Inspired by his family’s own kitchen and garden growing up, it seemed natural that Craig Polignano would, from the age of 13, choose to work in an array of local NJ restaurants before making the decision to attend the Culinary Institute of America in pursuit of his career in food service. After completion of his studies, Craig’s relentless enthusiasm landed him a spot in the kitchen of The Ryland Inn of Whitehouse, NJ. There his passion and dedication prompted him to enhance the existing 3-acre organic garden by building a 15-bed specialty herb garden with dozens of varietals.
Craig went on to expand his knowledge base and worked as Sous Chef at Copeland in the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, NJ. Then shortly took over as Chef de Cuisine at The Bernards Inn. Following his experience at the Bernards Inn, Craig was offered an opportunity to work for the Michael Mina group at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California as the Executive Chef of the Stonehill Tavern.
After experiencing California, Craig returned home to New Jersey to take the Chef de Cuisine at the restaurant where he started, The Ryland Inn. After two years of honing his skills, Craig was promoted to Executive Chef, a position he had for two more years.
Craig then had the opportunity to be the opening Chef de Cuisine of Mistral in King of Prussia, PA. The much anticipated opening was met with rave reviews, rating Craig the “Chef to know” (Philadelphia Style Magazine), receiving three bells (Craig Laban, Philadelphia Inquirer), and three stars (Philadelphia Magazine).
Craig has decided to return home to New Jersey again to lead the team at Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen. Joining powers with Managing Partner Christopher Cannon, he is excited for the opportunity to bring his experience and talents to Morristown, NJ yet again.
His energy and diligence will enable him to join two complementary halves of fine restaurant service: the marriage of art’s passion and sensory explosiveness with an earnest commitment to service.