The Executive Chef & Proprietor of Fork!, is the fresh face of Charlotte cuisine with a culinary philosophy to match. Groody's commitment to buying fresh, organic produce from local markets has helped pave the way in bringing a larger selection of produce to Charlotte, and a fresher taste to gourmet cuisine. Originally from Long Island, New York, Groody developed an interest in cooking at a young age from his father and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
After graduating from the CIA, Groody gained experience working with some of the most talented chefs in the United States. New York City chefs such as Jean-George Vongerichten at Restaurant Lafayette, John Doughrety at the Waldorf Astoria, and Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque helped Groody learn the art of food.
Groody's next set of learning experiences came in California's Napa Valley --specifically, St. Helena -- where he worked as a Sous Chef at Meadowwood Resort & Table 29 with Jonathan Waxman. It was there that he mastered the pairing of wine and food -- and, importantly, realized that incorporating fresh produce into dishes was a key component in bringing out flavors. Through the popularity of the produce markets in California and the influences of persons like Alice Waters, world famous for using fresh, primarily organic produce, Groody began to form his cooking style.
His greatest inspiration, however, comes from Ben Barker, the award-winning Executive Chef and co-owner of Magnolia Grill in Durham, with whom Groody cooked after leaving California.
Groody brought his talent to Sonoma in 1999 and has been making his mark on Charlotte since. Groody acquires about 90 percent of the restaurant's produce through Matthews Community Farmers' Market and the Charlotte Regional Farmers' Market. Outside of the demands of the restaurant kitchen, Groody spends his time pursuing his many other interests.