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Joe Tarasco

Director of Operations

During his childhood in New York, Joe was inspired by his grandmother, a talented home cook, and he began experimenting in the kitchen and cooking for himself at a young age. Wanting to further explore his love of food, Joe took a job as a server and expediter at a local restaurant and thrived in the fast-paced atmosphere. Joe went on to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, graduating in 2005. While there, Joe completed his externship at Philadelphia’s Le Bec-Fin and, upon graduation, he took a position as a Line Cook at Union Square Hospitality Group’s beloved Gramercy Tavern.   

After two and a half years at Gramercy Tavern, Joe left to serve as a Sous Chef at Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli’s acclaimed Brooklyn restaurant Frankies Spuntino and then helped them to open Prime Meats. In 2009, Joe returned to USHG, joining the Maialino opening team as a Sous Chef. In July of 2011, Joe was named Executive Sous Chef of Maialino. During his time at Maialino, he took several food-focused trips to Rome, reinforcing his passion for the eternal city and the distinctive food of its neighborhoods. He went on to become a significant part of the opening team at Marta in 2014 as the Chef de Cuisine and worked his way up over the next two years to become the restaurant’s Executive Chef. In the fall of 2017, Joe further pursued his passion for Italian cuisine and culture by opening Caffe Marchio and Vini e Fritti as the Executive Chef. The following year, Joe assumed the title of Associate Director of Operations for Marta, Caffe Marchio, and Vini e Fritti. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2019 and he now oversees operations for multiple USHG concepts, including Blue Smoke, Marta, Union Square Cafe, and USHG's latest opening, Maialino (vicino)