Whether you find Nick Kustala designing a menu, tackling a building project, or playing with his son, this busy chef, business owner, and entrepreneur is a spark plug of creative energy.
A long-time veteran of the Northeast Ohio hospitality scene, the Lakewood native got his first taste of the biz at the tender age of 15, as a dishwasher at the Cleveland Yachting Club. Blown away by the excitement, energy, and fast pace, he knew that he had found his calling.
Inspired by his CYC experience, Nick went on to complete the culinary program at Polaris Career Center, before attending the esteemed Johnson & Wales University, in Providence, R.I., where he earned dual degrees in culinary arts and in restaurant management and marketing.
Some of the restaurants that you may be familiar with Chef Nick are Mallory Park Tavern, Gavi's in Downtown Willoughby , the original Lure at Bratenahl Place, followed by Lure Bistro in Downtown Willoughby. Nick has also been a part of many consulting projects such as Fougasse Cafe & Bakery, Giovanna's Trattoria & Fish Sticks Sushi & Noodle House.
When it comes to our restaurants wine programs, Giovanna focuses on offering a concise list of unique options, drawn from the world’s most interesting boutique wineries. She believes a good wine list entices guests to explore new directions, expanding their horizons and introducing them to styles and varietals they otherwise might never experience. Her biggest belief is that wine is a grocery, not a luxury.
Giovanna’s interest in wine and spirits initially was sparked during stints in some of the region’s best dining rooms, including Gavi’s in Willoughby and the former Fougasse in Fairlawn. Once she and Nicholas began operating their own dining destinations -- first Lure, in Bratenahl, then Lure Bistro in Willoughby -- she became a serious student of grapey subjects, undertaking a demanding course of study through the United Kingdom-based Court of Master Sommeliers in 2006 receiving her Certified Sommelier status.
Recently Giovanna has passed her Advanced Certificate with distinction from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is currently pursuing her Diploma in wine & spirits.