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nicholas stefanelli

Nicholas Stefanelli is the chef and owner of Masseria and Officina in Washington, DC. Stefanelli grew up in suburban Maryland with a strong influence coming from his close relationship to his Greek and Italian grandparents whose culinary heritage was a fact of life. Visiting Puglia, the source of his Italian roots, Stefanelli became enchanted by the masseria, centuries-old agricultural estates whose residents worked the land, created their own food, and hosted visitors, neighbors, and friends with great warmth. Striking out on his own and building his culinary career in the Nation’s capital, Stefanelli was determined to recreate that sensibility in his first establishment, Masseria and now Officina.

Stefanelli graduated from L’Académie de Cuisine; his experience includes Roberto Donna’s Galileo, and Laboratorio del Galileo; Fabio Trabocchi’s Maestro and Fiamma; Thomas Keller’s French Laundry; and Bibiana, the successful haute Italian restaurant he opened with legendary restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. Under Stefanelli’s tenure, Bibiana was named a “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire. Stefanelli was named the 2010 Rising Star by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington [RAMW], and was included as a nominee for the Rising Star Award by the James Beard Foundation. In 2016, Masseria was prominently featured in The Wall Street Journal, and earned a RAMW nomination for “New Restaurant of the Year”.

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David Kurka

Alaska native David Kurka has been immersed in the food and hospitality industry since his first job gutting salmon at a fish cannery. He gained his expertise working with top professionals in the area, including John Wabeck at Inox; Jaime Lang at Brasserie Beck; Matt Carroll at Brabo; Andy Myers and Jarad Slipp at Cityzen; and Kathy Morgan at Range, and continued to master his skills as General Manager and Sommelier at Masseria.

A key player in the opening team at Masseria, David has most recently been tasked with opening and managing Officina. In this role, David strives to exceed all guest expectations with an immersive experience that brings Italy to DC.

He received his certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010, and passed his advanced exam in 2013. Always up for a challenge, David plans to take his Master Sommelier exam in 2019. His passion for food, wine and hospitality is the driving force behind his efforts to make each guest feel special when they walk through the doors at Officina.

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Sean Tener

Chef de Cuisine

Sean Tener has had the advantage and the pleasure of spending most of his career in the kitchen alongside Nicholas Stefanelli. Their friendship and familiarity has helped create a welcoming atmosphere in the kitchens of Bibiana, Masseria and Officina, fueled by creativity, adrenaline and a shared love of Italian cooking.

The Maryland native was working at Urban BBQ in Rockville before Graduating 2008 L’Académie de Cuisine and joining Stefanelli as an intern to help open Bibiana Osteria downtown, where the team’s outstanding Italian cuisine won continual acclaim over the course of five years. Starting as a line cook, Tener worked hard to prove himself and eventually moved his way up the ranks to sous chef. In October 2016, Masseria earned a Michelin star in Washington DC’s first-ever Michelin guide.

At Officina, Sean continues to flex his culinary muscle in the Trattoria kitchen, where he is responsible for setting and maintaining the standards to which Bibiana and Masseria staffs have become accustomed, as well as encouraging and motivating the team to reach their highest potential. In addition to managing the Trattoria, Sean is also responsible for banquet production for events and Officina’s offsite projects.

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Daniel O’Brien

Market Chef

Originally from Upstate New York, Dan was surrounded by fresh and local produce from an early age and developed a passion for cooking while preparing meals for his family. Choosing to follow his passion, Dan attended Paul Smith’s College and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts & Service Management.

Daniel went on to work with notable chefs including Michael Schlow of Radius, Marc Orfaly of Pigalle, Todd Gray of Equinox and Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana. After years of training and honing his craft, Daniel opened Seasonal Pantry, a market and supper club in Washington, DC. Which has been awarded the coveted Washington Post Editor’s Pick, and was also named one of “10 Best New Restaurants” in 2011 by The Washingtonian.

Having first worked with Stefanelli at Bibiana, O’Brien has once again joined forces with his former colleague to bring Officina to DC, marking the sixth restaurant opening of his culinary career. As Market Chef at Officina, Daniel oversees all aspects of the market and café, including the butcher shop, deli, pasta, and café production. A seasoned chef and natural leader, O’Brien brings years of experience and creative talent the culinary operations at Officina.

