Executive chef James Briscione is the first-ever two-time champion of Food Network’s Chopped. He has since become a Food Network regular, serving as a host and judge on television as well as starring in original Food Network digital series and streaming platforms. James is a frequent guest on The Dr. Oz Show and was named one of People Magazine’s ‘Sexiest Chefs Alive.’ Together, he and Brooke have authored four cookbooks, including their award-winning, best-seller, The Flavor Matrix (HMH ’18).
James cut his culinary teeth at the age of sixteen in the kitchens of Jubilee on Pensacola Beach. While in college in Birmingham, Alabama, James began crafting wood-fired oven pizzas for Chef Frank Stitt at Bottega Café. In his six years under Stitt’s tutelage, James worked his way up to become chef de cuisine of the multi James Beard Award-winning Highlands Bar & Grill. In 2006 a new life and new challenges enticed him to shift his attentions to New York City. James moved to Manhattan to be with his now wife, Brooke, and to take a position at Daniel Boulud’s iconic four-star restaurant, Daniel. As the sous chef of the private dining room, James cooked for a rotating roster of visiting celebrities and dignitaries. Eventually, James transitioned to The Institute of Culinary Education where he spent ten years as the Director of Culinary Research, training students and professional chefs alike on cutting edge culinary techniques. In the summer of 2018 James and Brooke returned to their hometown of Pensacola, FL to open Angelena’s with Quint and Rishy Studer, the Great Southern Restaurant Group and Jean Pierre N’Dione.
Born and raised in Pensacola, FL, Wine and Marketing Director, Brooke Parkhurst, spent her childhood in her mother’s kitchen and her grandfather’s newsroom. It’s only fitting that Angelena’s now sits adjacent to the former site of the same newspaper, the Pensacola News Journal, where her mother and sister worked as a features reporter and her grandfather, Braden Ball, was publisher for 35 years.
While studying at Davidson College, Brooke moved to Rome, Italy, for one year where her love for the Italian language and food culture developed. Upon graduating from Davidson College, Brooke moved to New York City to work in television journalism and to further her passion for Italian food and wine. Her debut novel with recipes, Belle in the Big Apple (Scribner 08’), is the story of a young woman who takes the city by storm with her quick wit and culinary prowess. Brooke then followed suit, becoming a TV morning show regular, a digital culinary personality for Conde Nast’s debut web network and a columnist for NewYorkDailyNews.com
With James, Brooke taught a series of Couples Cooking classes at The Institute of Culinary Education as well as became a noted wine speaker. Brooke has enjoyed reoccurring appearances on The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show and Fox & Friends.
Chef de Cuisine Zachary Keaton was born and raised on his grandparents’ self-sustaining farm in Northern Georgia. Throughout childhood, Zach developed an impressive array of skills in butchering, farming, pickling and preserving. Zach eventually set his sights on the beach and moved to South Walton County, Florida where he began his culinary career at Watercolor Resort’s Fish Out of Water. He quickly rose through the ranks in the kitchen and moved on to Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar in Seaside, Florida. There, Zach served as chef de cuisine at for five years where he perfected the art of pizza, bread and pasta-making. Most notably, Zach has trained under Roberto Caporoscio (Keste, Don Antonio) where he was certified by Associazione Pizza Napolitana in the art of Neapolitan pizza making.
Born in Senegal, West Africa, and raised in Toulouse, France, Jean Pierre moved to New Hampshire in 1998 for 9 months to try something new but ending up cutting his stay short from the cold and relocating to sunny Pensacola, Florida. He began his employment at the Fish House as a server in 2001 and discovered his passion for the restaurant industry and only 11 months later was promoted to Service Manager; in 2009 he became the General Manager of the Fish House, Atlas Oyster House, and the Fish House Deck Bar. In January of 2010, Jean Pierre decided to make his residency official, he applied for and was granted U.S. citizenship; shortly thereafter he graduated from our own University of West Florida with a Bachelors degree in Accounting. When it comes to our restaurants Jean Pierre’s philosophy is to ensure all of our guests feel welcome and have the most memorable dining experience at Our House.