A California native, Chef Justin Smillie brings his West Coast sensibility to Upland in New York City.
After getting his start as a dishwasher in his teenage years, Smillie cut his teeth at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, from Mercer Kitchen and Gramercy Tavern to Barbuto under Jonathan Waxman. In 2011, he joined the team at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria as Executive Chef, where he became known for his bold, seasonal take on Italian cooking—not to mention his legendary short ribs for two.
Now at Park Avenue hotspot Upland, Chef Smillie plays fast and loose with dishes from around the world. There’s the yuzu kosho duck fat fries, the beef tartare with anchovy powder, the five-lettuce Caesar salad—and most importantly, you never know where he’ll take you next.