Executive Chef Gregori Peña, 28, of The National in Greenwich, CT, was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Harlem, New York City. Peña first found a love of the culinary world in college, while crafting chocolates and other confections for Godiva Chocolatiers. After graduating from Baruch College in 2008, Peña attended the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, where he received his culinary degree in 2009.
Peña spent his kitchen externship at the prestigious Eleven Madison Park in New York City, where he first learned the skills he needed to succeed in fine dining. In 2009, Peña was hired at August, under the guidance of Chef Terrence Gallivan and Chef Marcus Samuelsson. At August, Peña delved into Modern American Cuisine, blending classic techniques with fresh, local flavors.
In 2011 Peña joined the culinary team at Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club in New York City, quickly proving himself as a leader in the kitchen, advancing to Sous Chef, then Senior Sous Chef of Events. In his four years at The Lambs Club, Peña honed his fine dining skills under Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Chef Eric Haugen. In 2015, Gregori Peña was appointed Executive Chef at The National in Greenwich, CT, continuing his role as a leader within Zakarian Hospitality. At The National, Peña creates Modern American dishes that are at once inventive and classic, focused on quality ingredients, technical preparations, and an approachability that is consistent throughout Zakarian Hospitality’s many restaurants.