Our people are our magic
We creatively leverage our breadth of knowledge and expertise to ensure your success
A dynamic and charismatic leader, Ed’s role at RealFood is to ensure his team is fully aligned with clients’ objectives and that every resource is singularly focused on helping clients achieve success.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Ed has worked in some of the finest kitchens and foodservice operations across the industry, including a long list of award-winning hotels and restaurants. His culinary accomplishments have received equal attention with features in Food and Wine, Restaurant Business, and Food Arts magazines.
The original founder of the RealFood consultancy, Ed has been serving clients and partners in this capacity since 1996. Today, RealFood is positioned as a premier hospitality strategy and design firm, helping clients to define, design and deliver unique and memorable hospitality experiences. In 2019, RealFood joined the Troon family of brands, opening up new opportunities for Ed and the RealFood team to share their vast food and beverage expertise with the club industry.
Ed continues to dream big and help others to do the same.
Matt maintains a global perspective and approach to hospitality, incorporating his passion for the industry, his extensive experience, and his pursuit of success for his clients, partners, and team. Matt possesses an acute ability to understand and articulate a client's vision, and then aggregate what he learns into an output of business strategy, guest experience and design. Much of Matt's work at RealFood includes multi-unit operations and large-scale development projects, as well as ensuring the RealFood project team achieves at the highest levels on behalf of clients.
With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Matt's professional career includes hospitality management at Back Bay Restaurant Group; multiple restaurant openings, including abroad in Cork City, Ireland; food and beverage operations for boutique hotels; and directing US operations for Dining In Inc. (now Grubhub).
Director of Strategy & Operations
Chris drives RealFood's most exciting projects to successful openings and operational excellence. He is highly focused on the guest experience, and he excels at helping clients turn their operations around. He is experienced in developing systems for new operations, especially in full-service and workplace dining models. Front of house operations and beverage strategy, including wine programs, are Chris' most sought-after skills.
A 30-year foodservice veteran, Chris' extensive operational experience includes Legal Seafood, Rustic Kitchen, and The Olive Group, where he worked with Todd English overseeing thirteen restaurants in six states. Chris also joined Mario Batali as the opening General Manager of Restaurants and Beverage Director for the 45,000 sq. ft. Italian food emporium Eataly.
A former owner and operator of his own award-winning restaurants, Chris brings a realistic perspective to help clients create a plan and determine next steps for their foodservice operation.
Senior Design Specialist
In his role as lead designer at RealFood, Peter delivers on the vision, solving problems before they arise, creating best-in-class documents, and offering innovative technology solutions. With a keen attention to detail, focus on client needs, and efficient communication as a liaison between the client and general contractor, Peter ensures timely and efficient results on every design project.
A graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Architecture, Design & Construction Management, Peter's previous professional experience includes project management and design development at firms, Perini Management Services and Consigli Construction. His love for the food service industry started early in his life, growing up with parents who worked their entire careers in the industry.
A natural problem solver, Jess approaches design from a service perspective, always seeking out the best solution, technically and operationally. She leans on her past experiences in hospitality and architecture to inform her technical depth of design elements and best-in-class document development.
After earning a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, Jess pursued her love for events and worked in planning and executing private events in St. Louis, which gained her an advanced and informed viewpoint on design within the world of hospitality.
Jess currently serves as the Language Training & Resources Chair on the Diversity & Inclusion Council for RealFood parent company, Troon.
Philip Bean, AIA
President, Foodservice Design Associates
Phil is the president of Foodservice Design Associates (FDA), a division of RealFood since 2021. As the original founder of FDA and licensed architect in multiple states, Phil brings an in-depth understanding of the architectural and engineering elements of commercial design projects and the ability to effectively coordinate with all members of a design team. This lends an incredible capacity to offer increased value to both FDA and RealFood clients.
Since 1990, Phil’s work at FDA has encompassed many areas of foodservice, including new, prototype and renovation work in private and public schools; fellowship halls; assisted living and medical facilities; cafeterias and food courts for major corporations and government facilities; as well as hotels, restaurants, and theme parks.
Among other degrees and training, Phil holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Syracuse University, and he completed postgraduate studies in foodservice management and culinary arts at Cornell University’s Statler School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.
A sensation with computer-aided design, like Revit and AutoCAD, Julie combines her visual design aptitude with her experience-centric approach to create custom foodservice spaces for RealFood clients. Communication is always a priority for Julie; she believes in listening first, and talking through various solutions with the goal of serving productivity and the end-user of the space, all while exceeding client expectations.
A graduate of the interior design program at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Julie worked on the planogramming team at Lowe’s, where she mapped out visual merchandising strategies; and at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where she relied on data to design floorplans to better serve the end-user athlete. Julie’s past experience also includes design production for The Westin hotel brand, as well as various positions in hotel and restaurant operations.
Strategy & Operations Specialist
Kealoha ("K") sees the bigger picture of hospitality, and she has the decisive ability to create detailed systems that support an overall vision. K helps clients through the process of concept development and customer journey mapping, and she designs Front of House systems, training programs and staffing strategies that enhance the guest experience.
Beginning at a young age working in her dad's restaurants, K's hospitality background encompasses many types of food and beverage models, including quick service, hotel catering, event management and restaurant operations. Prior to RealFood, K managed facilities for the Hillstone Restaurant Group in Napa Valley before moving east to pursue a Master of Management Hospitality (MMH) at Boston University.
Strategy & Operations Specialist
As a key member of the Strategy & Operations team, Steven leans on his years of hospitality experience to help clients achieve their visions of operational success. His keen eye for front of house service excellence and back of house systems, combined with his marketing know-how and creative genius (yes, he’s an artist!) allow him to guide clients to create custom infrastructures and standards to support a successful hospitality business.
Steven’s professional highlights include the W Hotel, where he helped the property earn prominence as a nightlife destination; Trillium Brewing Company during its rise to a top-rated brewery in the world; and alongside James Beard Award nominee Philip Tang for the opening of a new Asian gastropub. A graduate of Newbury College’s hotel restaurant and service management program, Steven has worked in establishments that span the industry, from a luxury private sports club to a Mexican tequila bar, giving him a unique perspective on what’s possible in the world of hospitality.