TEAM ST PETE
At the young age of 24, Luke Decker’s brother convinced him to leave an eight-year career in retail to come work for him at Bella Brava in St. Petersburg, FL. He’s been in love with cooking ever since and immediately knew it would be so much more than, “just a job. Luke spent three years learning under Chef Mario Maggi and his brother Chef Anthony Decker, who currently works as Chef de Cuisine at Felidia in New York City. Luke then found himself training under Executive Chef Jason Cline at The Birchwood when it opened in 2013. For the next four years, he honed his skills working his way from Grill Cook, to Sous Chef, and then finally to Chef de Cuisine. When Chef Jason announced he would be leaving the Birchwood it was only natural that Chef Luke took his place. Chef Luke jokes that he was, “a late bloomer,” but his work ethic, technical skills, drive and desire to be great at what he does while delivering memorable meals make him the perfect choice for Executive Chef at The Birchwood. Chef Luke’s brother remains on his “Most Admired” list and admits had he not convinced him to move to Florida and train under him, he would not be where he is today. He also feels it is important to read up on trends and not be afraid to create and experiment as much as possible. Chef Luke firmly believes that all staff should be thoroughly trained on ingredients and techniques used to prepare dishes in order to help ensure guests have an understanding of their options to ensure the best possible experience.
Originally from Ohio, Matthew comes from a family of restaurateurs and chefs. He began his culinary career at the Culinary Institute of America in New York where he excelled and graduated with top honors.
Matthew worked under Chef Jean Robert DeCavel at North America’s longest running Mobil Five Star restaurant Le Maisonette. Soon after, he was drawn to Charlotte’s burgeoning fine-dining scene and began running the kitchens of upscale restaurants such as Toscana, Luce and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
He then moved to Hawaii to run the acclaimed Steakhouse “140” for the Four Seasons Hotel Company. He relocated to Denver to be the Executive Sous Chef of the Denver Marriott City Center, where he was instrumental in launching the Greatroom concept of “Prospect’s Urban Kitchen and Bar” to rave reviews.
Matthew loves to experiment with new foods and flavors. When not in the kitchen, he enjoys traveling with his wife Lena and exploring the outdoors..
A native of Northern Virginia, Jeffrey Jew began his career managing restaurants in New York City, Miami, and Washington, D.C. following his graduation from Virginia Tech in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
In 2005, Jeffrey enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where he graduated top of his class with a degree in Culinary Arts. As a Chef, Jeffrey worked for Chef Angela Hartnett and Chef Gordon Ramsay at the famed Connaught Hotel in London and also has spent time cooking in kitchens in France and Italy. While living in Washington, D.C., Jeffrey was the Head Chef of the Embassy of Italy as well as the Chef de Cuisine for some of DC’s most notable restaurants. Jeffrey has a passion for wine and has worked the harvest in the United States, France, Italy and Spain. Recently, Jeffrey could be seen cooking on Bravo’s cooking competition series “Top Chef,” and Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games.
Currently, Jeffrey is the Executive Chef overseeing culinary development and design for 2BHospitality in Saint Petersburg, Florida, which includes BellaBrava and his new concept Stillwaters Tavern.
Ted was raised in the kitchens of family owned restaurants. After graduating from Le Cordon Blue, he launched his career at Mise en Place. He moved up to Executive Sous Chef at Chez Bryce and eventually went on to develop menus for Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club, Boca Kitchen Bar & Market, and Copperfish Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar. Prior to striking out on his own, Chef Ted oversaw all dining and bar facilities at Hotel Zamora including the revered Castile Restaurant. In 2015, he partnered with Jason and brought The Mill to life.
One of the established stars of Tampa Bay’s restaurant scene, Tyson Grant has established Parkshore Grill as downtown St. Petersburg’s premiere dining destination. Self-taught and widely traveled, with tours in Washington D.C. and the Turks & Caicos Islands, Tyson first won acclaim at The Grill at Feather Sound in Clearwater, where his vision for contemporizing American Cuisine won him the award for Best Chef of Tampa Bay 2001. Parkshore Grill, now in its 10th year of business, boasts the accredited Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the 5th year acknowledging their well versed wine list and collection as well as the Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award in addition to many others.
Executive Chef Rob Reinsmith is a Pinellas County native, who spent the past several years in New York City, most recently working under chefs Mario Carbone at Parm and Rich Torrisi at Torrisi Italian Specialties.
Dubbed “Seasonal Italian with Southern Soul,” Noble Crust features items such as Smokey Braised Short Ribs with Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta and Wood-Fired Pizza with Country Ham and Arugula.
“It’s taking something that is extremely Italian and something that is extremely southern, which is pimento cheese, and putting those things together,” said Reinsmith.