Essential Cooking: Grey Ghost co-founder John Vermiglio’s path from Chicago to Detroit

Chef John Vermiglio of Grey Ghost chronicles his career, including his time with influential Chicago chef Charlie Trotter.

Ann Delisi, John Vermiglio and James Rigato pose in front of the WDET logo.

Chef John Virmiglio (middle) joined Ann Delisi and Chef James Rigato on the "Essential Cooking" podcast.

Metro Detroit native John Vermiglio is one of the founders and chefs of Four Man Ladder Hospitality — the group behind critically acclaimed restaurants Grey Ghost, Second Best and Basan — but his career kicked off in Chicago under the direction of the highly influential and infamous chef, Charlie Trotter.

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In this episode of Essential Cooking with Ann Delisi and Chef James Rigato, Vermiglio dives into what it was like to work with Trotter and how those experiences shaped his approach to opening his Detroit dining destinations.

Vermiglio joined Trotter’s enterprise just two months after moving to Chicago at Trotter’s To Go as its executive sous-chef.

“I knew who Charlie was, but I didn’t really understand who he was,” says Vermiglio. “And I also was so naive to the entire world of fine dining because I wasn’t in it. Red Lobster was like, ‘we made it.'”

In this episode:

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  • David Leins
    David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn't making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.