Leaders

Executives

Directors

Sam Lipp

Sam Lipp
Director of Operations of Union Square Cafe & Daily Provisions

At the age of 12, Sam cooked his first meal – a multi-course Christmas dinner for ten, complete with a roast leg of lamb. It was pretty clear from that point forward that his destiny lay in the food world. At 16, he entered the restaurant industry, moving from dishwasher to prep cook to busboy to host at his neighbor’s Italian restaurant, Pasta per Tutti. From there, Sam left his native city of Madison, WI, attended Cornell University and graduated with a degree from the School of Hotel Administration, where he came to teach a cooking class and create a popular wine club called Vinophiles Anonymous.

Prior to joining the team at Union Square Cafe, Sam worked in various roles throughout Union Square Hospitality Group, including Service Manager (Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, MoMA), Beverage Director (Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, MoMA), Bar Manager (Eleven Madison Park), Dining Room Manager (Eleven Madison Park), and Assistant General Manager (Eleven Madison Park, Maialino).

While at Eleven Madison Park, Sam was a crucial part of the leadership team driving the service changes that brought the restaurant from two to four stars in The New York Times, three Michelin Stars, and a membership within Relais & Château. During his time at Maialino, Sam played an integral role in developing the operational and Front of House systems that lead to the restaurant’s immediate popularity and critical success.

In 2011, Sam became the General Manager of Union Square Cafe and in 2012 he became a Managing Partner of the restaurant. At Union Square Cafe, Sam has continued the tradition of excellent service and warm hospitality that have made the restaurant one of New York’s (and the country’s) most beloved New American restaurants for the past 27 years, while thoughtfully continuing the restaurant’s evolution through such initiatives as revitalizing the beverage program and spearheading the subtle rebranding of the restaurant.

In spring 2016, after 30 years in its original location, Union Square Cafe will be relocating to a new home a few blocks to the north. During this exciting time, Sam will oversee the buildout of the new restaurant and ensure that Union Square Cafe’s signature warm hospitality makes the trip to the restaurant’s new home.

Sam has been featured in Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today, Sommelier Journal, Nation’s Restaurant News, and many other publications. He has appeared as a regular guest on Martha Stewart Radio and as a panelist at the New York Wine and Food Festival.

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MARK MAYNARD-PARISI

MARK MAYNARD-PARISI
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS -- Porchlight

Mark Maynard-Parisi is the Director of Operations at Porchlight, Union Square Hospitality Group’s first stand-alone cocktail bar, located in New York’s West Chelsea. Mark, a 24-year veteran of the company, together with the group’s CEO, Danny Meyer, conceptualized and designed Porchlight, a New York bar with a Southern accent. Mark is responsible for its strategic direction and all day-to-day operations.

Mark’s career at Union Square Hospitality Group began as a host/reservationist at Union Square Cafe, where he was personally trained by Danny to become its maître d’. He was ultimately named General Manager. It was there that he absorbed the company’s approach to hospitality, which he characterizes as honest, straightforward and caring. The focus, first and foremost, is on the staff and guests. Mark later moved on to co-found Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard in 2002. Under Mark’s leadership, both Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard emerged as destinations for well-curated spirits, vibrant cocktails and craft beer.

For 13 years, Mark led the strategic growth of Blue Smoke, which expanded to multiple locations, including New York’s Battery Park City and outposts of Blue Smoke on the Road at CitiField, home of the New York Mets, Washington Nationals ballpark and JFK Airport’s Delta Terminal Four. For two years, Mark simultaneously served as Managing Director of Operations for Union Square Events, the catering and events services branch of USHG.  

 A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Landscape Architecture, Mark sees both disciplines as requiring patience, planning and vision. Most importantly, he believes that in both cases, simplicity matters most and a design’s effectiveness is only as good as the end-users’ experience and their connection to it. Mark, an avid cyclist, gardener and bakery aficionado, lives with his wife and two children in South Orange, N.J.

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Business Leaders

Blue Smoke & Porchlight

JEAN-PAUL BOURGEOIS

JEAN-PAUL BOURGEOIS
Executive Chef

Growing up in the small town of Thibodaux, Louisiana in a family that practiced seasonal rituals such as catching catfish, duck hunting, making fig preserves, and cleaning shrimp, Jean-Paul grew up surrounded by vibrant Southern cuisine, prepared by two parents who had a passion for living off the land and cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients. These early experiences of flavorful food left their imprint on Jean-Paul, who enrolled at John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree and participated in an exchange program with the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France.

