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Chef Severino honored by Food & Wine magazine

| Thursday, April 3, 2014, 10:57 a.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Chef Justin Severino at Cure, his restaurant in Lawrenceville.

Upon hearing news of his latest accolade, Justin Severino was quick to thank the Pittsburgh community that's helped elevate him to national acclaim.

The chef and owner of Cure in Lawrenceville has been named Food & Wine's 2014 People's Best New Chef for the mid-Atlantic region.

“One of the reasons I decided to move back to Pittsburgh is the community,” said Severino, a highly decorated graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute who spent six years in the kitchens of California chefs before opening his own butcher shop in Santa Cruz. He and wife Hilary returned to Pittsburgh in 2007.

“It's a really awesome time for someone like me to be here,” he said. “There is so much support. Pittsburgh is such a city full of real people. We all go to work every day. There is a real feel to the people who live here.”

Known for his commitment to Mediterranean-inspired seasonal cooking and sustainable sourcing that showcases Western Pennsylvania's best ingredients, Severino was honored “because he closed a successful butcher shop in California to open a meat-centric restaurant in Pittsburgh, where he butchers and cures everything himself and educates eaters about the provenance of their food,” according to the magazine's website.

Prior to opening Cure two years ago, Severino worked as sous chef at Eleven, then executive chef at Elements. He knew his concept for Cure was a risk — not many places butcher in-house and are known for offering dishes like pork belly confit and pig cheek ragu.

Severino buys as much locally grown and raised produce and meats as possible with the goal of serving as a reflection of the region's seasons and farms.

As for any future plans, Severinos' aim is simple.

“I'm going to continue doing exactly what I've been doing,” he said with a laugh.

Severino was one of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's People to Watch in 2014.

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

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