Executive Chef Patrick Cassata has dedicated his life to the restaurant industry, and brings almost 30 years of experience to BAKERSFIELD Wood-Fired Grill and Standard Market.
Chef Cassata’s culinary journey began in 1991 in the kitchen of Chef Ron Blazek’s Relish restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. At Relish, Chef Cassata honed a “make everything from scratch” mentality and passion for nouvelle cuisine from his mentor. During this time, Chef Cassata began studying at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. Afterwards, he was appointed Executive Chef at Mambo Grill in Chicago’s River North, expanding his knowledge of Nuevo Latino cuisine.
An affection for cultural cuisines led Chef Cassata to Napa Valley to study Flavor Dynamics and Wine at the C.I.A. at Greystone in 1997. He was then brought on as Executive Chef of Ariel in Menlo Park, Calif., blending Southeast Asian, Latin, French, and European cuisines to rave reviews.
In 1999, Chef Cassata returned to Chicago to start a family. He and his wife, Joanna, opened Eclectic restaurant in Barrington, Ill., in 2001. Eclectic received many accolades, including Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” three times. Building on that success, in 2003, Chef Cassata and Joanna opened 10 West in Naperville, Ill. This restaurant also garnered acclaim, including a “Top 20 Best New Restaurants” nod from Chicago magazine.
In 2006, Chef Cassata led a team to physically transform the historic Gary-Wheaton Bank in Wheaton, Ill., into casual-upscale dining establishment, The Bank. As the Executive Chef and General Manager, he sourced all steaks locally, observed the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and focused on bringing culinary diversity to the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
Chef Cassata was appointed Executive Chef for Wheaton College in 2009, where he led a culinary team of 45 to take the campus dining program to new heights in sustainability. Each week, 35,000 meals were subjected to socially responsible cooking practices, including stealth nutrition, farm-to-fork, low carbon, and seafood watch programs. Chef Cassata’s efforts led to Wheaton College being named #1 for “Best Campus Food” by Princeton Review in 2012.
In 2012, Chef Cassata competed on season 10 of FOX reality show Hell’s Kitchen, starring Gordon Ramsay. He also took home a victory on season 13 of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown.
Now, Chef Cassata leads BAKERSFIELD where he brings his passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients to the open kitchen and wood-fired grill.