Rising Star Chef Justin Bazdarich of Speedy Romeo - Biography

Brooklyn, NY

April 2013

Though he briefly flirted with a future in product design as a student Arizona State University, Kansas native Justin Bazdarich fell back on cooking when he realized college life wasn’t for him.  

He moved to New York City in 2001 to attend the French Culinary Institute, and scored an internship at Jean Georges. In three years, he grew from intern to sous chef and then worked as opening chef at Perry Street. Two years later, Bazdarich signed on as a chef trainer for Vongerichten’s Culinary Concepts, launching 15 restaurants in far flung locations, including Istanbul, Qatar, Cabo, and Las Vegas.

In 2010, Bazdarich teamed up with friend Todd Feldman to build a business in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Before opening Speedy Romeo, he learned the art of wood-fired cooking, working at Roman’s under Chef David Gould. Bazdarich and Feldman also traveled to Italy to learn the traditions of Italian butchers, chefs, and pizzaiolos. Speedy Romeo launched in 2011 with Bazdarich cranking out pizzas from a wood-burning oven and steaks and composed dishes from a wood-fired grill. In 2013, Bazdarich was named a StarChefs Rising Star. Since, he’s opened a 100-seat location of Speedy Romeo on the Lower East Side and expanded the original spot in Brooklyn.