Chef Mario CarboneManaging Partner
Mario Carbone was born and raised in Queens, New York. Growing up, Mario spent holidays at his grandparents’ dinner table, where meals took on mythic proportions thanks to the transcendent culinary skills of Carbone’s grandfather, Vito Sanna. After years of working weekends and summers in local eateries, Mario attended The Culinary Institute of America and spent years working under Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufresne, and Mark Ladner.
In 2009, with partner Rich Torrisi, Mario opened Torrisi Italian Specialties, whose innovative prix-fix menu garnered the two chefs national attention—and a James Beard nomination for “Best New Restaurant” to boot.
In 2010, Mario and Rich partnered with Jeff Zalaznick to form Major Food Group and together, the trio have opened some of New York’s most celebrated restaurants and bars, including: Carbone, Dirty French, Parm, Sadelle’s, ZZ’s Clam Bar, THE GRILL, THE POOL, The Lobster Club, The Polynesian and Santina.
To date, Major Food Group has received 2 nominations for Best New Restaurants in America by the James Beard Foundation, holds 18 New York Times Stars and 3 Michelin Stars. In addition to the restaurants' numerous accolades, Mario has been awarded Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine Magazine and nominated for several James Beard Awards.
Jeff ZalaznickManaging Partner
Jeff Zalaznick was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Cornell University. Prior to becoming a restaurateur and entrepreneur, Jeff worked as an investment banker for J.P. Morgan and then a manager at the Mandarin Oriental. He then struck out on his own and conceived, developed and sold two highly-influential restaurant websites.
In 2010, Jeff met his match in visionary chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi at Torrisi Italian Specialties. Together, the trio formed Major Food Group and opened some of New York’s most celebrated restaurants and bars, including: Carbone, Dirty French, Parm, Sadelle’s, ZZ’s Clam Bar, THE GRILL, THE POOL, The Lobster Club, The Polynesian and Santina.
Jeff is the Cornell Hotel School's Entrepreneur-in-Residence and has been listed in 30 Under 30 by Zagat and Forbes. He has also been named 40 under 40 by Crain’s and a Rising Star Restaurateur by Star Chefs. Jeff and his partners also believe strongly in giving back, and have pioneered an exciting charity partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation.
Chef Rich TorrisiManaging Partner
Rich Torrisi grew up in Westchester, New York, in a family who shared a great love of eating, Rich was eager to learn his grandmother’s secrets in the kitchen. By the time he realized there are no secrets—just hard work, heat, and long hours—Rich was already in love with food. After years of making his way through local kitchens near his native Hudson River, Rich attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked under Marcus Samuelsson and Andrew Carmellini.
In 2009, Rich struck out on his own. With partner Mario Carbone, Rich opened Torrisi Italian Specialties, whose innovative prix-fix menu garnered the two chefs national attention—and a James Beard nomination for “Best New Restaurant” to boot.
In 2010, Rich and Mario partnered with Jeff Zalaznick to form Major Food Group and together, the trio have opened some of New York’s most celebrated restaurants and bars, including: Carbone, Dirty French, Parm, Sadelle’s, ZZ’s Clam Bar, THE GRILL, THE POOL, The Lobster Club, The Polynesian and Santina.
In addition to the restaurants' numerous accolades, Rich has been awarded Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine Magazine and nominated for several James Beard Awards. Rich currently lives in the West Village.
Chef Dan HaarPartner
Dan Haar grew up in Southwick, Massachusetts. His first foray into hospitality was through his summer jobs cooking in local country clubs prior to attending Skidmore College, where he majored in Geology and minored in Studio Art. After graduation, Dan moved to New York City to pursue a career in the art world and worked as an Associate at an art gallery.
His love for restaurants was sparked during his time in New York City, where he was surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the world. Missing the camaraderie he once found in kitchens where he worked as a teenager, Dan decided to enroll in the French Culinary Institute to pursue his passion in hospitality. It was during his time at FCI when he experienced Lupa and WD 50; these two meals would shape this trajectory of his culinary career for years to come, as Dan would go on to work at Del Posto under the tutelage of Mark Ladner, who helmed Lupa and later steered Del Posto to earning four stars from The New York Times in 2010, as well as Wylie Dufresne at WD 50.
It was during Dan’s tenure at Del Posto that he bonded with Chef Mario Carbone over their love of the New York Mets. When Mario Carbone partnered with Rich Torrisi to open Torrisi Italian Specialties in 2010, Mario called on Dan to join the team. It was at Torrisi Italian Specialties where Dan had another life-changing culinary experience – he knew this is where he wanted to work after one meal.
From his initial position as Sous Chef at Torrisi Italian Specialties, Dan was promoted to the Chef de Cuisine, and eventually went on to open some of Major Food Group’s most iconic restaurants, including: Carbone, Dirty French, Sadelle’s, Santina, The Seagram Building (home to THE GRILL, THE POOL and The Lobster Club); his tenacity, diligence and skill as a leader in the kitchen also earned his titles as Chef / Partner at Santina, Sadelle’s, The Seagram Building and was recently promoted to be the President of The Seagram Building.
Chef Ashley EddieExecutive Chef
Ashely Eddie is a Crown Heights, New York native. Ashley was inspired as a young girl by watching her grandmother in the kitchen and later realized that cooking was the only activity that captured her imagination and attention. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, which enabled her to pursue her culinary dreams in New York City, and worked on the opening teams of both Ellabess and Acme in New York City.
Ashley joined Santina’s opening team as a Line Cook and her outstanding perseverance quickly caught the attention of Chef Mario Carbone. In a short amount of time, Ashley proved that her leadership skills matched her advanced culinary abilities and diligently worked her way up to her current position as Executive Chef at Santina.
Ashley is committed to ensuring a transporting guest experience at Santina, where no matter the weather, it always feels sun-drenched and seaside. Her determination and creativity come to life on the menu in new dishes like Burrata, Lobster Spaghetti, Eggplant Parmigiana, Lamb Meatballs and Ribeye Pizzaiola. Ashley leads, mentors and motivates her kitchen team. She spearheads sourcing and approving all ingredients used at Santina, whether they are from local top purveyors or flown in from Italy, as is the case with Noto almonds, sheep’s milk ricotta and olive oil.
Tom FavoruleGeneral Manager
Tom Favorule is from the Hudson Valley in New York. Growing up, he was always inspired to find local ingredients to cook with his mother, and soon found a passion with baking. After high school, he attended Johnson & Wales University where he studied Baking & Pastry Arts and Restaurant Management and went on to become the opening Pastry Chef at a Relais & Chateaux Hotel, Glenmere Mansion after graduation.
Early in his restaurant career, he made a switch to the front of house operations, opening many New York restaurants like Olives, Piora, Sessanta, and La Sirena. Upon leaving La Sirena, he joined Major Food Group at THE POOL as the Assistant General Manager, and was soon promoted to his current position as General Manager of Santina, where he leads the service team to deliver exceptional experiences with true coastal Italian tradition in mind. Tom likes to lead his team by example and always brings a little bit of the coastal Italian feel to New York City by way of the guests’ experience at Santina.