Bio: 37; from Upper Darby, now in Pennsport with wife and son, Oliver.
First foray: "I started working in Garrity's in Sea Isle when I was 14, washing dishes. My dad worked at the restaurant beforehand. He got me the job because I needed something to do for the summer."
Restaurant connections: Summer jobs turned into bigger gigs at White Dog CafÃ©, Alison Two, Carmine's, Django, London Grill and New Wave CafÃ©. Now he's executive chef at Midtown's modern-Greek Opa (1311 Sansom St., 215-545-0170, opaphiladelphia.com).
What's new: The menu. "We're adding more green, lightening it up for spring."
Family biz: His mom's side owned a wholesale produce business and taverns. His grandfather was a butcher. These days, "all my cousins are chefs. It's crazy. We have a turkey fry-off every Thanksgiving. But when we get together as a family, we're not trying to bust each other's stones. We'd rather have a beer and a piece of turkey."