Vetri Family

A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FAMILY OF RESTAURANTS

Family Tree

Marc Vetri

CEO

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Jeff Benjamin

COO

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Jeff Michaud

Culinary Director, Partner

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Brad Spence

Culinary Director, Partner

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Marc Vetri

CEO

Marc Vetri is the chef/founder of Philadelphia’s critically acclaimed Vetri Family of Restaurants. In addition to his storied career in the kitchen, Marc is also the driving force behind the Vetri Foundation for Children, a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living.

A Philadelphia native, Marc initially pursued a career in music as a guitarist before realizing his true passion came from cooking. Spending his formative professional kitchen life in Bergamo, Italy, working alongside some of the region's most noted chefs, Marc has become known the world over for bringing a bold, contemporary sensibility to classic Italian cooking. In 1998, he and business partner, Jeff Benjamin, opened the eponymous, fine-dining restaurant, Vetri, to universal acclaim. Vetri’s outstanding pastas, innovative flavor combinations and artful presentations captured imaginations and propelled Marc to the culinary forefront. Within two years of the restaurant’s debut, he was named one of Food & Wine's “Best New Chefs” and received the Philadelphia Inquirer's highest restaurant rating. In 2005, he was given the James Beard Award for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic."

Following years of continued success at Vetri, Marc launched Osteria in 2007. Larger and more casual than Vetri, Osteria’s menu of traditional Italian thin-crust pizzas, homemade pastas and wood-grilled meats and fish quickly won over the dining public. The restaurant was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation. In 2010, it helped earn Vetri Family chef/partner, Jeff Michaud, the James Beard Award for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic."

The Vetri Family’s third restaurant, Amis, opened its doors in 2010. Inspired by Rome’s neighborhood trattorias, this smaller but energetic restaurant specializes in small plates such as handcrafted pastas and house-cured meats. In November 2010, Bon Appetit named Amis one of the top “10 Places for Pasta” in the country. The opening of Amis also brought Chef Brad Spence in as a Vetri Family partner, and subsequently, he has been a two-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" award.

Alla Spina, an Italian gastropub opened in 2012. It’s been recognized by publications such as GQ and Zagat as being one of the top craft beer havens in the U.S., making it a must-visit destination for beer connoisseurs of all levels. The following year saw the debut of two more Vetri Family restaurants: Pizzeria Vetri, the group’s most casual eatery to date, and a second location of Osteria in Moorestown, NJ, the group’s first restaurant outside of Philadelphia. Similarly to their predecessors, these restaurants have quickly become fixtures in their respective neighborhoods, earning high marks across the board from diners and critics alike. Pizzeria Vetri was named to GQ’s 2014 list of “Top 25 Best New Restaurants” in the country.

In 2014, a seventh restaurant will join the Vetri Family ranks. Lo Spiedo will serve a casual Italian-inspired menu with a focus on spit-roasted meats. It’s slated to open in late summer in Philadelphia’s up-and-coming The Navy Yard district. This year will also include the expansion of the flagship Vetri. The restaurant will now encompass two floors, making it available for private events and accommodating larger parties. The new Vetri space includes a test kitchen, allowing Marc and his fellow culinary partners a place to develop and explore new dishes and menus.

Marc is the author of Il Viaggio di Vetri (Ten Speed Press, Oct. 1, 2008) a collection of more than 125 of Vetri’s most-requested dishes. His second cookbook, Rustic Italian Food (Ten Speed Press, Nov. 1, 2011), brought artisan cooking into home kitchens and was named one of the top cookbooks of 2011 by such outlets as Bon Appetit, St. Petersburg Times and The Huffington Post. He is currently working on his third cookbook, Mastering Pasta (Ten Speed Press, 2015). In addition to his cookbooks, Marc’s writing can be found on The Huffington Post where he is a regular blogger.

Outside of his restaurants, Marc is deeply passionate about giving back to the community, in particular his hometown of Philadelphia. In 2009, he and Jeff Benjamin created the Vetri Foundation for Children. The foundation’s signature initiative, “Eatiquette,” is a school lunch improvement program in which children experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living. The program currently services 10 schools, and has served nearly 265,000 healthy meals. Additionally, Marc and Jeff are the founders of the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Marc also gives his time to his alma mater, Drexel University, where he’s been a regular guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member.

Marc lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Megan, and their three children. He enjoys spending weekends cooking with his family, training in Brazilian jiu jitsu and playing his beloved guitars.

Jeff Benjamin

COO

In 1998, Jeff Benjamin joined Marc Vetri as General Manager and then, two years later, as partner at the small, intimate Vetri restaurant in Philadelphia. In those two years, Jeff’s impeccable standards of quality and service helped to transform Vetri into what the Philadelphia Inquirer calls “a sublime dining experience.” Jeff and his small team of efficient servers now orchestrate outstanding meals with an individual consideration that would be impossible in larger restaurants. Jeff has also expanded Vetri’s wine cellar from a 60-bottle starter list to its current stable of more than 500 labels and 5,000 bottles.

Jeff has worked to expand the Vetri experience into a larger concept with the 2006 opening of Osteria, in 2010 with Amis, and with the forthcoming gastropub. Even with the growth of the company, Jeff remains an active partner in front of house operations and on the floor, ensuring the signature Vetri experience is upheld.

Jeff’s thorough attention to detail demands all service standards are met and remain intact. He is fully committed to keeping the essence of the fine-dining experience, and that his individual consideration and high standards always met beyond expectation.

Over the years, Jeff has been dedicated to numerous philanthropic causes. He is committed to nonprofit organizations such as Little Smiles, Achieve-Ability, and serving on the Board of Trustees for the Community Partnership School.