After completing his formal studies, he worked at Étoile restaurant at the Domaine Chandon winery in Napa and then moved to San Francisco to become opening sous chef at EPIC Roasthouse under Chef Jan Birnbaum. In 2007, Jean-Paul moved to the island of St. Thomas, where he served as sous chef of two local restaurants and developed a true passion for soul food, which played a pivotal role in helping define his vision as a Southern chef.

When Jean-Paul first moved to New York, he landed at Maialino in December 2009, working under Executive Chef Nick Anderer. Over his four years at Maialino, Jean-Paul was promoted several times, and was named Chef de Cuisine of Gramercy Terrace at The Gramercy Park Hotel in 2013.

In 2014, Jean-Paul became Executive Chef of Blue Smoke Enterprises, which includes Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard and Blue Smoke On The Road. He is also responsible for the culinary program at Porchlight, USHG’s new Southern-inspired bar slated to open in the fall of 2014.

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Blue Smoke & Porchlight

Michael Shain

Michael Shain
GENERAL MANAGER--PORCHLIGHT

Michael Shain is General Manager of Porchlight, the first stand-alone cocktail bar by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). Porchlight, a New York bar with a Southern accent, is the brainchild of USHG’s CEO Danny Meyer and Blue Smoke’s Senior Managing Partner Mark Maynard-Parisi.

Michael is responsible for building and managing Porchlight’s hospitable bartending team. He created its cocktail menu alongside his bar team, curated the bar’s bourbon, rye and American whiskey list, as well as beer offerings. Michael is overseeing Porchlight’s first-ever “Distillers Wall” that celebrates distillers who are taking the craft to new heights of excellence.

Previously, Michael was Beverage Director at Blue Smoke’s two locations in the Flatiron District and Battery Park, a position that he assumed in 2014. His accomplishments at Blue Smoke include invigorating the cocktail program, bringing a focus to craft beer and small batch whiskey and implementing a new all-American wine list. Michael joined Blue Smoke in 2010 and worked his way up through the restaurant’s ranks.

Michael’s first job was in marketing, when he recognized his true passion was food and beverage. With the enthusiastic support of his family, he enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), where he earned a degree in Culinary Arts & Management. During his time at ICE, he realized that his talents were in the front of the house, rather than the kitchen. That said, his culinary training has enriched his work with cocktails, especially in being able to create housemade syrups, reductions, etc.

Michael graduated from the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media and Marketing. During his college years, he worked at a fish market that opened at 5 a.m. He was delighted to get out from behind the counter to help the owner’s catering business, which was his introduction to the hospitality industry.

A resident of Hoboken, N.J., Michael spends his free time with family and friends. At home, he enjoys sipping beer and simple stirred cocktails like rye, Cynar and sweet vermouth. He credits living overseas in his youth and travel abroad for sparking his culinary dreams.

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Gramercy Tavern & Untitled

Suzanne Cupps

Suzanne Cupps
EXECUTIVE CHEF - UNTITLED & STUDIO CAFE

Suzanne Cupps is the Executive Chef of Untitled and Studio Cafe in the Whitney Museum of American Art. Born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina, Suzanne was exposed to the concept of farm to table at an early age, while spending summers on her grandfather’s farm. As a child, Suzanne often dodged her mother’s requests for help in the kitchen, and it wasn’t until the end of her undergraduate years at Clemson University that Suzanne began to consider cooking as a potential career.

Suzanne’s first job in the hospitality industry was an HR administrator position at the Waldorf Astoria, where she quickly realized that her interests lay firmly in the kitchen. Soon after, Suzanne enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education and found the creative and competitive atmosphere of a professional kitchen to her liking.

After graduating from ICE in 2005, Suzanne began her culinary career with Union Square Hospitality Group as an extern at Gramercy Tavern, developing a deep respect for Chef Mike Anthony’s careful sourcing and New American approach to cooking. This experience further cemented her passion for the industry and after her externship, Suzanne went on to hone her skills at Anita Lo’s restaurant Annisa. Three years into her time at Annisa, the restaurant was destroyed by a fire, and Suzanne played an integral role in rebuilding and re-opening the restaurant nine months later.

In 2011, Suzanne chose to continue her fine dining education and returned to Gramercy Tavern as a line cook. Most recently, Suzanne held the position of Untitled’s Chef de Cuisine under Michael Anthony, before ultimately assuming the role of the restaurant’s Executive Chef in 2017.

