Paige Lombardi

Paige Lombardi

Chef de Cuisine for Oleana Restaurant

My internship out of culinary school was at Del Posto, a four-star Italian restaurant in NYC. It was the first restaurant I had ever worked in, and it really set me up for success by teaching me the best habits when I was in a phase of learning so much.

I rowed crew in college and always did endurance-style sports growing up. I liked right away that cooking for a living was sort of like continuing one of those sports, in that to be successful, you needed to push yourself physically, mentally, and even emotionally sometimes! It seems like people either learn that fact or don't, and I think I always really did.
The skills I look for when hiring new team members are common sense, positivity, self-motivation, and work ethic.
One million books! I have a pretty large and constantly-growing collection of cookbooks that I try work my way through on the regular.
I find inspiration everywhere! Really! Lots of reading, but also just looking at pictures - how things are cut, a different way of preparing a vegetable than I would think to do, etc. Checking out what other chefs all over the world are doing via Instagram. Going out to eat, in as many varied places as possible.
The one thing I can’t live without when I'm working the line is my big Kunz spoon. I think my hand is pretty calibrated to it by now. Otherwise, my notebook. Lots of thoughts get recorded in there at all times of the day and night that eventually make their way into dishes!

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

Send Us Your Nominations

If you know of any extraordinary food, beverage and hospitality professionals who inspire others through their hard work and leadership, nominate them now!


Search industry jobs here

Get Inspired by Industry Leaders

Explore their unique career timelines and advice about what they’ve learned along the way

Pastry & Baking
Wine & Beverage
Office & Admin
Career Changer
International Experience
James Beard Award