Sunday night family dinners have been a long tradition in the McCormick household. Spending hours in the kitchen with Grandma Mac learning to perfect her famous red sauce, or sitting with Grandpa Mac during various cooking episodes; the foundation for Joe’s love of family and food was built at an early age.
Starting professionally at the age of 14, Joe quickly found his nitch in restaurants. From turning burgers at McDonald’s, to washing dishes at an Italian restaurant in his home town of Delafield Wisconsin- the kitchen is where Joe wanted to be.
Five years after starting in the food service industry, Joe took the next step in his career and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Working while in school and after, Joe gained invaluable experience at many high end New York restaurants including Bluae Gans, Kampuchea, The Hotel on Rivington and The Gramercy Park Hotel.
After three years of determination and extensive sampling of different cuisines in New York, Joe returned home to southeast Wisconsin as sous chef at the Legend at Brandy Brook Country Club. After his country club experience Joe packed his bags once again; this time to travel across the pond to Europe.
Working in Brest, France for two meals a day and a place to sleep, practical training reinforced the classic techniques learned at school. After spending time exploring cuisines of England, Wales, France, and Spain, Joes’ understanding of simplicity and quality ingredients proved to be invaluable in his burgeoning career.
With the opportunity to join the team at Ryan Braun’s Graffito, Joe is thrilled to be part of the dynamic Surg restaurant group, and looks forward to reinforcing its status as Milwaukee’s premier dining destinations.