Joe Armagno '14 is pursuing his passion – a passion for the culinary arts that he says he discovered while at Gilmour and was able to pursue further during his senior project. Since graduating, Joe has remained connected to Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Vaughn recently introduced Joe to current Gilmour parent – and James Beard Award-winning chef – Jonathan Sawyer. Thanks to that introduction, Joe is now working in one of Chef Sawyer’s restaurants – The Greenhouse Tavern.
After graduating from Gilmour, Joe studied culinary management at the University of Akron for two years and then transferred to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He takes his courses online so that he can work in Cleveland while attending school.
Joe started at Greenhouse Tavern as a fry cook, moved up the grill and is currently training to work the pastry station. He helps the chefs come up with the daily specials based upon the ingredients the restaurant has on hand. However, if he wants to try something unique, the chefs will order special ingredients and let him experiment.
Joe says that he has learned a great deal about building levels of flavor into a dish and believes that it all starts with the ingredients used. One of the reasons he enjoys working at Greenhouse Tavern is because the restaurant is a 100 percent locally sourced, organic restaurant, so it only uses the freshest seasonal ingredients and changes its menu frequently. He also loves that when planning the menu, the chefs look for the cooks’ input and they all brainstorm to create the best dining experience possible for the customer.
Next stop? After graduating, Joe would love to spend a year or two training under a chef in Europe to build on what he’s learned from Chef Sawyer and his team.