Owner / Executive Chef
Paul Verica is the executive Chef and Owner of Orto, Italian Kitchen as well as The Stanley in Charlotte, NC. A native of Philadelphia, he received Associate Degrees in Hotel & Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts from Delaware County Community College and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College respectively.
Paul staged for two Michelin Three Star chefs: Alain Passard of L’Arpege (in Paris) and the late Bernard Louisseau of La Cote D’Or (in Saulieu). Both stages bear heavy influences on Paul’s cooking today. In 1998, he moved to Charlotte to open The Duke Mansion before taking the helm at Providence Bistro Restaurants’ three locations as Executive Chef. Following that, he became Executive Chef & Food & Beverage Director of The Historic Dunhill Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, before accepting the position of Executive Chef at The Club at Longview, near Waxhaw, NC.
Paul left Longview and opened his first restaurant, Heritage Food & Drink, in Waxhaw, garnering several awards including:
- Best New Restaurant 2014 – Creative Loafing Staff Pick
- Best Farm to Fork Restaurant 2014 – Creative Loafing Staff Pick
- Best Restaurant 2016 – Charlotte Magazine
- Best Chef 2016 – Charlotte Magazine
- Best Chef Southeast 2016 – James Beard Foundation Semifinalist
- The South’s Best Desserts 2018 – Southern Living Magazine
Paul closed Heritage in 2017 and opened The Stanley in 2018 in Charlotte, NC. The restaurant was a James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2018 and was named the #5 in Southern Living’s Best New Restaurants of 2020.
Orto is Paul’s newest venture. He brings his love of Italian food and cooking to the NODA district in Charlotte.
Paul is avid golfer and diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan who loves to eat out at his friends’ establishments in Charlotte. He actively participates in multiple charity events and fundraisers within the local community such as: Levine Children’s Hospital, Piedmont Culinary Guild, Matthews Farmers Market, Feed The Children, Girls On The Run, and Frontline Foods
Paul lives in South Charlotte with his fiancée Jane and beloved dog Ginger. He has three children: Alex, Paige, and Andrew.
Originally from New Jersey, Amanda has been in the food & beverage industry for over 15 years spending 9 shaking her way through the Queen City. Moving to Charlotte in 2011, Amanda fell in love with craft beer as breweries were opening all around. A growing passion led her to work behind the bar of respected craft beer bars & then as a Sales Rep for Artisan Beverage Group. She was able to expand her knowledge of not only craft beer but cider, sodas, & wine. This desire to expand her understanding of how these liquids were made only pushed her to explore the world of spirits, vermouth, & bitters.
A car accident in March 2016 put things into perspective & she went back to what she truly enjoyed doing. Missing the feeling of being behind the stick Amanda began showing the skills she had be acquiring while whipping up cocktails at home. While managing the bar at 204 North in Uptown she won 2017 NCRLA Mixologist of the Year. More recently Amanda was named 2020 “Best Mixologist” by Charlotte Magazine.
Amanda was the creative force behind the beverage programs at Bardo & VANA in Southend Charlotte before finding her home at Orto. She loves to utilize lesser known spirits with familiar flavors to help even the most skeptical drinker go out of their comfort zone.