This year has been filled with incredible moments for Oliva Restaurants, including naming Brandon Hughes Group Executive Chef for the group’s four concepts (Bellina Alimentari, Aziza, Falafel Nation, and soon-to-be-opened Rina).

Hughes first teamed up with owner Tal Baum in 2015 for award-winning Italian market and restaurant Bellina Alimentari in Ponce City Market. With a focus on traditional Italian cooking where everything is made from local, seasonal ingredients, Hughes has embodied Bellina’s motto – La Vita è Bontà or “food as a way of life.” As he has stepped into this new role, Hughes has continued to grow Bellina’s motto as a philosophy for the group’s latest restaurants.

Since the summer opening of Aziza, Hughes has received rave reviews for his delightfully comforting dishes and perfect blend of Middle Eastern cuisine with his Southern influences. Now, Hughes is working to develop the menu for Rina, Oliva Restaurant’s newest concept. The diner-inspired restaurant is set to open in mid-January at the Ford Factory Lofts and will serve traditional Israeli street food bites.

Read more about Chef Hughes in the press release here.

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