Mark Papera :: CHEF'S ROLL :: The Professional Chef Network

Mark Papera

The original owner of French brasserie, Epernay in 2001, Chef Papera gained excellent reviews and a devoted following in Montclair, NJ. With his newest bistro, Fricassee, Chef Papera is excited to share his love for french cuisine with New Jersey once more.
Fricassee French Bistro
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Cornell Hotel School. Ithaca, NY
Epernay. Montclair, NJ
Chef / Owner
Fricassee French Bistro. Montclair, NJ
Chef / Owner
SKILLS & EXPERTISE
BOH operations
Kitchen management
Leadership
Menu development
Time management
Restaurant owner
Mark Papera
Mark Papera
Montclair, NJ
United States

Fricassee
Chef/Owner


Born and raised in Verona, New Jersey, Mark Papera got a taste for the restaurant business at an early age. His father, owner of a family business, and his mother, a former fashion designer, frequently took Mark and his brothers on family vacations. It wasn't long before Mark was taken in by the allure of the restaurant world. Determined to one day own his own restaurant, Mark set out to learn the in's and out's of the business, starting out at the heart of the kitchen, as a dishwasher, in a local catering firm. Mark worked in numerous restaurants in the area throughout high school and eventually met his mentor, Chef William Decker. Chef Decker trained Mark as an apprentice at the Short Hills Club during his high school and early college years.

After graduating Verona High School, Mark attended University of New Hampshire and later graduated Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration with a concentration in Food and Beverage. Upon graduation, Mark went to work for Ritter Sysco where he gained valuable knowledge about the world of purchasing and sales.

After six months with Ritter Sysco, Mark returned to the kitchen, this time helping the Maccioni family open Osteria del Circo in New York City. He left Circo in 1997 and took the position of Sous Chef for the newly renovated Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World. While at Cellar in the Sky, Mark planned and created lavish five course tasting menus that changed every other week. He worked with Michael Lomonaco in planning and running the Windows on the World bar as well.

In May 1998, Mark was introduced to Abraham Merchant. Under the Merchants flag, Mark helped open the 24-hour bistro Cafe Milou. He worked as Executive Sous Chef and helped to plan the opening of acclaimed Upper East Side French Restaurant, La Fourchette with Marc Murphy. After the first year at La Fourchette, Mark took some time and experienced working with Waldy Malouf at Beacon.

November 1999, Mark was appointed Corporate Chef for Merchants NY. In addition to overseeing daily operations of East Side Merchants at 61st Street, Mark was responsible for upgrading and standardizing menus and catering events for all 7 Merchants NY properties.

Mark opened Epernay, A French Brasserie in 2001 and gained excellent reviews and a devoted following. Mark sold the restaurant in 2006 and relocated to Ithaca, NY where he opened a French Bistro called Dijon and a Comfort theme based restaurant called Mustard. He sold both of these establishments before becoming a Chef/Partner at the bistro at Thirsty Owl Wine Company. He also consulted on numerous restaurant projects in the Finger Lakes.

Mark lives in Montclair with his wife Tammera and their three children Morgan, Laurel and Connor. Mark is very excited to be back in Montclair, NJ and cooking at his new French Bistro, FRICASSÉE!