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Columbus Blue Jackets: Nationwide Arena Chefs

EXECUTIVE CHEF JOSEPH DITRI CCC, PC II
Joseph Ditri A native of Royal Oak Michigan, Ditri started cooking in 1984 at the Fox & Hounds and trained with the Muir Corporation before moving to the Four-Star Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan. He later served as Head Chef at an Italian fine dining restaurant for eight years. Joseph learned his love for cooking from his parents who ran a catering business during the late 70 and having coming from a large family; every meal was like putting a parties on at their house with 11 people eating dinner every night.

Ditri then joined DNC Sportservice in March of 2004 at Comerica Park in Detroit, home of the Detroit Tigers, where he worked during the 2005 MLB All-Star Game and 2006 World Series. In 2006, Ditri went to support the DNC General Managers meeting plus the Safari in Reno Nevada at the Reno convention center. Joe really enjoys traveling to other units to see what they are doing, also to see what can be used at Nationwide Arena.

In 2007, Ditri and his family moved to Columbus when he accepted the Executive Chef position at Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he oversees all food service in the 18,500 seat arena. In 2008, Ditri earned his Chef de Cuisine certification from the American Culinary Federation and ProChef II certification from the Culinary Institute of America, and, in the summer of 2009, he assisted DNC Sportservice's operation at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the 2009 MLB All-Star Game. During his first 3 seasons at Nationwide, Ditri went to oversee the catering and food service in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series.

In 2011 and 2012 he hosted the Black Tie Blue Jackets Fashion Show where he oversaw the execution of the party for 620 plated dinner on the arena floor. Also in 2011, Ditri hosted a party for 31 Gifts that served 9000 on buffets in one hour. Ditri also passed his serve safe in 2011. In his time with DNC Sportservice, Ditri travels to different units each year to help with either openings or playoffs.

In 2012, Ditri started making fresh Italian Sausage on fresh bread for two stands at the arena. In 2013 Ditri has expanded to three different sausages (Italian, Polish and Buffalo Chicken)all around the arena.

Check out Chef Joseph's Recipes for:
Buffalo Chicken Sausage
Italian Sausage
Polish Sausage

JOHN DiGIOVANNI CCC, PC II
John DiGiovanni

Raised in St. Cloud, Florida, John DiGiovanni took his first bite of the culinary world working in the kitchens of the Magic Kingdom during Spring Break at Walt Disney World in 1991.  Realizing cooking was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life; he began his life-long training to become a chef, starting with apprenticing at Disney’s Culinary Academy and three years of intense culinary training among the world’s best Chefs in the many kitchens of the Walt Disney World Resort.  In 1997 John was awarded “Apprentice of the Year” by the Central Florida Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and was a finalist for the national honor that same year.

After graduating among the top in his class, John joined the opening team for Citricos, named one of Esquire’s best new restaurants of 1998. He left Citricos to cook at Disney’s only AAA 5-diamond restaurant, Victoria & Albert’s. In 2000, he went to the Grand Floridian Convention Center, where he learned to cater events ranging from celebrity galas to Fairy Tale Weddings

Chef John returned to where began his career as a Sous Chef of the Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace in 2004. Eighteen months later, John assisted in overseeing all quick service operations in the Magic Kingdom. 

Ever the avid educator, Chef John worked closely with Disney’s Training and Development Team and was a member of Walt Disney World’s Global Special Dietary Needs Committee. Chef John was recognized for his work with dietary allergies by his guests & his leaders. Currently John is an Advisory Board Member for the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Columbus State Community College

In 2006, Chef John left Orlando to raise his family and continue his career in Columbus, Ohio. He joined Delaware North Companies Sportservice where, together with his culinary team, he creates special experiences at Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
As Chef de Cuisine, John oversees food preparation for feeding the Columbus Blue Jacket players and coaches, the media, and the exclusive Time Warner HD Lounge, as well as all catered events throughout the building.  In 2009, he earned his Chef de Cuisine Certification from the American Culinary Federation and ProChef II Certification from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California.
In 2013, John returned to Walt Disney World representing Delaware North, Nationwide Arena and the Columbus Blue Jackets as a participating Chef at the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival



Check out Chef John's Recipes for:
Arch City Chop
OYO Whiskey-Braised Pork Cheeks
Ohio Corn Chowder
Sweet Potato Pave from the Black Tie Blue Jackets Style Show

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