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Chef Joey Abitabilo was born in the Bronx, N.Y., where he was exposed at an early age to excellent traditional Italian cooking from his mother and extended family. From the age of fifteen and throughout college, Chef Joey worked in kitchens—including the Sunningdale Country Club and the Magnolia Grill in Durham, N.C., under James Beard award-winning chef/owners Ben and Karen Barker.

After graduating, Chef Joey moved to San Francisco to work for Chef Author Cindy Pawlcyn at two of her restaurants, Bix and the Buckeye Roadhouse, and worked his way up to the Executive Chef level. He then decided to take a position as a Chef Instructor at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) in Montpelier, Vt. Through several years at NECI, Chef Joey rose through the ranks to become Program Director.

Chef Joey then left NECI to return to the fast-paced world of club kitchens, holding Executive Chef positions at North Hills Country Club in Manhasset, N.Y., and Woodland Golf Club in Auburndale, Mass., before taking his current position at Shelter Harbor Golf Club.