The Kitchen

CHEF JAMES PETRAKIS

James Petrakis grew up in Winter Park, Florida and graduated from the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. While in school, he crossed paths with his future wife and business partner, Julie. After graduating in 2001, Petrakis joined the opening team of Atelier at The Ritz-Carlton NYC, where he learned the mechanics of cooking in a bustling city kitchen.

Years later, the husband-and-wife restaurant duo made a decision to return to their roots, and returned to Orlando. Upon arrival, Petrakis became a prominent member of the opening team for The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Lakes Orlando. Shortly after, he proceeded to open Seasons 52 for Chef Clifford Pleau and then went on to be a part of the opening team at Luma on Park (2005) under the tutelage of James Beard-nominated chef, Brandon McGlamery. Petrakis attests that it was during his time as sous chef, that he was able to shape his passion for cooking with great ingredients and classic techniques.

Today, James Petrakis owns and operates three thriving restaurants, The Ravenous Pig (2007), Cask & Larder (2012) and Swine & Sons Provisions (2015) located in the heart of Winter Park, Florida in partnership with his wife, Julie Petrakis. At their restaurants, they focus on using local seasonal ingredients, specialize in artisanal charcuterie and brew award-winning craft beer. The restaurant duo has received numerous accolades including five James Beard nominations.

CHEF julie petrakis

Julie Petrakis grew up in Winter Park, Florida and graduated from the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she met her future husband and restaurant partner, James Petrakis. While in New York, she maximized every opportunity, and accepted a position to work as a line cook at Tribeca Grill during her schooling. After graduation, Petrakis headed south and completed her externship at Atlanta’s Bacchanalia (2001), where she grew her passion for baking and using fresh ingredients indigenous to the Southeast.

In 2002, Petrakis returned to Manhattan, where she worked as saucier at The Waldorf-Astoria while staging at several local restaurants, including Union Square Café and Union Pacific. Choosing to return to their hometown roots, Julie joined James in Orlando and helped to open Primo at the JW Marriott. Under the guidance of two of Orlando’s James Beard award-winning chefs, Melissa Kelly and Kathleen Blake, Petrakis was able to shape her understanding of working with organic, seasonal ingredients. Today, they can been adorning the menus of their three successfully operating restaurants, The Ravenous Pig (2007), Cask & Larder (2012) and Swine & Sons Provisions (2015) located in Winter Park, Fla.

CHEF RHYS GAWLAK

Florida native Rhys Gawlak first discovered his affinity for food at a young age, when he would return from home from middle school and begin to prep and cook dinner for his mom and brother. From humble beginnings as a busboy at age 15, to now helming the kitchen for one of the South’s most-acclaimed restaurant groups, Rhys keeps his pace by creating simple cuisine that respects the farmers and their land.

After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, he gained valuable experiences working under the tutelage of Chef Clay Miller at the award-winning Norman’s in Orlando, as well as Dexter’s in Orlando and Winter Park. Since October of 2007, he has been part of the foundational team that spearheads the menu development and kitchen operations of Cask & Larder and The Ravenous Pig.

When Rhys isn’t behind the line, he resides in Orlando with his wife, Alexia Gawlak, who is also part of The Swine Family, and their two children, Rylyn and Asa.


CHEF alexia gawlak

Alexia Gawlak, chef and partner at Swine & Sons Provisions, was born in Evanston, Illinois and raised in Winter Park, Florida. Gawlak graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in culinary arts, and later earned a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management from the University of Central Florida.

Gawlak’s culinary journey began in Orlando, where she held several kitchen jobs before deciding to pursue an education at the CIA. Gawlak completed her externship at Nobu’s flagship restaurant in New York City, but was eventually brought back to her hometown to work under the tutelage of James Beard Foundation award-winning chef, Kathleen Blake at Primo. In 2006, as sous chef of Luma on Park, Gawlak continued to build her diverse resume and it was during this time that she formed a connection with her co-sous chef, James Petrakis.

Gawlak joined the Swine Family in 2007 as sous chef for The Ravenous Pig, and has since become an essential part of the team, spearheading menu development and kitchen operations at the brand’s newest concept, Swine & Sons Provisions. Gawlak brings her honest method of cooking to the Petrakis’ growing restaurant group, she believes that guests should enjoy meals made from responsibly-sourced ingredients prepared and served with care.

Gawlak resides in Orlando with her husband, Rhys, and their two children, Rylyn and Asa.

OUR CUISINE

We believe in honest food. This means we source responsibly, use quality ingredients, and take our time to make things from scratch. We partner with other small producers like Olde Hearth Bakery and local farms like Lake Meadow Naturals and Frog Song Organics. We care about what we do, and we think it shows. Stop on by - we'd love to show you what we're all about!

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