Justin Severino's Cross-Country Move

The executive chef/co-owner of Cure and Morcilla takes his celebrated charcuterie to Los Angeles.




photo courtesy of gwen

 

It's no secret that if you’re craving top-shelf charcuterie in Pittsburgh, it’s a smart idea to visit Justin Severino’s Cure and Morcilla restaurants in Lawrenceville. What most people likely don’t yet know is that you also can enjoy Severino's cured meat in Los Angeles.

Severino is the charcuterie consultant for Gwen, a Los Angeles restaurant and butcher shop owned by the high-profile chef Curtis Stone and his brother Luke Stone. Severino started working with the restaurant last year.

Everything was humming for Severino in February 2016. Morcilla recently had opened to great acclaim and Cure was settling into its fifth year of operations. He was feeling a tad stuck about what to do next, but didn't think that opening another restaurant was the way to get his creativity flowing again. “One of the questions I asked myself at the time was, ‘How do I grow?’ I didn’t have an answer for that. All I knew was that I needed to get out of this comfortable zone I was in at the moment,” he says. 

And then he received a call from an old friend, Gita McCutcheon. Severino met McCutcheon in 2009 while he was working as production manager at Ayrshire Farm in Virginia, which is where he feels like he honed in on his craft as a charcuterie maker. “I’d only made very small batches of charcuterie until then. When I got there I could make anything I wanted,” he says.

McCutcheon told him that the Stone brothers were looking for someone to oversee the charcuterie program at their new restaurant. “I’d been my own boss for so long that I wanted to work for someone who would have high expectations of me,” Severino says.

Severino has produced nearly 2000 lbs. of charcuterie since he began his monthly visits to Gwen in July; there currently are 29 varieties for sale. “He’s been instrumental in coming out and helping us with the program,” says Luke Stone. “He’s put some amazing products into our case.” 
 


photo by laura petrilla
 

​Severino says the thing he’s most excited about at Gwen is that he’s working on a scale that he couldn’t do in Pittsburgh. “There are things I wanted to experiment with but didn’t make sense to have on the menu [at Cure or Morcilla],” he says. 

And there’s an upside for Pittsburgh, too. “At the end of the day, this inspires me to come home and be even better. If I can do it this well for them, I can do it even better for myself,” he says.

Severino is a near-nightly presence at one or both of his restaurants, and he isn't planning on leaving Pittsburgh for the glitz and glamor of the West Coast. “My goal isn’t to live in Los Angeles. Cure and Morcilla are the most important things to me. My biggest fear while we were opening Morcilla is what it would do to Cure. My biggest fear taking on this project it was it would do to the two spaces. So far, it’s all working,” he says.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Eat & Drink:

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

Chef Dennis Marron designs a menu of modern-American fare at The Commoner in the downstairs space of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh.
Restaurant Review: Union Standard

Restaurant Review: Union Standard

Longtime big Burrito chef Derek Stevens looks to elevate dining in Downtown Pittsburgh with his first independent restaurant project.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The new Live Animal Encounters program introduces museum visitors to rescued wildlife.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Close to a half dozen local businesses, among them Savannah Hayes and Stak Ceramics, will make their debut next week at the mega interior design and home goods-focused show in New York City.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments