Joseph DeNicola became hooked on cooking at an early age. From the age of four, on most Sundays, the young DeNicola lent a hand in the kitchen alongside his mother and grandmother. However, it was the excitement and energy of restaurants that initially lured DeNicola into the culinary life. Having received the prestigious American Culinary Federation Award of Excellence, Joe has held every position — from busboy to general manager, dishwasher to chef– and has worked in some of the finest restaurants on Long Island and Manhattan, honing the skills that have made him the successful chef and restaurateur that he is today.
Leo DeNicola started his career in the restaurant business at age 14 and has never looked back. As a recipient of the prestigious American Culinary Federation Award of Excellence, Leo’s experience includes establishing The Kitchen Catering Corp at Time Warner to his experience building Crossroads Bar & Grill. Leo’s experience and knowledge in the field provides unparalleled expertise for existing and future restaurants.
Jimmy DeNicola, the oldest of the DeNicola siblings started, like most of us as a bus boy. His restaurant career began at The Ground Round as a teenager on Long Island. After high school, Jimmy attended Cornell University where he graduated with a bachelors of science in business management. During his 4 years at Cornell, Jimmy played lacrosse on 2 national championship teams. After college, he went on to work on the world renowned Wall Street. He honed his skills in the stock market for 20 years. After leaving the stock market in 2001, Jimmy and his brothers decided to open Ruvo Restaurant in Greenlawn. Jimmy now runs maintenance and facilities for all six of the DeNicola Brothers Concepts locations. Jimmy enjoys running, playing golf, art and spending time with his wife and three children. He resides in Greenlawn with his family.
GM, La Tavola
James’ youth, like most of us, started as a bus boy, server, and bartender. After high school, he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor’s degree in communications, which helped mold him to be the master of communications that he is today. After college, James went on to work for a Chicago based advertising company, InStadium Marketing, as a director of sales. Selling advertising for sports venues such as Nassau Coliseum Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, James was really putting his communication skills to use.
During this period, James also had an interest in poker and went on to win the 2005 United States poker championship. This allowed him to experience travel and fine dining restaurants and eventually led him to pursue a career in the hospitality business.
James’ expertise in mixology, wine and food service allows The DeNicola Brothers Concepts to have an expert in-house consultant. James resides in Oakdale with his wife and two children as a loving husband and father.
GM, Del Fuego Saint James
Thomas started as a bartender at Joe’s first owned restaurant, Phebe’s in Manhattan. From there, he went on to be the head bartender at Dylan Prime in Tribeca, which Joe was also a partner in. Simultaneously, working as an award winning film editor in Manhattan doing commercial advertising, Thomas continued to hone his skills in the restaurant industry. After a number of years in the post-production business, Thomas moved to Long Island where he helped open The original Ruvo restaurant as the head bartender in Greenlawn. After retiring from his film career, Thomas came on full-time at Del Fuego in Saint James. Thomas’ organizational and leadership skills have become a major asset to running the restaurant. Thomas resides in Northport with his wife and child as a dedicated father, avid marathon runner, craft beer enthusiast, and certified beer server.
GM, Del Fuego Babylon
Drawing influence from his father, Leo began as a bus boy at la Tavola at age 16 and immediately became enamored with the family business. “My father 100% influenced me — I think he’s the smartest man alive — and he and my uncle both brought me to love this business.” After briefly studying business in college, he realized his skills were better served back under the DBC name. As General Manager of Del Fuego’s Babylon location, he now pursues both his passions — his family and the family business.
GM, Del Fuego Patchogue
Growing up in an Italian family, food was very important to Janelle, as sitting around a table with loved ones laughing and telling stories is one of her favorite childhood memories. She started in the restaurant industry as a busgirl, server, and bartender, and she has always aspired to learn the restaurant business enough to someday become a general manager. Janelle used these experiences to help her make a career out of helping others enjoy a similar dining setting with her friendly and welcoming customer service. She has 14 years of experience in fine dining and catering, and she started working with our company 4 years ago as a server at La Tavola. Through dedication and hard work, she is now the general manager of our Del Fuego Patchogue location, continuing to learn and teach others the elements required to run a successful and comfortable dining experience.
Head Chef, La Tavola
Growing up in a Greek household, Thomas remembers the kitchen always having a great aroma coming from it. Assisting his parents while preparing for family dinners, cooking has always been a passion of his. Thomas knew at a young age that he wanted to attend Johnson and Wales and received his culinary degree there. After graduation, he worked for a few years at Parchment Yacht club and eventually worked his way to Long Island to become the head chef at La Tavola in Sayville. Thomas takes pride of what he and his team in Sayville do together. Nobody has a knowledge, repertoire, and applied sense of putting ingredients to use like Chef Tom. Thomas resides on Long Island as a hard worker and great father.
Head Chef, Ruvo Greenlawn
Wilmer is truly an American inspiration — born in Colombia, and now a self-made American citizen. Wilmer worked long, hard hours honing his skills at many long-established and popular restaurants, working his way up in the industry from bus boy to line cook to eventually becoming the head chef at the DeNicola’s Brothers Concepts first establishment, Ruvo in Greenlawn.
Executive Chef, DeNicola Brothers Concepts
Inspired at a young age by his mother and Italian heritage, Chef Anthony brings 20-plus years experience of cooking in the top Long Island restaurants. Over the last 10 years, Anthony was the executive chef of Ruvo Restaurant and is now the director of culinary for DeNicola Brothers Concepts. Anthony has a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University. He has been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House and has had many TV appearances, including the CBS Morning Show. Anthony resides in Suffolk County with his wife and two daughters.
Head Chef, Liberty Burger St. James
John brings 20-plus years working in many different types of cuisine including Italian, Asian, American, and Tex Mex. He is a graduate of NYIT with an A.O.S. degree in culinary arts. John’s optimistic outlook and endless talent for cooking makes him the heart and soul of Liberty in Saint James. He resides in Happauge with his family.
Head Chef, Del Fuego Babylon
Fabian Pena, from Ecuadorian roots, has a passion for Tex-Mex cooking, using many of the same ingredients from his childhood to the kitchen today. Fabian has been in the industry for 17 years, working in top Long Island restaurants. Fabians love for people and food makes him a true top chef.
Head Chef, Del Fuego Saint James
Steve brings a family heritage of cooking with extensive Long Island culinary experience. Steve was the original chef at the flagship Del Fuego Saint James location, and also opened the Del Fuego Babylon location as the head chef of the first two Del Fuego. Steve resides with his wife and their two small children in Wantagh.