Rising Star Chef Michael Vincent Ferreri of Res Ipsa Cafe - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

March 2019

After spending his childhood in a small town in Arkansas, Matt Harper went to college to pursue a degree in journalism. But he changed course and left Arkansas for Georgia, where he enrolled in culinary school at the Art Institute of Atlanta. After graduation, Harper joined James Beard Award-winning Chef Hugh Acheson at Empire State South, focusing on modern, seasonal Southern cuisine. Working his way from line cook to executive sous chef, Harper cites both Acheson and Executive Chef Ryan Smith for influencing his approach to whole-animal butchery and local sourcing.
 
In 2015, Harper moved with his girlfriend to Philadelphia, where she started aAs the son of two chefs, Michael Vincent Ferreri did not intend to go into the family business. He tried his hand at art school in the Adirondacks, but ultimately decided to embrace his talents in both the front and back of house and lean into his heritage. After working in restaurants in his native Rochester, New York, for a few years, Ferreri moved out of his comfort zone to a new city for a fresh start. In 2011 at the age of 25, he left everything behind and made way to Philadelphia. 
 
He got his start on the line at Jose Garces’ Tinto, and about six months later landed another job as a server at eminently influential Zahav to pay the bills. When Chef Michael Solomonov realized Ferreri could cook, he brought him into kitchen and Ferreri helped with the chef’s counter, served eight guests per weekend a tasting of 12 to 14 dishes. Ferreri then moved to Zeppoli, a destination Sicilian restaurant across the Delaware River in New Jersey, as sous chef for Joey Baldino. Baldino, one of his most important mentors, taught him respect for the simplicity and brightness of Sicilian cuisine. In 2014, Ferreri joined Chef George Sabatino to open Aldine. He now serves as executive chef of Res Ipsa Cafe owned by fellow Rising Star Tyler Akin and ReAnimator Coffee owners Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti. Res Ipsa was supposed to be a simple all-day coffee shop and cafe, but with Ferreri’s drive and heart-filled cooking, it has become so much more. Ferreri is revisiting and enlivening Sicilian cuisine, and celebrating that agrodolce life.