Meet The Team
Love the Applebee's menu? Meet the team behind it. The Applebee's culinary team collectively brings more than 120 years of cooking experience and education to the brand; each with a passion for culinary innovation and menu development. Working in a state-of-the-art Culinary Center in Glendale, CA and taking inspiration from a variety of sources – such as regional specialties, all-American classics and new twists on classic recipes - our team of chefs make sure every item they create for our menu is an instant neighborhood favorite.
Stephen Bulgarelli, Chief Culinary Officer
Stephen is Applebee’s culinary leader, dedicated to serving guests at our nearly 2,000 locations. With a passion for cooking and an accomplished and decorated background in the industry, Stephen is stewarding the innovation of Applebee’s craveable menu that pairs quality food with the brand’s genuine, neighborly service. Stephen began his career in the culinary industry first as a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where he developed a keen understanding of appealing to guests, and now as the Chief Culinary Officer where he shares his creative and strategic knowledge with his team. When not in the kitchen, Stephen’s favorite dish to order as a guest of Applebee’s is the new and bold Whisky Bacon Burger.
Anthony “Tony” Parenti, Director, Culinary Operations
As Director of Culinary Operations, Tony works closely with the Innovation Chef’s to transition menu concepts to flawless restaurant execution. With over 30 years of Casual Dining leadership and an adventurous love for flavors, Tony brings passion and creativity to the Applebee’s brand. Tony proudly brings his degree in business development and experience in leading culinary commercialization to his role every day. You can often find him in his local Applebee’s enjoying his favorite dish, the Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp.
Sara Lawson, Director, Culinary Services
Sara works hand-in-hand with the Applebee’s culinary innovation team to streamline recipes and optimize and standardize the preparation and cooking process for the thousands of chefs in Applebee’s restaurants throughout the country. Sara’s work is critical to ensuring you have a delicious yet speedy experience every time you step into an Applebee’s restaurant! With her strong culinary background of more than 19 years – including Research & Development, high volume catering, fine-dining, along with her degree from the California Culinary Academy – Sara is a stellar addition to the Applebee’s team. And, with a love of Applebee’s Salsa Verde Beef Nachos, it is clear that her culinary expertise is indeed on point.
Paige Norman, Culinary Innovation Chef
Working closely with the rest of her Applebee’s culinary innovation team members, Paige is responsible for creating bold dishes that excite guests in a way only Applebee’s can. With 12 years of culinary experience under her belt, including time spent catering, consulting, and even working at multiple Michelin Star restaurants, she brings in a wealth of knowledge to an already seasoned team of chefs. In addition to her commitment to invigorating the Applebee’s menu with creative new dishes, Paige is also committed to getting guests to try the Grilled Onion Sirloin with Stout Gravy, her favorite Applebee’s dish
Johnny Mosquera, Culinary Innovation Chef
Johnny attended The Los Angeles Culinary Institute in Burbank, CA. He has been a Corporate Executive Chef for the past nine years. Johnny has worked for some of the most recognized restaurant companies in the nation including Houston’s Restaurants (Executive Chef), Yard House Restaurants (Executive Kitchen Manager), Maggiano’s Little Italy (Executive Chef), Chili’s (Culinary Manager) and most recently Saddle Ranch Restaurants (Corporate Executive Chef). Johnny has a very deep seeded passion for Classic American and Regional American Cuisine.