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North End Grill

Eric Korsh

Eric Korsh
Executive Chef

As Executive Chef of North End Grill, Eric Korsh deftly crafts rustic cuisine with classic technique and a lively use of ingredients in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City.

Originally from Long Island, NY, Korsh entered the hospitality industry in 9th grade as a dishwasher at a Japanese restaurant and then as a line cook at a local diner. Following his graduation from Hobart College, he cooked in Boston for a time before landing a Saucier position at Terrance Brennan’s flagship restaurant Picholine, where he refined his skill at tasting and learned technique. From there, Korsh cooked at restaurants throughout New York City, including Prune and Aretsky’s Patroon.

Ready for a fresh experience and to build something new, in 2008 Korsh decided to open his own restaurant. He moved across the country to Sebastopol, CA and opened Restaurant Eloise, a 60-seat eatery with traditional French fare named after Kay Thompson’s iconic children’s book protagonist. One year later, Star Chefs named Korsh 2009 Rising Star Napa Sonoma and San Francisco magazine anointed him Rising Star of 2009.

In late 2009, Korsh returned to New York City, where he soon became Executive Chef of The Waverly Inn and received acclaim for the nuanced, classic style he applied to the restaurant’s seasonal American comfort food. After two years, Korsh jumped back into ownership, opening the European bistro Calliope, which was named one of ’12 Restaurant Triumphs of 2012’ by the New York Times. In April 2014, Korsh was named Executive Chef of North End Grill.

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Union Square Cafe & Daily Provisions

Carmen Quagliata

Carmen Quagliata
EXECUTIVE CHEF

At Union Square Cafe, with the Greenmarket at his doorstep, Executive Chef Carmen Quagliata explores and develops his passion for his native Italian cuisine in one of the country’s most beloved restaurants. Carmen’s culinary style was formed by the Sicilian matriarchs of his family, who made sausage and bread by hand and grew pole beans from seeds carried across the Atlantic by their Italian kin.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Carmen became an apprentice at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia under Chef Hartmut Handke. Three years later, he headed west to work for Michael Chiarello at Tra Vigne in Napa Valley. There he quickly advanced from Sous Chef to Executive Sous Chef to Executive Chef/Partner.

In 2001, Carmen was hired to work for Lydia Bastianich at Felidia in New York City. He then moved to Boston and became Chef at The Vault, which quickly earned three stars from both the Boston Herald and Boston Globe. After researching opening a restaurant in Boston, Carmen realized his heart lay in New York, and a fortuitous introduction brought him to Union Square Cafe.

It was immediately apparent that Carmen was the perfect complement to Chef Michael Romano’s kitchen, and in January 2005, he was hired as Chef de Cuisine. Carmen was promoted to Executive Chef in September 2007. Within a year the restaurant received four stars from Time Out New York, and reclaimed the title of New York City’s Most Popular Restaurant from the Zagat Survey – an honor Union Square Cafe has received an unprecedented nine times. Carmen’s cooking continues to show his respect for all that has come before at USC, as well as his creativity, taste and appreciation for the seasons, as he shapes the restaurant’s future.

As Union Square Cafe prepares to reopen in its new location in spring 2016, Carmen and his team are busy recipe-testing and building out a beautiful new kitchen.

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Union Square Events

John Karangis

John Karangis
Executive Chef

John Karangis is the Executive Chef of Union Square Events, the catering, culture, sports and events business from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG).

A native New Yorker, John graduated from New York City Technical College with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. While studying Fine Dining Management, John fell in love with the culinary aspect of hospitality and was accepted as a student under Chef Andre Daguin and Chef Yves Pinard at the Restaurant Le Grand Louvre in Paris. Upon returning to the States, John worked as a line cook under Chef Michael Romano at USHG’s first restaurant, Union Square Cafe. After three years, he moved across the country to work for acclaimed Pacific Northwest cuisine restaurant Square One.

After spending two years on the West Coast, working with Executive Chef Joyce Goldstein at Square One, and then at Star Restaurant, John returned to the East Coast and spent a year at the newly-opened Gramercy Tavern under Executive Chef Tom Colicchio. John then became the Executive Chef at Restaurant Associates. In 2003, John accepted the role of Executive Chef of Aramark at Goldman Sachs, delivering world class dining and hospitality to an elite clientele, a role he held for almost 8 years. He then returned to his culinary roots at Union Square Hospitality Group, where he brings a passion for excellence and hospitality as well as a wealth of culinary experience to his role directing the growth of Union Square Events’s Culinary operations.

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