Chef Kevin Vermilyea

Chef Kevin Vermilyea

""There are things you do because they feel right & they make no sense & they make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good"...Brian Andreas"

Hello Wilmington. I look forward to sharing my decades of experience with you through teaching, good times and great food. I want to share my past with you for you to understand who I am and how I got to be. So, sit back, pour a glass of wine, beer, coffee or whatever you like and enjoy the ride.

My love for food began at a very young age. Being of Sicilian descent, I spent many summers in my grandmother’s garden and kitchen. Helping her pick fresh herbs and vegetables to stirring sauces, rolling meatballs, breading eggplant and of course taste testing her amazing food.

I began my career in food service at the age of 12 in a friend’s family-owned restaurant in Woodstock NY. It was the early 80’s, in the Hudson Valley and next to the Woodstock Playhouse. It was the gathering place for great performances and great food at the gateway to Woodstock. It was the place to be and be seen. The staff buzzing around, the excitement of meal service, the smells and sounds of a busy kitchen…I was hooked from the start.

I applied at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY in 1991. At that time students weren’t just enrolled, they had to be accepted. Through my experience, my passion for food and a genuine desire to be a chef I was accepted. While putting myself through school I was also working at America’s oldest Inn, The Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck NY. I worked under Larry Forgione, who really is one of the first celebrity chefs, has been called the ‘Godfather of American Cuisine’ and truly one of the best chefs I’ve worked for. I met Wolfgang Puck at Beekman Arms one afternoon following a recording of The Today Show and with Chef Forgione’s help, I secured an externship training alongside Wolfgang Puck at his first and most famous restaurant, Spago, in West Hollywood. This was the best experience ever. Not only did I learn invaluable techniques, but also the importance of using high quality, wholesome, local, organic products simply prepared to allow the ingredients to be the focus. We made everything from scratch, everything. There has yet to be a restaurant that I’ve stepped foot in of this caliber. I loved going to work every day for the shear excitement of cooking the most amazing food and working with the best ingredients. It didn’t hurt our clientele was actors, musicians, comedians, sports stars and everybody in between either. After all it was the Sunset Strip, Hollywood.

Following graduation from The Culinary Institute of America I worked in New York and Connecticut for some time. I gained a lot of hands-on experience working with some great chefs honing my skills in all aspects of food service, even opening a sushi bar.

Fast forward to today and how I came to North Carolina. I can honestly say I was looking for a change of scenery, and less snow and ice. I’ve held numerous jobs here in Wilmington from French bistro to rolling sushi, breakfast, catering, country club and even corporate chef. I most recently opened from scratch an Italian restaurant with the best Neapolitan pizza you’ll find in the county.

I decided recently to make the transition out of the daily grind of the commercial kitchen and into your home. I excel at intimate, fine dining food and am looking forward to giving you the experience of a 5-star rated meal, without leaving the comfort of your own home. I’m wholly devoted to preparing uncomplicated food allowing the quality and care in the preparation of the ingredients to show through in the dish.

Cuisines: American, Asian Fusion, Barbecue, Farm to Table, Holiday, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Seafood, Vegan, Vegetarian

Chef Kevin Vermilyea's Specialties

Reviews (9)

30th birthday party

I reached out to Food Fire & Knives to have at my 30th birthday and Kevin did an amazing job! Not only was the food delicious but all the girls talked about how professional and nice he was. Would definitely recommend and use again. We had a great time!

- Madison Tuton
Nice experience!

We enjoyed our meal by Chef Kevin. From start to finish, I was pleased with the amount of communication regarding our reservation, potential menu changes, etc. Kevin arrived on time and served our meal as requested. All of the cleanup was done and we didn’t have to lift a finger, so that was nice! For the cost, I would say the menus could be stepped up a notch. We loved the pork belly dish and the plating was beautiful, however the fish was just served over rice with corn, and cocktail peanuts placed on top of our desserts. Kevin was great, we just expected the food to feel a little more “gourmet” for the cost. Overall a nice meal and good service for sure!

- Amy Wangler