As the Culinary Operator of Perso, Emil David brings to his position experience at both national and international restaurants. A native of the Philippines, Emil brings his international influences and background to his unique style of cooking, using locally-sourced items to create unusual and innovative takes on the classics. Emil has a certificate in restaurant management from the International Culinary Center in New York.
Emil was the Executive Sous Chef of Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain and Florian Park Avenue, a Sous Chef for Tony May at San Domenico SD26, and for Giorgio Armani Ristorante, all in New York City. Before his six year stint in New York, Emil worked at several restaurants in five star hotels in Rome and Milan, Italy, including Grand Hotel St. Regis, Radisson Blu, and the Boscolo Exedra Roma. Emil lived in Italy, and embraced the culture, for ten years and professionally worked there for eight years.
Swapping out the skyscrapers for the mountains, Emil moved to Aspen, Colorado to work as the Executive Chef for Aspen Kitchen—marking the beginning of his successful career with Craveable Hospitality Group. After two years in Aspen, Emil moved to the Twin Cities to open a 30,000sf food hall, Revolution Hall, as the Director of Culinary Operations.
In 2019, Emil and his wife, Liz, moved back to her home state of Kentucky, where he decided to begin his own venture with a food truck, Hot Buns Food Truck. Because there was no concept in Kentucky with a focus on bao, Emil wanted to bring this culture and fun cuisine to Louisville.
Emil is thrilled to bring classic Roman cuisine to Louisville, with Perso. In addition, Emil found a creative way to maximize his real estate, and turn what was a garage into an ice cream shop, Sugar Room, operating as a completely separate entity. Sugar Room will bring what Emil thinks the neighborhood will enjoy. Perso and Sugar Room can both be found in Shelby Park, a neighborhood that Emil is proud to be a part of, and to grow with.