Dale Talde, Chef/Proprietor
Dale Talde’s passion for cooking began at a young age in his native Chicago where he learned to prepare meals alongside his mother in the kitchen. The proud son of Filipino immigrants, he grew up immersed in his family’s cultural heritage while also enjoying the life of a typical American kid. Dale applies this distinct Asian-American experience to the menu of his eponymous restaurant, TALDE, located in the Brooklyn’s thriving Park Slope neighborhood. Dale opened TALDE—his first restaurant as chef/partner—in January 2012, and it quickly became a hit with diners and critics alike. In August 2012 he and his partners David Massoni and John Bush launched Pork Slope, a Brooklyn roadhouse serving his take on classic American bar food. In October 2012, he took over the kitchen and became a partner in Massoni and Bush’s older restaurant, Thistle Hill Tavern.
A 1998 graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Dale began his professional career in Chicago as part of the opening staff at two of the city’s most acclaimed eateries: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Thai-inspired, French restaurant, Vong-Chicago; and Chef Shawn McClain’s New-American restaurant, Spring. Dale followed this with a stint consulting at Le Anne, a Vietnamese bistro in Chicago’s western suburbs. It was there, he developed a true passion for Southeast Asian cuisine.
Dale later joined Chef Carrie Nahabedian at her award-winning New-American restaurant, Naha. Under Chef Nahabedian, Dale learned the value of being a “locavore” and how to build relationships with local farmers, fishmongers and butchers. While Dale was cooking dinner at Naha, he also took a position cooking lunch for Kevin Shikami at his restaurant, Kevin. The opportunity to become a Chef de Cuisine in 2003 had Dale moving on to Opera, a modern Chinese restaurant.
In December 2005, Dale moved to NYC for the opportunity to work with Chef Masaharu Morimoto and restaurateur Stephen Starr at the celebrated Japanese restaurant, Morimoto. Continuing to work with STARR Restaurants, he then joined the kitchen of Buddakan, serving as Chef de Cuisine. In 2011, Dale was named Director of Asian Concepts for STARR Restaurants, consulting on various projects and assisting with the opening of Makoto in Bal Harbour, Fla.
In addition to his work in the kitchen, Dale was also a two-time cheftestant on Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning culinary show, “Top Chef.” He competed in season 4, as well as, on the show’s “All Star” season, and became one of the show’s most popular cast members.
Dale lives in downtown Brooklyn, and when he’s not in the kitchen you can find him at the local courts playing basketball.
David Massoni, Proprietor
David Massoni brings more than 20 years of restaurant experience to the team. He started at the early age of 15 working in his parents’ Zagat-rated and Wine Spectator award-winning hotel and restaurant, the Imperial Hotel, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
David moved to NYC in 1997 and spent his first three years under the tutelage of Chef/Owner Henry Meer at The Cub Room Restaurant in Soho and City Hall Restaurant in Tribeca.
David’s next position was opening and running a high-end dining experience nestled inside of the popular nightclub Lotus in NYC ‘s Meatpacking District.
After leaving Lotus, David took some time to study in Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America. While there he received an offer from restaurateur Joe Bastianich that would begin a four-year work relationship. Starting out as Maitre’d at Joe and Mario Batali’s critically-acclaimed Italian seafood restaurant Esca, David was then asked by Batali/Bastianich to be part of the opening and direct the service team for their newest venture, Otto Pizzeria e Enoteca in Greenwich Village. Service Director at Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca was David’s final post with Batali/Bastianich.
After working at some of the best Italian restaurants in NYC, David felt the yearning to live and work in Italy; he spent nine months in Northern Italy completely immersed in food, wine and service. His experience began in Friuli working the Green Harvest at Bastianich Winery and Harvest at Scarbolo Winery. Next up was an unpaid room and board “stage” at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Ciau del Tornavento in Piemonte. In these three months Chef/Owner Maurillio Garola pushed David through the paces of every aspect of his restaurant. David’s second “stage” was at La Gallina, part of the Moccagatta Family’s award-winning wine estate and Hotel, Villa Sparina in Piemonte.
Upon returning to NYC David wanted the right venue and team to put his experience and the breadth of his career to work, and he found it with old friends Jason and Joe Denton in the role of General Manager at their successful wine bar and restaurant, ‘inoteca. During that time David and John Bush conceptualized and brought to fruition Thistle Hill Tavern.
On the heels of the success of Thistle Hill Tavern, David and John Bush partnered up with Chef Dale Talde to open the incredibly popular Asian-American restaurant and bar, TALDE and the roadhouse-style bar, Pork Slope.
David lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife Rachel, their son Luca & daughter Olive.
John Bush, Proprietor
John started working in bars as a bar-back at the early age of 18 in the local bars of his hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif. His extensive bartending background would have John mixing and serving drinks all over the world, from San Francisco to New York City, from England to Japan and Southeast Asia. John’s passion in photography and music have taken him to more than 50 countries, where he toured the world with some of the’ most influential punk rock bands of the last two decades.
On the West Coast, John worked at two very reputable bars in San Francisco: Mad Dog in the Fog and Club Deluxe. Working tirelessly at both venues, John learned everything he could from those around him, and at Club Deluxe witnessed and participated in the rebirth of swing in the early 90s. In 1995 John was asked to come to NYC to tend bar at the seminal East Village bar, 2A.
After a couple of years at 2A, John was asked to be one of the lead bartenders of a new East Village bar that was being opened by two NYC local rockers, Jesse Malin and Johnny T. That bar was Niagara, where, for 13 years John tending bar and managed before helping to open Thistle Hill Tavern with his close friend, David Massoni.
In addition to his work at Niagara, John has tended bar and consulted on cocktail lists all over NYC. From the trendy Vig Bar in Nolita, to Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Otto Pizzeria e Enoteca in Greenwich Village, to the popular East Village bar and lounge Black & White, John has always focused on gaining as many different experiences as possible. On the heels of the success of Thistle Hill Tavern, David and John partnered up with Chef Dale Talde to open the incredibly popular Asian-American restaurant and bar, TALDE and the roadhouse-style bar, Pork Slope.
John has also had the great fortune of touring the country and world with the likes of NOFX, Green Day, The Offspring, Rancid, The Foo Fighters and the Vans Warped Tour. Whether John was touring as an independent photographer, selling merchandise, tending bar or just going along for the ride, John has eagerly soaked up every experience that he could, ultimately leading him to be the guy that you want on the other side of a bar.
John lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife Angelica and is a diehard Yankees fan.