Sprung from a small, loving family in Tidewater, Virginia, Chef Pete discovered a passion for cooking at an early age.

Even before he could handle a chef knife or approach a hot stove, Pete found that “breaking bread” around the family table with his parents and older brother, nourished both his body and his soul. Inspired by his mother’s lasagna and lemon icebox pie, and his father’s fried shrimp and biscuits, it wasn’t long before Pete would naturally gravitate to the kitchen, tugging on apron strings and picking herbs. “Cooking, eating, and entertaining were always very important in my family!”

Like most homegrown cooks Chef Pete cut his teeth in the restaurant business while in high school, dishwashing for gas money. Always a curious mind, it wasn’t long before Pete escaped the dish pit and began his ascent through the kitchen hierarchy, from prep cook to line cook, to sous chef and eventually executive chef.

Chef Pete relocated to Charlottesville in 2013 and became a part of the Orzo team in May of 2015. Today, Chef Pete works side by side with Chef Adam, mentoring younger cooks and crafting Orzo’s most popular dishes, while pushing the menu to new heights.

Along with his beautiful wife and toddler son, Pete is growing roots in Central Virginia, developing relationships with our local farmers, and pursuing his vision of good food. “If you cook with your heart and with love, your food will be unpretentious and soulful. For me cooking is about celebration, family, friends and life!”