Fair   57.0F  |  Forecast »

Food For Thought

The Quail Valley Golf and River Club's Chef Joe Faria is passionate about cuisine and community.

Baby Heirloom Salad Wrapped in a Cucumber Ring With Crumbled Feta Cheese - Purchase the April 2015 issue for the full recipe!

Baby Heirloom Salad Wrapped in a Cucumber Ring With Crumbled Feta Cheese - Purchase the April 2015 issue for the full recipe!

Chef Joe Faria readily admits he comes from humble origins and knows what it’s like to struggle and go hungry. Today, as the executive chef of Quail Valley Golf and River Club, he’s an accomplished chef and mentor who, when reflecting on his past, says, “I know what hunger is. I have experienced that. Hard bread soaked in warm milk for breakfast – that was my experience.” 

It’s what shapes his passion today not only for food but also for giving back to the community. Seven years ago, Faria founded the popular Top Chef Challenge that raises money for The Homeless Family Center in Vero Beach.

Born on São Miguel, the most populated island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores, Faria and his family of seven came to the United States when he was nine years old. For a time they all lived with his uncle in Boston where his father found restaurant work and his mother became a seamstress. To help make ends meet, Faria washed dishes in a Japanese restaurant earning $52 a week. “We all had jobs and the money went into the same pot,” he says.