Brad Spence discovered his passion for food as a child while cooking at home with his mother, and further solidified his interest while working in small restaurant kitchens throughout high school. Upon graduation, Spence enrolled in the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. During his time at the CIA, Spence was granted the opportunity to work under Chef George Marrone at the acclaimed Fifth Floor in San Francisco, an experience that helped shape his vision and drive as a chef. Upon graduation, Spence moved to New York City where he had the privilege to work for award-winning Chef Tom Colicchio at Craftbar, and later Mario Batali at Casa Mono.
In 2006, Spence relocated to Philadelphia, taking the helm at Chef Marc Vetri’s critically acclaimed flagship restaurant Vetri Ristorante. In his first full year as Chef de Cuisine, Spence continuously honed his skills in Italian cuisine and helped construct a curing room that allowed the Vetri Family of Restaurants to offer a house-made salumi program. Shortly thereafter, Spence took an educational sabbatical to study and apprentice at Ristorante Loro and Taverna Colleoni in Bergamo, Italy.
While most of his career has been spent working in upscale restaurants, Spence has always remained enamored with rustic Italian cuisine. In 2010, Spence became the Executive Chef/Partner of Amis, allowing him the opportunity to helm a trattoria-style kitchen and pursue his culinary passion. That same year, Bon Appetit magazine named Amis one of the “Top 10 Best Places for Pasta” in the country, establishing the restaurant as not just one of Philadelphia’s top dining destinations, but a nationally acclaimed establishment.
In both 2013 and 2014, Spence was named a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” award.
As an integral part of the Vetri Family, Brad is one of the chef/partners in the group’s recent projects, including Lo Spiedo, Amis, Alla Spina and Pizzeria Vetri, with two locations in Philadelphia, as well as outposts in Austin, Texas and Washington D.C.
In November 2015, Urban Outfitters Inc., a leading lifestyle specialty retail company, acquired several of The Vetri Family restaurants including Amis, Osteria, Pizzeria Vetri, Alla Spina and Lo Spiedo.
A proud New Jersey native, Brad currently lives in Collingswood, NJ, with his wife Kim and their three children. When he’s not at the restaurant, Brad can be found training in Brazilian jiu jitsu and cooking for his family.