Personality Test: Justin Severino
For Justin Severino, good news just keeps coming.
The highly decorated graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute has enjoyed success at his Butler Street business, Cure, where he applies his affinity for the art of butchering to the unique dishes that have made his business a favored destination for many 'Burghers.
In April, Severino was named Food & Wine's 2014 People's Best New Chef for the mid-Atlantic region, and he gave credit to the community that's let him live his dream.
“I'm honored to be selected as People's Best New Chef,” Severino said, “And I have to thank the wonderful community we have in Pittsburgh. They made it happen.”
Known for his commitment to Mediterranean-inspired seasonal cooking and sustainable sourcing that showcases Western Pennsylvania's best ingredients, Severino received the honor “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.
Severino spent six years in the kitchens of California chefs before opening his own butcher shop in Santa Cruz. He and wife Hilary came back to Pittsburgh in 2007, and Severino worked as sous chef at Eleven and executive chef at Elements before opening Cure, where he buys as much locally grown and raised produce and meats as possible.
The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:
David Cross, because he's almost as handsome as I am. I've been mistaken for him a lot.
My grandfather, Eugene Sandella, because he is such a sweet, compassionate man
The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:
My powder-blue, chromed-out Suzuki Samurai
The superpower I wish I had in real life:
X-ray vision. I think you know why.
I can't live without my iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop:
My favorite reality show:
I don't own a TV.
App I wish I could invent:
An app just like Yelp! But it's for restaurateurs to post comments about customers' behavior.
Favorite brunch food:
Oysters with brut rose Champagne
Favorite guilty pleasure:
Chicken wings, extra crispy, buffalo-style with blue cheese with six beers
Best mistake I've ever made:
Going to culinary school
E. I hate sports
D. Other. I love traveling to cycling events.
My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:
Troy Polamalu. My wife thinks he's handsome. (My wife answered this question.)
Favorite lunchtime spot:
Star I'd like to dance with on “Dancing With the Stars”:
Alyssa Milano. I've had the hots for her since Tony Danza was the boss. One word my mother would use to describe me:
Weird Celebrity crush:
In five years, I'd like to:
Be doing exactly what I'm doing right now.
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:
The pride in the people of Pittsburgh
Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:
The oldest thing in my refrigerator:
18-month-old Porchetta Seca
Exercise I hate most:
Three people I'd love to have dinner with:
Anthony Bourdain, Harold McGee, Peter Kaminsky
My most memorable fashion mistake:
Bib overalls, one side attached, somewhere around 1988. I was ahead of my time.
Top thing on my bucket list to do before I'm gone:
Travel to every part of the world possible.
My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:
Steak sandwich on rosemary focaccia with smoked blue cheese, chipotle aioli, carmelized onion, arugula
When I was 10, I wanted to be:
I'm deathly afraid of:
If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:
“Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus
The most famous person I ever became friends with:
Chef David Kinch
The first band I saw in concert:
Violent Femmes, 1995, Mt. Union, Ohio
The best concert I've ever seen:
Oysterhead at Greek Theatre, Berkeley, Calif., on Halloween 2003
TV marathon I could watch all day:
It would be a tossup: “Golden Girls” vs. “Gilligan's Island”
Saturday mornings, you'll find me:
At Espresso a Mano before getting ready to spend a long day in the kitchen
Best new gadget I've tried recently:
Unox Combination Ovens, from outer space
In high school, I was:
The movie that always makes me cry:
Documentary “Our Daily Bread”
If I wasn't a restaurant owner and chef, I'd be:
Living in an RV full of bicycles down by any river in America
The person I'm most often mistaken for:
What you'll always find in my glove compartment:
Granola bars and hairspray
My most treasured fashion accessory:
My black and gold Cure T-shirt
The last book I read:
My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:
Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:
“The Cannonball Run”
My first job:
Pouring concrete with my dad. I was 11.
My worst job:
Pouring concrete with my dad. I was 11.
If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:
My most embarrassing junk food:
Cool Ranch Doritos
My favorite “bad” movie is:
“I'm Gonna Git You Sucka”
If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:
The Flaming Lips and The Black Keys
The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:
Anything by Jamiroquai
My childhood nickname:
Rino or Sav
Life would be better without:
I never travel without my:
Cycle-cross bike and my wife
People would be surprised to know that I:
Am a Gemini, my favorite color is brown and I love long walks on the beach