Like many Chefs, Agricolaâ€™s Mitresh Saraiyaâ€™s earliest food memoriesâ€”and influencesâ€”came from his Grandmother, when she came from India to live with his family. She had a small catering business, and he vividly remembers helping her knead dough, under her watchful and instructive eye.
Mitreshâ€™s first early introduction to the hospitality industry in high school when he worked as a host in a restaurant. Most of his peers would have seen the position as just another job, but Mitresh was learning more, in the front and the back of the house, and he came to see it as an industry where he thought he could have a future.
Along with his parentsâ€™ suggestion, he went to college and got his degree–in Psychology. But the restaurant world was always on his mind. After graduation, he seized on the opportunity to attend Pittsburgh Culinary schoolâ€¦and for him, the stars aligned. As soon as the handle of the pan fit his hand, he felt that he was a natural cook. He rose to the top of his class, always doing extra credit to expand his horizons; this ambition landed him as Valediction of his class.
For Chef Mitresh, he is rewarded by the integrity of scratch-made dishes, by the time and care that goes into them, and the enjoyment the guests get out of them. He found great satisfaction in positions at New Jerseyâ€™s renowned The Frog & The Peach, where every single item on the menu was made in house.
Next step was to find a new place to call home. Mitresh joined Fenwick Hospitality Group in 2014 as a line cook, and through his signature hard work, dedication and love of pushing the limits in the kitchen, he rose to the position of Executive Chef at Agricola, where his dedication to creating ingredient-driven, creative dishes has maintained Agricolaâ€™s standing as one of the stateâ€™s top restaurants.