Star Chef Award: 2013
Justin Severino, owner of Lawrenceville's Cure and a national rising star.
Photo by Laura Petrilla
Justin Severino already had a luminous culinary career when he officially opened his first restaurant, Cure, late last year. “Coming to work every day where everything looks, sounds and tastes the way I want it to be, and having the love and passion for what I do, it’s hard for customers not to appreciate that,” says Severino.
He’s been in the regional and national spotlight recently, with a nomination from Bon Appetit for operating one of its “50 Best New Restaurants” of 2012. Severino continues to receive attention because he maintains solid relationships with local farms, butchers and cures meats in-house, and continuously shares ideas with fellow culinarians.
Because he has cooked in kitchens on the West Coast and previously owned a butcher shop, his background enables him to be an example for young chefs and an expert on charcuterie. His process yields food that showcases traditional farming and cooking methods, as well as creative, interesting flavor combinations.
“People used to tell me that Pittsburghers weren’t ready for my food. Well, how do you know if you don’t try? [Pittsburghers] want to see things on the menu that they’ve never tried before,” says Severino.
Despite the positive press, Severino has managed to keep Cure a low-key neighborhood spot. When dining at Cure, be sure to try blood sausage, pig’s cheeks, oxtail ravioli or squab breast.
Now that he has a bar, liquor license, bar man and sommelier (Colin Anderson and Michael Kreha, formerly of Bar Marco), Severino’s goal “is for our drinks to be as interesting and high-quality as our food.”
Whether you stop in for the salumi platter or to learn more about the whole hog-butchering dinners, you’re in for a treat because Severino and his team are committed to serving the finest fare possible.
5336 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Watch: Chef Talk with Severino