Born and raised in Queretaro, Mexico, Jorge Espinoza was always inspired by his parent’s cooking. “They represented the perfect combination. My mother was the flavor and tradition while my father was the creative,” he explains. “I was lucky to have inherited all three of these traits.” After moving to New York in 2000, Jorge started working at Monkey Bar as a butcher, then moved to Tapika to work as a line cook with David Walzog, whom he considers his mentor. Walzog taught Jorge many secrets and techniques while working at Tapika for the next three years. However, the full-time job didn’t stop Jorge from taking other part-time opportunities to get as much experience in the kitchen as possible.
In 2003, Jorge began working with Chef Scott Conant at L’imperó. The two had great chemistry, which opened a door for creativity. From there, the team opened Alto and Totto Il giorno in the Hamptons. Once these opened, Jorge found additional work at restaurants such as Itrulli, following his love for Italian cuisine. Espinoza then met Antonello Paganuzzi and, in company of Scott Conant, decided to open Scarpetta in 2008. The complete success inspired the team to open Scarpetta in Miami, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and Toronto. In 2015, under LDV Hospitality, Scarpetta Beach was opened in Montauk. If you ask Jorge the most three important qualities for cooking, he will tell you “consistency, dedication, and passion. These three things will get you anywhere you want to be in life.”