In 2005, Jeff, along with business partner Marc Vetri, were so inspired after meeting Liz and Jay Scott, parents and founders of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF,) that they created The Great Chef’s Event to benefit ALSF. Chefs around the country rallied behind them producing a fundraising event that featured wonderful food along with raising awareness for childhood cancers. Jeff is also the current Board Secretary of ALSF.

Wanting to do more, Jeff and Marc created the Vetri Foundation For Children in July 2008. In addition to continuing the support of the other worthwhile charities, the Foundation focuses on the childhood obesity crisis and promoting healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and having an impact on their overall health and wellness.

In the summer of 2010, the first effort in support of this mission was transforming the dining experience at ESF Dream Camp, a five-week day program for at-risk children in Philadelphia. The children were introduced to variety of foods that were visually appealing and nutritionally sound. Special emphasis was placed on social interaction and communication, which was done by conducting all meals in an interactive family style manner. With the success of this program, plans are currently underway to implement similar programs in local schools.

Jeff Michaud

Culinary Director, Partner

The Executive Chef and co-owner of Osteria Restaurant and Amis Restaurant, Jeffrey Michaud began his cooking career at the age of 13 in a pizza shop in New Hampshire, where he was raised. Inspired by the cooking and beautiful wedding cakes made by his grandmother, Jeff attended the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in 1998.

Upon graduation, he moved to Aspen, Colorado to join the kitchen staff at the Caribou Club, where he worked his way up to Executive Sous Chef. After he completed his tenure in Aspen, Jeff moved to Philadelphia to work for critically acclaimed Chef Marc Vetri at Ristorante Vetri as the Sous Chef. Discovering his love for Italian cooking in Marc's kitchen, Jeff decided to further hone his skills by moving to Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy.

His first stop was working at a family owned butcher shop, Mangilli, in the province to refine his skills in meat fabrication, sausage, and salame making. Over the next three years, Jeff worked his way through the top restaurants of Bergamo, including Michelin starred Frosio and La Lucanda, as well as La Brugheria, Ristorante Loro and Ol Fa Pasticceria. His travel through Bergamo culminated with the position of Executive Chef at Locanda del Biancospino, a small inn in the foothills of the Alps.

After serving as the Opening Chef, Jeff returned to the United States and took several chefs’ positions throughout New England before returning to Philadelphia and rejoining the Vetri team to open Osteria. In 2008, The James Beard Foundation nominated Osteria for “Best New Restaurant” and in 2010, Jeff won the James Beard Award for “Best Mid-Atlantic Chef.” He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Claudia, who is expecting their first child in the spring.

Jeff is a current member of the Vetri Foundation for Children’s Board of Directors. He is extremely committed to the Foundation’s mission of supporting the development of healthy living habits and styles in young people.

In the summer of 2010, Jeff joined Marc Vetri in working with the ESF Dream Camp, a five-week day program for at-risk children in Philadelphia. While remaining within the federal guidelines for government subsidized school meals, Jeff and Marc designed menus, prepared locally grown and freshly made lunches daily for campers. A special emphasis was placed on social interaction and communication, which was done by conducting all meals in an interactive family style manner. Due to the overwhelming success of this program, plans are underway to roll out a similar program in a local school.

Brad Spence

Culinary Director, Partner

Brad Spence developed his passion for food as a little boy cooking with his mom. It wasn’t long before he decided he wanted to make a career of it and began working in small kitchens as a teenager, prior to entering the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park to formalize his studies. While at the CIA, he worked at the Fifth Floor in San Francisco under Chef George Marrone. Upon graduation, Spence moved to New York to work for Tom Colicchio at Craftbar and Mario Batali at Casa Mono.

In 2006, Spence relocated to Philadelphia to take the helm at Vetri. While working for Marc Vetri, Spence has traveled to Italy to gain experience at Ristorante Loro and Taverna Colleoni in Bergamo. In his first full year as chef de cuisine, Spence continued to hone his skills in Italian food production, having helped construct a curing room so that all cured meats at both Vetri and Osteria are made in-house. His culinary leadership helped promote Vetri as one of the top Italian restaurants in the country.

While working in more upscale restaurants, Brad always wanted to do more rustic trattoria style food. In 2010 he was given his opportunity; Brad became chef partner at Amis, located in Washington Square at 412 South 13th Street. Amis’ menu is seasonally driven and specializes in small plates such as handcrafted pastas and house cured meats. In November 2010, Bon Appetit named Amis one of the top 10 places for pasta in the country.

Brad lives in Collingswood, New Jersey with his wife Kim, who is expecting a baby this year, and their son.

Nancy Benussi

Director of Operations

Steve Wildy

Beverage Director

Jill Ammirato

HR Manager

Tia McDonald

Culinary Purchasing Director

Matthew Eckes

Accounting Manager

Grace Oplinger

Vetri Family Special Events

Est. 1998

Adam Leonti

Executive Chef

Est. 2013

Mike Deganis

Chef de Cuisine

Dominique Piscitelli

Pastry Chef

Martin Cugine

General Manager

Est. 2007

Jeff Michaud

Executive Chef

Brad Daniels

Chef de Cuisine

Mary Moon

General Manager

Est. 2010

Brad Spence

Executive Chef

Est. 2012

Julie Kline

Chef de Cuisine

Adam Smith

General Manager

Est. 2013

Manny Perez

Chef de Cuisine

Jessica Marzelli

General Manager

Est. 2008

Kelly Herrenkohl

Director

Est. 2013

Scott Calhoun

Chef de Cuisine

Michael Falcey

General Manager