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About the Chef

Around age 5, I remember making gravy, (Italian red sauce ) meatballs, and homemade Italian sweet treats. It was then that I knew that I wanted to be a Chef and someday, own my own restaurant. I started helping my mother prepare dinners for our family when she returned to working full-time, and my family would always compliment me on the flavor of our meals (a big accomplishment for a young person, from siblings that can typically be a tough crowd!)

I wanted to pursue a Culinary Arts school in Hawaii. Mom & Dad knew my love for the serenity of the sand and ocean, and said that despite my passion for cooking, I would be on the beach more than in the classroom. They weren’t wrong! So instead, my supportive parents suggested that I try the industry hands-on, to see if I truly liked the work day-to-day before attending Culinary Arts school. I took their advice, and got my first job as a Dishwasher in a well-known Truck stop in Bordentown, NJ.  Within 6 short months, I excelled to Lead Cook.

As I became bored with simple dishes such as pancakes, and meatloaf though, I decided to pursue my true desire for fine dining and sought out a reputable Restaurateur who would be willing to teach me and mentor me from the ground up. That Chef/Owner was named Larry and I owe him a special thanks and gratitude for teaching me the business, for his patience, and for accepting my mistakes along the way, as I learned the art of fine dining and outstanding customer service. He will always have a special place in my heart. I absorbed as much as possible in my 6 years with Larry and expanded into other local establishments. As a result of my determination and love of food,  I was reviewed by NJ monthly magazine in 8/91 as one of the top 10 restaurants in NJ. They interviewed me, wrote an article and posted my picture in the magazine. 

To my delight, along my journey, I continue to consistently receive positive customer reviews and compliments about my talents and cooking abilities.  In 2002, I opened Café Rosario’s in the quaint town of Pennington, NJ. Café Rosario’s was sold in 2006 after almost 4 years of success, which then led me to pursue a career in Dining/Nutritional Services within the healthcare industry. I wanted to continue to develop as a Chef, and was dedicated to learning more about nutrition and incorporating that into healthy, fresh, quality meals to our very-deserving Senior population in each of the healthcare facilities where I worked.

Now, I’m proud and excited to launch Moon Dance Meals. I look forward to delivering healthy, delicious, and freshly made home cooked meals to your family’s dinner table.


Chef Russell

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