John Elkhay, Maestro
Just hearing the name “Elkhay” sends the Providence restaurant scene abuzz! Since he first burst into the Rhode Island market in the early 1980's, people have been chanting his name. John Elkhay is considered one of the industry’s top chefs and is also a well respected Rhode Island restaurateur, who has received local, regional and national accolades.
Upon completing his culinary studies at Johnson & Whales University, John honed his skills at several acclaimed restaurants including the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the famed Jared Coffin House. Finding his way back to Rhode Island, John spread his magic all over Providence turning local hot spots like Inprov, Catering Collaborative and Atomic Grill into gold. He pushed the culinary envelope in 1997 when he opened his first restaurant - the sexy, romantic and artistically inspired - XO Café . Now, John is the ever present, creative genius and culinary Maestro of Chow Fun Food Group, which owns and operates some RI’s most acclaimed dining locations: 10 Prime Steak & Sushi, Rick’s Roadhouse, Luxe Burger Bar, XO Café, and Harry’s Bar & Burger.
Just as his culinary prowess has helped shape the City into a dining destination, it is his efforts outside of the kitchen and in the community that have perhaps made an even larger impact. Ross Elkhay, the son of John and his wife Suzanne, passed away at the age of 12 from complications of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). While losing a child at such a young age is unimaginable, John and Suzanne counted themselves blessed to have enjoyed Ross for as long as they did, and poured their energy into raising money for CF.
In 2000, John and Suzanne, with the support of dear friends, launched Chefs for CF, pairing local chefs and volunteer hosts to throw a dinner party in their homes. Chefs and accompanying wait staff donate their time to the event while their restaurants provide the food and the hosts and guests provide donations that go right to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. To date, the event has raised more than $300,000 for the organization’s research efforts.
Also in 2000, John and Suzanne founded the Ross Elkhay Foundation to support children and their families who are living with a life-altering or terminal illness. Fundraising activities include an annual wine auction and golf tournament, with proceeds donated to local children’s organizations, families of children with life-altering diseases, or other charitable activities, including $190,000 that the Foundation granted to the City of Warwick to build and support a handicap accessible fishing pier and boardwalk at Gorton Pond, in honor of Ross’ passion for painting and fishing.
Teddy Newcomer, President
Theodore Martin Newcomer, Jr. grew up in Bradley Beach, NJ where he was raised in the hospitality industry. While working in both the kitchen and in the front of the house in restaurants throughout New Jersey, Teddy knew that this was the industry in which he wanted to excel. Teddy chose to attend Johnson & Wales University, where he obtained an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors of Science in Foodservice Management.
In his efforts to further his career and continue to grow, Teddy joined XO Steakhouse in 1998. Since then Teddy has worked as a cook, a server and a bartender. In addition, Teddy spent summers in New Jersey as a Sous Chef and enhanced his skills in the kitchen. Teddy was then named Assistant Manager at XO in 2001 and began working as a Bar Manager at 10 Prime Steak & Sushi in 2002.
In 2003, with the opening of Big Fish, Teddy was named Corporate Beverage Manager for all three restaurants and upon opening Citron Wine & Bar, Ted was promoted to Vice President of Operations. Ted not only helped transition XO Café into Café Noir at the end 2007 but in 2008 helped transform Big Fish into Rick’s Roadhouse. In the same year, he assisted in opening Chinese Laundry, which received the award for Best Exotic Drink Menu.
Citron Wine and Bar turned into Luxe Burger Bar in 2009 and Ted was named Senior Vice President of Operations and in 2010 he transitioned Chinese Laundry into Harry’s Bar & Burger. In 2012 Ted helped re-launch XO Café as well as open the second Luxe Burger Bar in Springfield, MA in 2013.
Ted was promoted to President of Chow Fun Food Group in 2015 and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee.
Teddy has been recognized in Sante Magazine, Yankee Foodservice and the Providence Business News. Named exceptional bartender by Providence Monthly, his Espresso Martini was voted the “Best drink to keep you up at night” and his White Sangria was voted “Best Sangria” by RI Monthly.
Ted resides in Providence with his wife Kristen and their three children Ashley, Lily and Kodiak.
Natasha Greco, General Manager
As general manager of Rick’s, Natasha is responsible for inventory and budget of food and liquor, payroll, hiring and training staff, and the development and execution of Rick’s line-up of events, including NFL promotions and Full Moon parties.
Prior to joining Chow Fun Food Group, Natasha worked as an account executive for NaviNet, a leading healthcare communications network and technology company, where she was responsible for internal business case development and sales.
Natasha holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration and Communications from the University of Rhode Island.