Chef Joel Harrington—former sous chef to Marcus Samuelsson and Culinary Director of Harlem—was recruited to create and manage where he is currently at- Lido Bottle Works. He’s focused on local, sustainable foods, including ingredients from the restaurant’s Costa Mesa garden, the Santa Monica Farmers Market, and fish hand-selected daily from the Dory Fishing Fleet Market.
Vermont-born Joel Harrington began his career at age 15, working as a fry cook in a family-owned restaurant in his home state. He later worked at an eclectic Asian restaurant where he found a love for sweet and spicy flavors, and for the pure maple syrup indigenous to the area. In 1998 he attended culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he was awarded the Craig Claiborne BPS Endowed Scholarship for outstanding performance.
He was hired upon graduation as a line cook by acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit, becoming chef de partie, and later, sous chef. During his time there, the restaurant received three stars from the New York Times and a James Beard Award. Other recognitions and work include:
● Four Stars at the Ritz Carlton as Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant 162 in New York
● James Beard Award Nomination, “Best New Restaurant” honors from Esquire Magazine, and AAA Five Diamonds as Chef de Cuisine at Fearing’s in the Ritz Carlton in Dallas
● Led kitchens for Stephen Pyles and Charlie Palmer in Dallas before heading back to New York to become Director of Culinary at Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster in Harlem
● Returned to Dallas to become Chef de Cuisine at Bolsa, where the ever-changing menu went hand-in-hand with Chef Joel’s passion for local ingredients, farming and producers.
Chef Joel recently returned to Orange County, where he cooked in earlier years (at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel). He lives on the Newport Peninsula, biking to work daily after visiting the Dory Fishing Fleet Market or the Lido Bottle Works garden in Costa Mesa. His focus at LBW remains true to his overall ethos of sustainability and highlighting local producers.