251 Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
Love the Applebee's menu? Meet the people responsible for it. The Applebee's culinary team collectively bring decades of experience and education to the brand; each with an award-winning pedigree for culinary innovation and menu development. Taking inspiration from a variety of sources – such as regional specialties, all-American classics and new twists on old recipes - our team of chefs make sure every item on our menu, old or new, is an instant neighborhood favorite.
Peter Czizek is the Vice President of Culinary and Menu Strategy for Applebee’s Services Inc. Before joining Applebee’s, Peter served as the Vice President of Food & Beverage Research and Development for Dave and Buster’s, headquartered in Dallas. There, he led the strategy, structure and processes for product development and was responsible for alignment between guest satisfaction and kitchen operations for the nationwide chain. Peter was previously the Culinary and Beverage Director at Romano’s Macaroni Grill and the Executive Chef at Mel Hollen Restaurant Concepts, both in Dallas. Peter brings 29 years of experience to Applebee’s.
Jessica's menu development successes include Wonton Tacos, Brew Pub Pretzels, Freshburgers, Weight Watchers & Under 550 Calorie menu items. As a classically-trained chef, Jessica honed her culinary skills in independently owned fine-dining restaurants prior to coming to Applebee's nearly seven years ago. Jessica earned her Bachelor's degree in Leadership from Rockhurst University and will complete her Masters degree in Marketing Communication from the University of Kansas in 2013. Her favorite part of the job is eating, especially desserts, and her favorite meal at Applebee's is the Clubhouse Grille with a Blue Ribbon Brownie and a Perfect Margarita.
Patrick grew up in Dallas, TX and is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in Political Science. Patrick has worked for Applebee’s for 23 years where he spent one year as a Kitchen Manager, seven years as a Training Consultant (opened 110 restaurants), and 15 years in Menu Development. His contributions to the current menu can be seen across all menu categories. Notable menu items include: Shrimp and Parmesan Sirloin, Quesadilla Burger, Cowboy Burger, Boneless Wings, Baby Back Ribs, Triple Chocolate Meltdown, Cookie Sundae, and Dessert Shooters. Based on his operations and training background, Patrick supports many cross functional groups to provide not only a culinary perspective but an operations and training one as well. He is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Business at Baker University.
Michael Slavin is an Executive Chef of Product Development for Applebee’s Services Inc. and has worked with the culinary team on numerous menu campaigns and seasonal platforms since August 2010. Prior to Applebee’s Michael helped with the creative menu development for BRGR Kitchen & Bar which was honored as Kansas City Magazines “Best New Restaurant” for 2010 and The Pitch Magazine “Best Burger” for 2010. Michael also spent two seasons as the Executive Chef for the Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team through Aramark’s Sports & Entertainment Division. Michael has recently completed Pro Chef Level II Culinary Program from the Culinary Institute of America where he also earned his degree in 1990 with high honors and on the dean's list.
Michael received his culinary degree from Macomb County Community College in Michigan. Michael began his professional career working in country clubs and hotels in the Detroit area. Michael was nominated for chef of the year by the local American Culinary Federation chapter in 1993. Michael has over 28 years experience in the restaurant industry with the last 13 years being a focus in casual dining. Since 2006, his main responsibility has been international expansion and menu development. Michael has developed over 50 menu items that have been served in over 20 different countries and has opened over 70 restaurants for 4 different restaurant brands. Michael joined Applebee's in January 2011.
Leah has worked for Applebee’s since August of 2009, after working with the company as a contractor for 10 months. She currently supports the Culinary Development and Menu Strategy teams. Before coming to Applebee’s, she worked in the investment banking field as an administrative assistant. Leah has a degree in Video Production from the Colorado Institute of Art, and is pursuing Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Ft. Hays State University.
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