting a favorite holiday dish that they grew up with, drawing inspiration from their respective restaurant. 

WHEN: Tuesday, November 28, 6:00 PM 

WHERE: De Gustibus Cooking School