South Carolina native and adopted son of Virginia, Lee Gregory got his culinary start like many young cooking, working an internship. In Gregory’s case, it happened to be with Richmond Chef Dale Reitzer of Acacia, who not only taught him a love and appreciation for cooking, but also instilled in him a love for the city of Richmond. After working for Reitzer for five years, Gregory moved on, spending time working at Six Burner in Richmond, Mockingbird in Staunton, and Blue Light Grill in Charlottesville, but he eventually made his way back to Richmond.
In 2011, Gregory and partner Kendra Feather opened The Roosevelt in Richmond’s historic Church Hill. An almost instantaneous city staple, The Roosevelt was named “Restaurant of the Year” by Style Weekly, “2012 Best New Restaurant” by Richmond Magazine, “2014 Restaurant of the Year” from Richmond Magazine’s Elby Awards, “100 Best Restaurant in the South” by Southern Living, and one of the “13 Best Restaurants in the South” by Thrillist. Gregory also took home “Chef of the Year” Elby in 2014, was named a DC Area Rising Star by Star Chefs and Plate Magazine named him one of the ”30 Chefs to Watch”. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 Gregory was nominated for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” by The James Beard Foundation.
For his latest project, Gregory is teaming up with fellow 2014 D.C. Rising Star and “Chef of the Year” Elby winner Joe Sparatta of Heritage and local Richmond farmer Matt Gottwald to open the seasonally driven, upscale casual eatery, Southbound. Bon Appetit recognized Southbound as one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” in 2015.
Gregory supports several children and hunger focused charities in Virginia, including SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) and The Central Virginia Food Bank.
He lives with his wife Christine and their two children; Emma Grace and Keeton in Richmond, Virginia.
A native of the garden state of New Jersey, Joe was born into a family of chefs, and took up the craft at an early age. It was not until he began working at The Ryland Inn under Chef Craig Shelton that he truly found his passion. At the time, The Ryland was the only New Jersey restaurant to be awarded four stars by the New York Times, and the only to be awarded Relais Gourmands by Relais & Chateaux; it is in this environment, with a four acre organic garden to work with, that Joe got his education. Joe received additional training with Chefs David Bouley, Eric Ripert, and Michael Laiskonis in New York City before joining Chef Scott Anderson to open elements in Princeton, NJ. While Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at elements, Joe managed a team that received top ratings from local and New York press, garnered publication in Art Culinaire, and earned a spot in the top 20 “most important restaurants” in America by the Opinionated About Dining Guide.
Since moving to Virginia, Joe has worked with restaurateur Paul Keevil, Chef Jason Alley & Michele Jones, along with Ry Marchant, in their latest restaurant venture Pasture. In late 2012, he and his wife Emilia opened Heritage with his brother-in-law Mattias Hägglund. Since it’s opening, Heritage has garnered numerous accolades including: Chef & Restaurant of the Year Elby’s 2015, Star Chef.com Rising Star Winner 2014 Washington DC area, Southern Living’s 100 Best Restaurants in the South 2014, and Richmond Magazine’s Best New Restaurant 2013.
For his latest project, Sparatta is teaming up with fellow 2014 D.C. Rising Star and “Chef of the Year” Elby winner Lee Gregory of The Roosevelt and local Richmond farmer Matt Gottwald to open the seasonally driven, upscale casual eatery, Southbound. Bon Appetit has recognized Southbound as one of “America’s Best New Restaurants 2015”.
When not at Heritage or Southbound, and when the season is right, you can probably find him fishing, or foraging for ramps & other wild delicacies to tempt his son Hunter with.