Joe Beck graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at the top of his class in 1998. Before that, he worked in his native Columbus, Ohio, as a cook at Handke’s Cuisine and Grand Vu, and as the sous chef of Tapatio. After his graduation from the C.I.A. and externship at Hamersley’s Bistro in Back Bay Boston, Joe worked at Kinkead’s. He got his first taste of catering while working for the American Medical Association, for which he catered staff briefings and political events. In 2000, Joe came on board at Susan Gage Caterers, working for two years as our sous chef before earning his current position as our executive chef, leading a team of more than 40 through roughly 3,500 annual event menus. Joe Beck lives in Silver Spring with his wife and two children.
A native of Madrid, Spain, Paco Cozar started cooking for his father’s restaurant when he was just 16 years old. Soon after, he cooked for three years at Jose Maria Ganzedo’s celebrated Lur Maitea, an experience he describes as “my cooking school.” While at Lur Maitea, Paco took first prize in the Culinary School of Madrid competition. An opportunity to work at Taberna del Alabardero first brought Paco to Washington, DC, where he cooked for two years under Chef Josu Zubicarai. After a brief return to Spain, Paco came back to Washington to work as chef of Le Mistral on Capitol Hill, then as chef at the restaurant Oberon on Lombard Street in San Francisco. While in California, he met renowned caterer Betty Zlatchin and discovered he liked the new challenges and opportunities that catering afforded. Paco's return to Washington, DC in 2001 allowed him to meet Susan Gage, for whom he has worked ever since. Paco lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two children.
Padua Player is the youngest of seven children and a native of Washington, DC. Padua enjoyed humble beginnings in the food industry. First working as a dishwasher at Chef Bob Kinkead’s famed 21 Federal while still in high school, he was quickly promoted to prep cook and garde manger. Padua's passion for pastry was born while working under 21 Federal’s pastry chef Susan McCreight Lindeborg, making her signature breads and desserts. Knowing pastry was to be his life’s work, Padua attended culinary school, then went to work at such notable restaurants as Kinkeads, Isabella, DC. Coast, Ceiba and Café Milano. Padua came to Susan Gage Caterers in 2005 and has turned out truly remarkable pastry ever since.