Head Chef, Bistro Bella Vita
Aaron has been on the chef team at Bistro since 2000 where he learned Bistro’s philosophy from the ground up. Aaron brings more experience in the culinary field than most his age. Backed with a degree from Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and top-notch experience gained under ERG Executive Chef Patrick Wise, Aaron is one of the brightest talents in the culinary field in West Michigan.
“I love working with local, farm-raised, Michigan products and offering our community a place where there is a strong dedication to high-level food quality and our guests come first.”
Aaron thrives in the competitive world of professional cooking and pushes his culinary creations to the next level to ensure your experience is nothing short of exceptional every time.
Managing Partner, Essence Restaurant Group
James helped open Bistro Bella Vita back in 1996 and formed Essence Restaurant Group with his partner, and Chief Culinary Officer, Patrick Wise in 2006. Essence Restaurant Group owns and operates Bistro Bella Vita, The Green Well and Grove.
His goal is to continue to build a collection of restaurants that foster a socially-conscious environment and healthy lifestyle for all those who contribute to them.
We serve honest fayre with local flair in a green, neighborhood setting that keeps customers coming back. Our innovative gastro pub is green beyond it’s name: Our building is Leed certified inside and out which means it’s environmentally safe, ultra efficient and leaves behind the smallest carbon footprint.