Chaia Cucina's consulting services bring to bear 18 years of food industry experience, 15 of them focused on nuanced, restaurant fine-dining. Whether your needs encompass menu planning and development, kitchen organization and design, product sourcing, or service style and approach, we can help your concept adapt and hone its focus to create a thriving business model.
Adam’s experience in the restaurant industry comprises an eventful 18 years. The bulk of his culinary education was gleaned in San Francisco, where he worked first as a line cook under chefs Reed Heron at Black Cat and Brenda Buenviaje at Oritalia, and did an apprenticeship under Suzette Gresham at Aqcuarello. Following these stints, Adam was the tournant at Oritalia, this time under the tutelage of chef John Nelson, and then the executive sous-chef at Mecca Restaurant under chef Mike Fennelly. Adam’s cooking knowledge is a composition of training at the California Culinary Academy and time spent at the aforementioned establishments where cuisines had Asian, Italian, Creole, and Southwestern influences. Major influence has also come from years of travel abroad to over 20 countries, as well as copious time spent specifically in Italy as both a student (studying architecture in Florence from June ’92 – January ’93) and a chef (cooking in Chianti for 3 weeks during the summer of 2005 and working as the private chef to Dick Ebersol and the NBC Executives during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino).
Adam’s first full venture as an executive chef and co- owner was The Globe Cafe / by Moonlight, a conversion concept restaurant with high-end deli/café-style fare for both breakfast and lunch, and full fine dining during the evening. The evening fine dining component (referred to solely as “by Moonlight”) was developed jointly between Adam and his two partners, Peter Berntsen and Chad Larsen. The restaurant was launched and the day menu reworked when Adam returned to Salt Lake City in April 2001. While the sustained life of the Globe Café/by Moonlight was not fated to be, the restaurant and Chef Kreisel garnered much praise during their two and a half years in business, including being awarded Best Undiscovered Restaurant 2002 from Salt Lake Magazine just after opening, and winning awards from both the City Weekly (Best Downtown Restaurant 2003, Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice) and Citysearch.com (Best SLC Restaurant 2003). Additionally, Adam was chosen to be one of three chefs to cook the prestigious opening James Beard Foundation Dinner for the IOC delegates to inaugurate the 2002 Winter Olympics. Following the closing of the Globe, Adam spent time as the executive chef for the Sundance Resort, Robert Redford’s exclusive spa and village in North Fork Canyon, Utah. There his responsibilities had him overseeing two restaurants, two lodges on the mountain, a take-out deli operation and a full-time catering division, these outlets highlighted by the Tree Room fine-dining restaurant. After leaving Sundance, Adam spent approximately 3 years consulting for restaurants and foodservices in and out of Utah. These jobs took him to Arizona, California, Nevada, Dubai-United Arab Emirates, and the aforementioned Torino, Italy. More recently, Adam helped to develop both the concept and the design for Acme Burger Company, a gourmet burger restaurant in downtown Salt Lake. Adam was involved in the project virtually from its inception in January 2007 and remained at the helm of the kitchen until June 2008 when he left (retaining a small equity share in the venture) to spend time with his daughter and follow other pursuits, including the regionally-influenced Italian restaurant, Tipica, a project collaboration with Matt and Tony Caputo. Chaia Cucina translates roughly (as a combination of Hebrew and Italian) to “lifegiving kitchen”, a short phrase that poignantly describes the cooking environment he always strives to create. It is through this medium that Adam chooses to engage all components of the kitchen environment for his clients. Adam also teaches intermittent courses in the culinary program at the Art Institute International of Salt Lake and is heavily involved in Slow Food.
Prior to journeying to the Bay Area, Adam resided in the Salt Lake City area for four years where he worked as a cook and manager at both Pinon Market/Café and Redbones Authentic Memphis-Style Barbeque (now Sugarhouse BBQ Company). Before cooking, Adam was involved in the architecture field as a draftsman, model builder, and site evaluator for a prestigious Salt Lake City firm. In addition to his architectural and culinary training, Adam has a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Raised in Boston, Adam first came to the Salt Lake City area to live in the summer of 1994 and stayed until 1998. He currently owns a residence and lives with his 6-year-old daughter and willing food tester, Chaia, in the Sugarhouse section of the city. He and Chaia love to ski, hike, camp, cook, and of course, eat.