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Joe Coletto Takes the Reigns as Executive Chef at The Office in Delray Beach

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People switch jobs all the time. In most industries, it's not surprising to hear when someone jumps ship from one position to another with a different company in the field. With most positions in the restaurant biz, it's really no different.

Except, of course, with the Executive Chef. As the creator of all things delicious, people are always eager to get to know -- and critique -- the new big boss in the kitchen.

Which is why it's big news that Joe Coletto has recently taken over the range as Executive Chef in one of Delray Beach's most popular spots, The Office.

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Coletto stepped in to take over as executive chef earlier this month. For the time being, he's working within the framework of the current menu, but he has been putting his own twist on the daily specials.

"We recently did a summer citrus salad with orange and grapefruit segments and coriander vinaigrette served with baby greens, Serrano ham, and cherry tomatoes," he said. "We've had great feedback on that."

It's that kind of feedback that Coletto is looking for throughout the summer. Over the next six weeks, he plans to introduce potential menu items as specials, which may -- or may not -- end up on the new menu in August.

He's considering adding items like a root beer braised short rib burger and possibly a short rib entrees. Another idea is called the Man Hole Cover, a sandwich made of breaded and fried pork tenderloin which has been pounded out to the size of a man hole cover -- hence the name. "It's like a fork and knife pork sandwich," said Coletto. "The idea is to take food that people are familiar with and adding a twist."

As a member of a big Brooklyn Italian family, Coletto has been hanging out in kitchens since he was a little kid. He made his move into the industry while in college, when he met his future wife. Soon, he began working in the family restaurants in Manhattan. Since then, he's gone on to become the culinary director for Legal Seafoods in Florida, executive kitchen manager at Cheesecake Factory, and executive restaurant chef at the West Boca Country Club. He most recently opened 50 Ocean atop Boston's on the Beach. Within the past year and half, he also published a cookbook with his uncle, Nicolas Coletto and international wine specialist, Joseph Kudla entitled Wine and Dine 123.

Still, he was thrilled to jump onboard at The Office.

"I'm so happy to be here," he said. "I've got to tell you, this is one of the pinnacles of my career. I was always a patron of the restaurant; I love the gastropub theme of comfort food with a twist."

The Office is located at 201 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-276-3600, or visit theofficedelray.com.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.



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