Kyung Lee – General Manager
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kyung Lee moved to the United States when he was 16 years old, where he attended high school in Houston, Texas. He went on to study hospitality management at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree. Having worked in Boston the last eight years, Kyung has enjoyed the busy lifestyle of the hospitality business and is very excited to be working alongside Chef Jody Adams at Rialto. During his off days, Kyung can be found in Malden catching up on a good read, watching the Red Sox or viewing the latest flick. His favorite food is broccoli pasta with a glass of Chardonnay and he actively tries to give back to the community by participating in the Walk for Hunger and the Walk for Breast Cancer each year. In 2011 Kyung won the Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Lodging Association while working for the Longwood Hotel. When it comes to service, Kyung aims to make guest satisfaction his number one priority; second is the happiness of his staff. In 2014, Kyung joined our staff, first as Assistant to the General Manager, and then in the fall of 2014 he stepped up to the role of General Manager.
Maribel Carubia – Private Events Manager
Maribel Carubia’s experience in fine dining began at the Chatham Bar’s Inn on Cape Cod and continued through an eventual move to Florida, to work at Vero Beach’s famed Windsor Club, both in the dining room and behind the bar. To her surprise, she missed the seasons and after two years returned north to her native New England. “I accepted a job at a casual chain restaurant out of necessity,” she says, “but management experience kept me there. Bar, front-of-the-house service, kitchen–I got it all. Unfortunately, my options for using that in fine dining were limited in western Massachusetts.” She moved to Boston in 2008, when she joined Rialto as a server, but soon shifted behind the bar. Maribel developed a following for her personal twists on classic cocktails like her Italian Sazerac, incorporating an Averna rinse and homemade seasoned honey water, and for original creations like The Terrace, a gin-based drink infused with citrus flavors and lemongrass syrup, inspired by the grand opening of Rialto’s al fresco dining space. Maribel jumped at the opportunity to handle group events at Rialto, even if it meant she wouldn’t be directly involved in the moment-to-moment dining experience. “The heart of a restaurant like Rialto is hospitality. It all begins there. Without it we wouldn’t have the great clientele that we do. I was a little sad about hanging up my bartending shoes,” she says, “but I love expanding my creative focus to whole groups of people, instead of one customer at a time.”
Kaitlin Cusack – Beverage Director
Before she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 3D Fine Arts, Kaitlin was already headed for the hospitality industry. Waiting on tables and then tending bar before she was old enough to drink got her started. “I love design, but you spend so much time working alone. Working with other people is way more appealing to me than working by myself.” And how does she satisfy her design side? “Cocktails,” she says, “getting to dream up new ones.” And she’s good at it. Neil Patrick Harris judged her margarita the winner in one of her first cocktail competitions. After a couple of years behind the bar Kaitlin was wondering how to take the next step when she saw the opening for a restaurant manager at Rialto. She jumped from mixing drinks to managing a dining room floor. “I’ve always learned the most by working with people who know more than I do. Rialto is filled with talented experienced people. I wanted to be part of that team.” Kaitlin still conjures up new cocktails (she recently walked away with top prize at the Boston Whiskey Smash for her “Mariposa,” made with mint, sage, clove and star-anise-spiced honey syrup, bourbon and lemon). While’s she’s uncertain where she’ll be in ten years, she’s absolutely committed to fine dining (she’s currently taking wine classes in Boston University’s culinary arts program). She spends the tiny sliver of her remaining free time baking, reading or visiting her favorite place in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. She also keeps sunblock and a beach blanket in the trunk of her car. “Just in case.”
David Ladner – Chef de Cuisine
David Ladner started cooking at age 19. One of his first jobs involved opening up a Cuban food truck with the Chef and Owner, Crissy Benoit. Ladner went on to open another restaurant with Benoit. After working in kitchens for several years, Ladner realized his need to travel in order to deepen his culinary knowledge and to sharpen his skills. From Florida, he set off to enroll at Johnson and Wales University, in Rhode Island. There he studied New American and World Cuisine. After graduating, he took a job working with Chef Paul Wade at the Stone House 1854 and Pietra, both set in the quaint town of Little Compton, Rhode Island. While working with Wade, Ladner was exposed to incredible local produce and challenged to create simple, ingredient-driven dishes daily. He then spent time in Ohio assisting in opening Tano’s Bistro & Catering. After successfully opening Tano’s, Ladner returned to Rhode Island, where he worked the line at The Spiced Pear, located inside the Chandler Hotel in Newport. In 2011, Ladner joined the team at Rialto, where he was pushed and challenged in every aspect as a cook. In 2013, he was promoted to Sous Chef. In the late summer of 2014, Ladner assumed the great responsibility of Executive Sous Chef. He is “thrilled and honored” by the opportunity. When it comes to his motivation and what drives him, he credits the rhythm, respect and creativity of the Rialto kitchen. He hopes to bring out these qualities in others in his new role.
Jonathan Posiko – Executive Pastry Chef
Born in Rochester, New York, Jonathan Posiko first stepped into the kitchen at a very young age. As a child he would translate recipes left behind by his late grandparents, whom were of Ukrainian decent. He found excitement in recreating the dishes and experimenting with new techniques while baking with his family during the holidays. As a student, he began his studies in Journalism & History while pursuing a career as a Foreign Correspondent. While in graduate school he spent time working in an Eastern European Bakery. As he continued to work there, he grew more interested in the industry and shortly after the events of 9/11 he decided to switch his educational focus and began studying at the Culinary Institute of America. In 2005 Posiko moved to Boston he was jobless, and began the search for a position that would pay the bills. After a visit to The Charles Hotel he was instantly won over by the intimacy of the Rialto kitchen and it’s use of local, seasonal ingredients, scratch production and frequent menu changes. He quickly joined the pastry department at Rialto and was part of the original team that helped “reinvent” Rialto during it’s 2007 reopening. In 2012 he took over the role of Executive Pastry Chef. Believing that food is one of the few common denominators linking all people, he loves providing a wide variety of customers with a mutually-enjoyable experience. To this day he remains excited and committed to creating unique and delicious desserts that encompass impeccable care for ingredients, a scientific process and harmony of tastes.