GM JOSH MAYO
Denver Italian Restaurant Panzano - General Manager Josh Mayo
Josh Mayo started feeding and serving people when he grabbed a sauté pan at 5 years old - and he has never looked back.
As a high school senior, Mayo had the option to attend culinary school or get a business degree specializing in the hotel and restaurant business, ultimately choosing the acclaimed hospitality program at Michigan State University where he graduated in 1994.
Recruited right out of Michigan State by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, the famed Chicago restaurant group, Mayo joined Tucci Milan as assistant general manager. He moved on to open Wildfire and was promoted to the youngest general manager in the group when he took the helm at the Ben Pao concept, using his abilities to turn around the troubled concept.
In 2000, Mayo and his wife-to-be decided that they wanted the kind of outdoor activities, climate and lifestyle that Colorado offered. A general manager position at Strings with legendary Denver philanthropist/restaurateur Noel Cunningham was just the ticket and they moved to Colorado where Mayo spent two years at the 17th Avenue institution.
While working for Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago, Mayo had met Bill Billings, then general manager of the flagship Maggiano's on Clark Street. Billings had moved to Denver to open the first Colorado Maggiano's and after his promotion to regional operations director, he welcomed Mayo to the downtown property in 2002 as assistant general manager of this very high volume eatery.
But the lure of single unit operations was too much for Mayo to resist when an opening for general manager of Panzano was presented and he readily joined Executive Chef Elise Wiggins a few years ago - and he has never looked back.