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Employee Spotlight: Executive Chef Drew Kendziora

A quality dining experience comes down to great service and, above all, a consistent level of food quality. Nobody knows that better than Executive Chef Drew Kendziora. Chef Drew has been the man behind the famous Red Sauce, Meatballs, Lasagna, and all the other favorites that make up Muriales Cuisine for over 18 years.

“Drew is the definition of a dedicated, servant leader. He heads up our extraordinary culinary team with a blue-collar work ethic and an endless commitment to consistency,” General Manager Channing Moran noted. “Drew also supports our Front of House Service Team, often bringing trays of hot food to the dining rooms because he wants the best experience for our guests. He’s deeply rooted in the successful legacy of Muriale’s, and it’s been an honor to work with him.”

Of course, Drew gets it done with an incredible team, many of whom share a similar amount of years, and a few even more. “Drew’s a great cook no doubt, but in addition to that, he’s a great mentor and leader who’s built a tremendous team,” says owner Scott Duarte. That’s the icing on the cake. To handle the volume and do it consistently takes a team of dedicated culinarians who have the expertise to get it done. Drew has built a tremendous team, many of whom have more than a decade of experience in our kitchen. Some have 20 plus years. They’re here because they choose to be, and I think that’s a great testament to the leadership from their Executive Chef.

When it comes to Muriales cuisine, no one knows it better than Drew. Drew has had the opportunity to work with many of the Muriales family and team of dedicated cooks over the years to include Aunt Mary (Muriale) Veltri, Luana Capicola, Rick Muriale, and of course Rocco Muriale. “Drew’s dedication and commitment to preserving the heritage of Muriales cuisine has been paramount to our continued success,” said owner Scott Duarte. “His passion and loyalty to our time-honored recipes make the difference, and for that, we are very grateful.”


How long have you been a part of Muriale's team?

“18 years and counting!” (Drew has been our executive chef now for 10 years.

When and what made you decide to be a chef?

"It all started when I turned 24, I asked myself “what am I going to do for a career?” It took me a while, but I realized how much I enjoyed cooking at home. So one day I decided to enroll in Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and the rest is history."

What do you like most about working at Muriales?

"It is a family owned and run restaurant. It is something to be very proud of. Family operated food business is hard to come across nowadays. I can’t forget about the team we’ve built here either. We are one big family and we always have each other’s back."

What's your favorite Muriale’s dish?

"Aunt Mary’s Meat Lasagna, I am one of the few left here who actually got to meet Aunt Mary and watch her make homemade pasta weekly. Our lasagna is one of a kind thanks to Aunt Mary!"

What advice would you give a young new employee starting their first job at Muriales?

"Being a chef or line cook is a very tough profession, be prepared for long days and a fast paced setting. Even though it is tough, it is very rewarding. Someone will always be out in the dining room hungry and waiting for your dish to come out. It is a great joy to serve our community with some authentic Italian cuisine, Take pride in your work! It isn’t easy! 


Quotes from staff

“Drew is one of the most hardworking guys I have ever met. He has invested countless days and hours into this profession. He has truly perfected his craft and I am so glad he could do it here with us!”

“Drew is the man who holds all of our secret recipes just inside his head! The legacy lives on because of Drew. Now if we could just get him to share the secret recipes…”

“He is our fearless leader, no task too tall he will always get the job done. He will always guide you every step of the way.”

"When you walk in the kitchen and hear singing, just know Drew is there. The man loves to sing and he has quite a wide variety of genres too. Somehow he can focus while singing at the top of his lungs. We sometimes sing along too if he’s picked a good one for the day.”

Fun facts about Drew:

He is the biggest Miami Hurricanes Football Fan we have ever met. He also makes the BEST peanut butter pie and butter pecan ice cream we have ever come across.


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