Leaf's Executive Chef, Evan Kechely, was born and raised in central New Jersey, where he patronized many restaurants in the Princeton and New Brunswick areas. Inspired to pursue a career in the culinary business, he decided to learn the trade by performing the trade, rather than attending culinary school.
His experience encompasses independent and corporate restaurants, country clubs, assisted-living facilities, banquets, catering, and even ice carving. Additionally, he has worked with Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Lehigh Valley and the Easton Farmer's Market.
Evan's culinary perspective is characterized by an ingredient-driven, farm-to-plate approach. His dishes rely on sustainable, locally-sourced meats and produce, thanks to working relationships with local farmers.
He is a big advocate of beer and food pairings, using finely-tuned combinations to achieve new flavor profiles. He insisted that Leaf staff be trained to provide expert pairing suggestions for any dish on the menu.
Evan has been repeatedly recognized for excellence by publications such as Good Taste, Elucidator, LV Marketplace, LV Magazine, The Morning Call, and The Express Times.