Jason Wolfe, who became the executive chef at Tornatore’s Ristorante nearly three and a half years ago, is leaving the popular College Park restaurant. His final day in the kitchen is Saturday, April 22.
In a text message Friday, Wolfe wrote, “I have many opportunities lining up [but I’m] just not sure the direction I’m going to go just yet.” He said he’s looking for a position that will allow him to spend more time with his 19-month-old son. He said that he is considering starting a private-chef business but realizes that in the meantime he will have to “keep the lights on and food on the table while I build it. Going to take this week to decide which direction to go in.”
Denny Tornatore texted that he will step back into the role of executive chef. “I will be taking over the kitchen like I did the first 11 years here,” he wrote. He added that he and Wolfe are “best friends and I wish him the best.”
“I have 30 years experience cooking Italian food so I will bring it back to the classics that we built our restaurant on,” Tornatore said. “I am actually excited to get back in there.”
Before joining Tornatore’s at the beginning of 2020, Wolfe had been chef de cuisine at Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine and Events and sous chef at the now defunct K restaurant under chef/owner Kevin Fonzo.
Known cheekily as Entree the Giant because of his height, Wolfe put his stamp on the menu and was part of the opening of Tornatore’s Italian Market next to the restaurant where frozen versions of Italian dishes were popular take-home items, especially during the pandemic.
As for the next episode, Wolfe texted that he’s “[d]efinitely not putting the knives down.”