Chef de Cuisine, LOLA Restaurant
Long Island, New York
Lenny Messina is the Chef de Cuisine at LOLA Restaurant, working alongside Executive Chef Michael Ginor. In 2015, the duo revamped LOLA with a brand new Pan-Mediterranean theme that caught the attention of local papers as well as the New York Times, who awarded LOLA with their most prestigious “excellent” rating. Since then, the restaurant has gained much local attention. It as named one of Long Island’s top 10 fine dining restaurants, and received the 2015 “Cutting Edge” Award from the American Culinary Federation.
Messina, who credits his father, a certified pastry chef, for his love of food and the industry, began his education at the Culinary Arts Program at Barry Tech BOCES while still in high school. Upon graduating he went on to attend The State University of New York at Delhi where he received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a focus in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.
It was while volunteering at culinary event in Philadelphia that Messina met Chef Michael Ginor. After talking a bit about LOLA and realizing that the restaurant was near his home, Chef Ginor offered Chef Messina the position as Chef de Cuisine.
About his role at LOLA, Chef Messina says, “Chef Michael has given me the opportunity of creative freedom and expression through my plates and flavors. He never limits what we should strive for which is one of the most inspiring aspects of working with him. Cooking to me is a passion unique from anything else, the people that you meet, the experiences you share, and the ability to work with your heart first is amazing.”