Though she was raised in New Jersey, Nicole Petrongolo attributes her love of food to her family’s Italian heritage. Her professional career began in earnest when she attended The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia in 2004 and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Culinary Arts in 2007.

During her tenure at school Nicole worked at a country club, as well as in the catering division of renowned artisanal shop Dibruno Bros. Eager to explore more avenues in the culinary world, she began working at her first restaurant, 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge by Eric Ripert, in 2008. Here, under the tutelage of Chef Jennifer Carroll, is where she really honed her skills in the kitchen. After two years at 10 Arts, her determination and passion to continue learning as much as possible led her to be part of the opening staff at JG Domestic. Her next move was to Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel, where she learned even more about modern cooking techniques and flavor profiles.

Still curious to learn more and further refine her cooking, she landed an esteemed cook position at Eleven Madison Park in New York City. Nicole spent the last year immersed in fine cooking, eating and realizing just how much an incredible restaurant could profoundly impact a person’s world. Recently, Chef Justin Bogle, formerly of Gilt in NYC, announced that he would open a restaurant in Philadelphia. After a life changing meal at Gilt under Bogle’s direction, Nicole knew she had to learn from him. She is currently working for him at his new restaurant, Avance, in Philadelphia. The name of his restaurant pretty much sums up Nicole’s philosophy and passion: pushing forward and always evolving.