Chef de Cuisine
Managing Partner, Essence Restaurant Group
James helped open Bistro Bella Vita back in 1996 and formed Essence Restaurant Group with his partner, and Chief Culinary Officer, Patrick Wise in 2006. Essence Restaurant Group owns and operates Bistro Bella Vita, The Green Well, Grove, and Rockford Riverside Grille.
His goal is to continue to build a collection of restaurants that foster a socially conscious environment and healthy lifestyle for all those who contribute to them.
We serve honest fayre with local flair in a green, neighborhood setting that keeps customers coming back. Our innovative gastro pub is green beyond it’s name: Our building is Leed certified inside and out which means it’s environmentally safe, ultra efficient and leaves behind the smallest carbon footprint.