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Jemil Gadea

Corporate Pastry Chef, Officina and Masseria

Originally from Spring Lake, Michigan, Jemil began his culinary career at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education in Grand Rapids, Michigan and soon moved on to work at several top West Coast establishments before arriving in DC. He has worked for and learned from notable chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Louis Palladin and Julian Serrano. From Wolfgang Puck’s Spago to Julian Serrano’s Picasso at the Bellagio, the large scale operations that Jemil has been a part of have helped prepare him for high volume and high pressure projects.

Prior to the opening of Masseria, Jemil worked alongside Chef Nicholas Stefanelli as the pastry chef at Bibiana. His impressive range of Italian inspired desserts and breads landed him the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Masseria, where he was awarded the 2017 RAMMY award for Best Pastry Chef.

At Officina, Jemil oversees the development and production of all breads, pastries and desserts within the three-story complex. From naturally leavened Roman style pizzas in the market to an impressive display of Italian pastries in the café’s pastry case, to the selection of house-made breads and gelato in the trattoria, Jemil’s expertise and passion for creating authentic Italian desserts and breads can be seen in every aspect of Officina.

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John Filkins

Beverage Director

Advanced Sommelier John Filkins joins the Officina team eager to share his knowledge of Italian drinking culture with Washingtonians. John’s fascination with the wine world began while working at a local bistro during his undergraduate years studying finance at Loyola University. As John learned the foundations of his wine education, it was the experience of sharing that knowledge with customers that ignited a career-long pursuit of excellence in wine service.

John has garnered multiple awards while overseeing the beverage programs for acclaimed restaurants including the Four Seasons Baltimore, Wit and Wisdom, Rosewood DC, A Tavern by Michael Mina, and Fabio Trabocchi’s Fiola Mare and Michelin starred Fiola Ristorante. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 John was awarded “Best Sommelier Mid Atlantic” in Chaîne des Rôtisseur’s Best Young Sommeliers Competition, finishing third place nationally. A certified advanced sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, John is currently working his way towards his master diploma, the highest and most sought-after title in the wine industry.

In 2017, John accepted an opportunity to join the beverage team at Michelin-starred Masseria, working with Nicholas Stefanelli’s award winning Italian-forward wine program, which welcomes some of the world’s leading producers to the restaurant for DC’s most impressive wine dinners. At Officina, John oversees the dynamic wine and cocktail program that includes impressive private classes and wine dinners.

Julien-Pierre Bourgon

A native of Hull, Quebec, Julien-Pierre Bourgon resorted to creating his own cocktails when he realized that the local bars were not producing drinks like Mama used to make. He got his professional start learning from Stefan Trummer, a veteran of the cocktail revival movement, and went on to America Eats Tavern, José Andrés’ project in partnership with the U.S. National Archives, where he was immersed in classic American cocktails.

An intensive three years with renowned bar chef Todd Thrasher followed, at Cathal Armstrong’s Restaurant Eve, TNT Bar, and PX Lounge. A real chef’s mixologist, Bourgon creates cocktails at Masseria that are either tributes to Italian classics – or pure liquid inspiration.

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Tracy Kinnahan

Director of Catering and Events

A DC native, Tracy Kinnahan joins the Officina team with over 25 years of hospitality experience. Responsible for ideating and executing the impressive events and catering programs at Officina, Tracy has the unique opportunity to bring the Officina experience to life for any occasion or celebration. Most recently the catering sales director at Charlie Palmer Steak in DC, Kinnahan has years of experience in both restaurant and retail roles.

Tracy began her career in hospitality and wine as a sales consultant for Washington Wholesale Liquor Co., a leading North American beverage distributor driving innovation in the marketplace. After honing her customer service and sales skills, Tracy went on to work for the acclaimed Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, where she successfully secured major accounts and organized wine-oriented events and seminars for the brand.

At Unwined Gourmet Wines & Cigars, Tracy proved her sales capabilities as a gourmet buyer, helping to drastically increase Unwined’s footprint on a national level. Most recently, Tracy took on the role of catering sales director at Charlie Palmer Steak in DC, where she managed over 3,000 events between 2014 and 2018. Her role at the famed steakhouse earned her a Couple’s Choice Award from WeddingWire for her excellence in quality, service, and professionalism.