Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Vincent Cortese of bar56 in Dumbo

bar56 in Dumbo

By: Oct. 03, 2023
Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Vincent Cortese of bar56 in Dumbo

Chef Spotlight Vincent Cortese, Executive Chef at bar56 in Dumbo

Vincent Cortese joins bar56 as the Executive Chef bringing a wealth of experience at some of New York City’s top restaurants and an enduring passion for hospitality. Before bar56, Vincent was the Executive Chef at Bar Boulud; his second stint at Dinex under Daniel Boulud with whom he worked in 2012 at the flagship restaurant, Daniel, where he honed his French technique. Prior to his role at Bar Boulud, Vincent worked alongside Melissa Rodriguez as the Chef de Cuisine at Del Posto where he helped lead, mentor, and develop their menu, which helped them retain their Michelin Star status. Vincent brings a wealth of diverse experience and culinary talent to the leadership of bar56. With a passion for food and hospitality, Vincent looks to bar56 to showcase an elevated new American menu that incorporates his French and Italian techniques honed over the years working under some of New York City’s best chefs and restaurants. 

In his free time, Vincent enjoys exploring and eating around his new neighborhood, Bed Stuy with his girlfriend and golden retriever. He is also an avid golf aficionado and enjoys spending time on the links in Queens. 

Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Vincent about his career and bar56 for our "Chef Spotlight."

What was your earliest interest in cooking?

My mom would cook dinner for us with a steady rotation of dishes she liked to make. She would often make Puerto Rican-inspired food like rice & beans with pork chops. My dad’s side is Italian, so we had a lot of Jersey-style Italian food - Spaghetti and meatballs, and baked ziti. My mom did mostly all of the cooking, asking me for help with mise-en-place. That piqued my interest in cooking and food in general. 

Who were some of your career mentors? 

My first real mentor was Jimmy Trabelsi, he was the Chef-Owner of a mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in New Jersey. He laid the groundwork for me and taught me how to work and behave in a kitchen. When I got into more fine dining, Mark Ladner and Melissa Rodriguez at Del Posto really fine-tuned my skills, set high standards, and imparted a true passion for cooking. From Del Posto, I moved on to Restaurant Daniel working under Jean Francois Bruel, he was a great leader and mentor who taught me to lead by example. 

What culinary styles have influenced your career?.

French and Italian cooking with an American flair.


What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef? 

The type of cooking I gravitate towards most is Italian and French seasonal cooking with my own flair. I enjoy researching the classics and putting my own spin on them. Fresh pasta and crudos are my specialties.

What is your favorite meal?

Rigatoni alla Amatriciana is my favorite meal to cook for myself, my friends, and my family. It’s simple, delicious with a ton of flavor, and rooted in tradition. 

Tell me a little bit about your restaurant for our readers.

My favorite thing about bar56 is that it’s a restaurant for any person and every occasion. We have an approachable price point, with a casual approach to fine dining. We make small plates that are perfect for sharing. You can come in and sit at the bar with a few small bites and a glass of wine, or join us for a tasting menu and have wines paired with every course.

bar56 is located at 53 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 just steps away from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in the Dumbo neighborhood.  For menus, hours or operation and more information please visit  and call (718) 701-4956. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of bar56 and Chef Vincent Cortese


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