John Vermiglio is Detroit born, Providence schooled, and Chicago trained. His first restaurant job was in a bagel joint at 14, where he washed dishes instead of rolling dough and baking bagels. Aspiring to a more culinary future, Vermiglio left the Midwest to study at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated with honors.
Next up for Vermiglio were a series of catering jobs, restaurant gigs, and work as a private chef. Then his big chance came through: he accepted a position as head chef of Charlie Trotter catering company, Trotter’s To Go. With his foot in the door, Vermiglio spent two-plus years learning, catering events and private dinners, and eventually working at the group’s two-star Michelin flagship. Moving from one Chicago lion to the next, Vermiglio took on the role of executive sous chef at Art Smith’s Table Fifty-two. He spent four years running the restaurant and overseeing private events and travels for the Art Smith Company before signing on to work at Graham Elliot Bowles’ two-star Michelin Graham Elliot Bistro.
Reuniting with Trotter alum Matthias Merges, Vermiglio took over as director of culinary operations for Merges’ Folkart Restaurant Management with restaurants A10 Hyde Park, Billy Sunday, Yusho Hyde Park, and Yusho Logan Square. Having ascended the heights of Chicago fine-dining, Vermiglio decided it was time to come home to Detroit. In summer 2016, he opened casual, fun, cocktail-centric Grey Ghost in Brush Park—likely one of many restaurants to come for team Vermiglio in Detroit.