Behind The Cutting Board: Joe Friday


Chef Joe Friday was born in North Carolina, raised in Okinawa, Japan, trained in French Cuisine. His impressive culinary journey began when he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America to train in pastries and savories.

At the age of 20 he was one of 10 pastry students selected globally to work in the international culinary program at Walt Disney World. Six months in, Friday’s superiors recognized great talent, and placed him on the “hot line.” There, is where Friday found his love and passion for savories and has been refining that talent ever since.

Within three years time, he had worked his way up to sous-chef and had successfully moved around to various restaurants within the Disney family. Friday was exposed to different cuisines and cooking techniques while working with influential chefs such as Chef Martin Yan (from “Yan Can Cook”) and Disney’s Executive Chef, John State.

After he apprenticed in Norway and England, he returned to Japan to perfect the culinary experience of his childhood; the art of Japanese noodle making. Friday took a position at the world renowned Nobu Wakiki, Honolulu. This was a pivotal moment in Friday’s career were he understood his identity as a chef. With a love for Honolulu, he furthered his career and established himself as the sous-chef at the Hilton Hawaii Village and shortly after became the Executive Chef at Giovani’s.

Seeking tutelage from Canadian renowned Chef Jason Bangerter, Friday assisted as the chef-da-partie in the opening of Toronto’s Luma by O&B at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. In the Fall of 2011, Friday joined the team at Bar Mozza (part of the Alimento Fine Food Emporium) downtown Toronto, as executive Chef.

Chef Joe Friday is also a co-founder and host of The Underground Chef Co. (UCC) which was founded in 2013 with the objective of providing Chefs and restaurateurs a platform to help promote and support the culinary community. UCC works with to-be-discovered Chefs in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa and their battles challenge Chefs to create several dishes from secret ingredients in under one-hour and provide audience goers with a real-time experience of life in the kitchen.

Check out the video below, to see what the Underground Chef Co., Battles are typically like:

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Instagram: @chefjoefridy

If you weren’t working in the culinary industry, what would you be doing?

A doctor .

Any advice for people getting started in your industry? Best advice you’ve ever been given?

Advise plan your career and put goals in every step of the way.

What is your favourite restaurant, right now?

Alo restaurant

In your opinion, what traits would you say describe the ideal Gentleman?

Someone with manners, respect for others, treating women properly and a display of class.

If you could have dinner with anyone (Alive or Dead), who would it be, and why?

My great, great grandfather so I could learn more about myself.


Watch Chef Joe Friday host The Gentlemen’s Expo Chef Battle, presented by Underground Chef Co., as part of our CULINARY PROGRAMME at #TGE2016.

Tickets are ON SALE NOW. Use code FIVEOFF to save $5 off General Admission tickets.

#BEBETTER at The Gentlemen’s Expo. November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.