Joshua took his first steps into his journey to becoming a culinarian while still in high school. Although he was juggling the busy life of a teenager, he was drawn into his friends’ family restaurant, and began working there part time. Josh quickly realized that the kitchen was where both success and failure could evolve into greater things if you work hard dedicate yourself; which was something that deeply resonated with him. Josh continued his pursuit by working on the line at a bar and grill and soon progressed to more refined destinations such as country clubs, fine dining restaurants, upscale casual, and healthcare facilities; and taking pieces from each experience, he was able to hone his skills, and discover what it takes to be successful. Now, after earning his culinary degree from the Art Institute of Cincinnati, achieving a four star Forbes rating, and winning multiple culinary competitions, he is ready to implement his talents through cooking classes and the menu, here, at Architectural Justice Gallery and Café. When he’s not cooking for guests or family, Josh, a.k.a “Chef Shug” enjoys all things Superman, working out, eating, and spending time with family and friends; especially his ray of sunshine, Gemma, his puppy.
Ohio native and Award winning Chef Barb Vermilye is the Executive Chef and Sweet Treat Creator at Tasty Treats. Chef Barb is a classically trained chef and pastry chef. In her professional cooking and baking career of over 25 years, she continues her “love of the sweets” by coming up with out-of-the-box ideas for unique creations and flavors. She developed a passion for chocolate and dreamed of having her own specialty shop at a very young age. She loved watching Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and aspired to be a great chocolatier by making people fantastic chocolates as well as putting a smile on their face. She has explored many facets of the culinary world while attending culinary school and throughout her career, however, something always brings her back to pastry and chocolate artistry. She loves to play with her food! (It all started with play dough creations as a kid and lead to chocolate clay sculpting as an adult!)
American by birth, Sicilian by blood, and Provencal at heart; Jennifer developed her passion for olive oil while living in Aix-en-Provence, France in 2007. It was in the nearby village of Les Baux that she had her first taste of this liquid gold…an experience that would change her life. The pursuit of this new found olive oil passion led her on an unimaginable adventure. Jennifer spent years working at the side of the “Queen of Olive Oil” (Christine Cheylan, owner of Chateau Virant) in France, including harvesting, milling, blending, and traveling throughout Europe for EVOO classes and conferences. From these invaluable formative years, Jennifer has gone on to participate in olive milling seasons with the most incredible and inspiring producers in Provence, Sicily, Spain, and California (The Olive Center at UC Davis). She has travelled the Mediterranean learning all she can about this sacred fruit, allowing her to be part of the national French olive oil competition’s jury as well as one of the judges of the most prestigious international olive oil competition in Canada, Olive d’Or.
Recruited by Olivier Baussan, founder of L’Occitane and Olivier & Co, Jennifer spent two years in Paris working with his new brand Premiere Pression Provence. Jennifer was chosen among 18,000 to be in the Top 100 of France’s first season of Masterchef and made it to the Top 100 America’s fourth season of MasterChef, where she acquired the name “Olive Oil Princess”. Her story is featured in the educational illustrated book about French olives and olive oil and offers olive oil tasting and cooking classes. After moving back to Ohio in 2012, Jennifer started her cooking classes which range from Olive Oil and and French-based classes to American Historical to Locavore to Kids Classes.
Jennifer learned to make French Macarons in Paris, where they were her favorite sweet. Her macarons are local, seasonal, and organic; never any dyes, colorings, or flavorings. These authentic Parisian macarons have quickly become her most popular workshop. The macaron workshops are hands-on and the students leave confident in making authentic macarons at home.
In 2017, Jennifer founded Local Abundance Kitchen, a 501c3 nonprofit organization offering cooking classes taught by refugees and immigrants.