CHEF JUSTIN APRAHAMIAN
1547 North Jackson St
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Justin Aprahamian entered the culinary world at the age of 12 when he was hired as an extra set of hands to help assemble fruit platters for his uncle’s catering company. What started as a small family favor ended up being the beginning of Justin’s intrigue to the culinary field. At the age of 16 Justin applied for work at the chef owned and operated, Steven Wades Café. Wanting to learn all aspects of a kitchen he accepted a job as dishwasher and worked his way up to Garde Manger. During his time at Wades, Justin graduated high school and immediately enrolled in the culinary program at Waukesha County Technical College.
In May of 2002 Justin graduated from WCTC with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Management. His aspiration was to gain enough kitchen experience so that by age 30 he could be considered for a position at Sanford Restaurant, owned by world renowned Chef Sanford D’Amato and his wife Angie. He did, however, apply at Sanford at the time of graduation, in the hopes that he might be viewed as a clean slate. At the age of 18 Justin was hired as a prep cook. Justin saw this as an opportunity to further his education and learn from the best. His drive and passion helped him to move up the line and by 2005 was promoted to Sous Chef.
After working closely with Sandy on recipe and menu development as well as the daily function, he was named Chef de Cuisine in 2008. In 2010 and 2011 Justin was honored as a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef from the James Beard Foundation. In 2011, 2012, and 2013 he received the honor of a nomination for Best Chef Midwest.
In December of 2012, at the age of 29, Justin purchased Sanford Restaurant from his mentors, Sandy and Angie D’Amato. He continues to embrace the disciplines techniques and traditions he has learned from Sandy and continues to push the Sanford kitchen