Marcello is a first generation Italian American, South Philly born and raised. His mother hailed from Bisenti in Abruzzo and his father’s family is from Calabria.
He began working in kitchens at a very young age, paying his dues as a dishwasher and working his way onto the line a few years later. He has two decades of restaurant experience and began Valente’s in 2017 as a mobile vending and catering outfit with the goal of transitioning to a brick and mortar location.
He does not want to set the culinary world on fire, nor is he in the business to win James Beard awards. He is motivated by the desire to keep the memories of his family’s matriarch’s alive through food and build a lasting business that he can someday leave to his children.
Jamie Png has worked as a cheesemonger, cheesemaker, and cheese educator in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. An Australian transplant, Jamie earned a masters in Food Studies from NYU, and is based in Philadelphia. She loves visiting other cheesemakers and getting to know their products, and is excited to share some of her favourites with Valente’s customers. Some of the cheese businesses she’s worked for include Di Bruno Bros, Cherry Grove Farm, and Cheese Journeys. Jamie was also part of the opening crew of Valley Shepherd Creamery’s Meltkraft in Reading Terminal Market, where her hand-stretched fresh mozzarella was chosen as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s cheese of the month.
I am an avid food enthusiast with a vibrant palate that’s ripe for picking up faint and pungent flavors. I’ve enjoyed cooking since I was a young boy, watching my grandmothers share their secrets with my mother. My parents instilled in me, not only cooking techniques and skills, but also an understanding that food does not need to be complicated. The intricacy of flavors are incredibly alluring to me. While I never earned a culinary degree, I find that my hypersensitivity to subtle nuances in flavor and how to pair those flavor help me to share my passion for cooking with friends, family and you. I can’t wait to share these experiences with you at Valente’s!