Chef James Kirby – Executive Chef
Executive Chef James Kirby, a graduate of Johnson and Wales, has over twenty years of culinary experience. He previously worked in Washington D.C. at The Inn at Little Washington, a 3 Michelin Star restaurant, as a Sous Chef and at Blue Duck Tavern, a 1 Michelin Star restaurant, as a Sous. After leaving Blue Duck Tavern, Chef James started an organic farm in the foothills of Shenandoah Mountains, where he farmed for four years. He later moved back to Washington D.C. in 2015 to re-open the Watergate Hotel, home of the famed Chef Jean Louis Palladin and the Watergate Scandal. There, he served as the Executive Sous. Chef James joined the FarmTable Cucina team in 2018 and proudly serves as the Executive Chef.
Chad Noce – Assistant General Manager
From the coast of Lake Erie, Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast of Florida, Chad moved to the Tampa Bay Area just a few years ago. When he first stepped into Locale Market, he knew immediately that this was a team he wanted to be a part of. He joined the team as a Loading Dock Supervisor, who checked in fresh produce and whole fish. Chad is excited to see raw products transform into the finished dish that he now delivers to the guests at FarmTable Cucina. He was raised to always work hard and be a leader in all aspects of his life, including his professional career and in sports. Chad has managed grocery retail environments and restaurants and considers himself a true food enthusiast. When he is not in the workplace, Chad enjoys being active and exploring new areas. He is extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity that is on his “plate.”
Shannon Lemas – Assistant Manager
Shannon, originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, joined the team roughly four years ago around the time of FarmTable Cucina’s opening. She is passionate about hospitality and helping others, which is demonstrated throughout her work experiences. After graduating from Michigan State University, Shannon spent the first part of her career studying cardiovascular perfusion, caring for developmentally disabled children and playing a role in opening restaurants in Michigan. She is a valued leader at FarmTable Cucina; implementing new internal processes and building profitable relationships with local businesses. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys woodworking, painting, playing sports and spending time with her husband Will and son Carson.
Chef Mathew Rembes – Executive Sous Chef
Chef Mathew was born and raised in Buffalo, New York for 15 years before moving locally to Tampa. Great food and home-cooking surrounded him growing up. His mother and father always cooked at home, and his aunts are amazing cooks as well, which instilled in him a love and appreciation for food and the culinary field. Chef Matt moved to Denver, Colorado after high school to attend Johnson and Wales Culinary School. This experience opened up an undiscovered world of cooking that hooked him from the very beginning. From there, he worked for Colorado Concept Restaurants before moving to Tampa where he eventually found himself at FarmTable Cucina as a Sauté Cook. After just two years, Chef Matt is excited to be the Executive Sous Chef at FarmTable Cucina.
Chef Eric Stealey – Sous Chef
Chef Eric is a native to the Tampa Bay area. His experience working in both front-of-house and back-of-house positions in restaurants taught him the ins and outs of restaurant operations and eventually led him to realize his love of cooking. Chef Eric joined the Locale Market opening team in 2014 as the Lead Pasta Maker and worked his way up to serve as the Sous Chef of FarmTable Cucina. He credits his passion for the industry, strong work ethic, and the chefs he’s worked with over the years for helping him become the chef he is today. He loves learning stories about food and is excited to be a part of this talented team at FarmTable Cucina.
Julian Mayor – Wine Director / Sommelier
Julian never imagined he would be where he is today when he moved to Washington, D.C. from Tampa, Florida to pursue a career in government. After several years in the nation’s capital helping to organize the dinners and events that often followed government meetings, he realized that his true passion was in the food and wine world. He traded in his dark suit for chef whites, and began taking culinary classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York City while interning in the wine cellar of Balthazar and the Best Cellars wine shops. Since then, Julian has delved deep into his passion, working for the top restaurant and hospitality groups in the country, including Lettuce Entertain You and the Four Seasons Hotels. He joined the Michael Mina Group in 2008 to open their new Bourbon Steak restaurant in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Sommelier, and was promoted to Head Sommelier soon after. In late 2016, he returned to Tampa, Florida to serve as the Beverage Director of FarmTable Cucina, where he currently oversees a growing wine, beer and spirits program that complements the culinary creativity that surrounds him.