Chef José Adorno of Graffiato - Biography

Washington, D.C.

October 2014

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, José Adorno's culinary career began to take shape after he graduated from The Restaurant School of Philadelphia in 2007 with a bachelor of science in culinary arts. Adorno gained formative experience in Philly, jumping from kitchen to kitchen. One of his very first positions was at the salad station of Daniel Stern's Rae, trimming lettuces and whisking vinaigrettes. Within a year, he worked his way up the ranks and left the restaurant as its private events chef. True to his roots and hungry for more training in Latin cuisine, Adorno moved on to Jose Garces’ Distrito and Tinto, where he was sous chef at both establishments.

It was during this time that his talents caught the eye of 2013 Rising Star Chef Kevin Sbraga, who was also under Garces' mentorship and later took him on as sous chef position for Starr Catering. When Sbraga opened his eponymous flagship restaurant in fall 2011, Adorno was tossing skillets right beside Sbraga in the opening night, serving as his chef de cuisine.

Then Adorno decided it was time to hit the road. In June 2013, he travelled to Washington and joined the restaurant group of another “Top Chef” alum, Mike Isabella. He oversaw private events and catering for Isabella's restaurants, Kapnos, G, and Graffiato. Months later, he got promoted to chef de cuisine at Graffiato, showcasing his skills, technique, and imagination for the modern Italian-inspired eatery.