Executive Chef/Owner The Whelk, Kawa Ni and Jesup Hall.
By the age of 33, Chef Bill Taibe had received three “Excellent” ratings from the New York Times. He is a leader among a community of chefs who source and support local farms and distributors.
Bill’s love for food began early on while working after school at the local butcher shop. As a young chef, both at Two Moons in Port Chester, NY and Wildfire in Greenwich, CT, he quickly advanced from Sous Chef to Executive Chef. In the years to follow he would help to develop, design and run many successful restaurants in Fairfield County, including G/R/A/N/D, Napa & Co., and his own, Relish in Norwalk before settling in Westport and opening LeFarm in 2009.
In 2012, he partnered with Massimo Tullio to open The Whelk and Kawa Ni in 2014, both located in Saugatuck.
The newest addition to the group, Jesup Hall, opened in the early spring of 2017. Jesup Hall is located in the historic original Town Hall in downtown Westport.
All restaurants are guided by Bill’s belief in sourcing the best possible ingredients and supporting our local farms and community.
Since 2009, his restaurant group has evolved from staff of 6 to over 80 employees. He has created employment opportunities and programs, such as “Kitchen Share”, to increase the quality of life for his employees. The “Kitchen Share”, a 3% surcharge on all food sales, is directly dispersed to all kitchen employees on a weekly basis. Since it’s implementation in early 2017, numerous other restaurant groups are adopting his program across the tri-state area.
His success has led to appearances on The Martha Stewart Show, the Today Show and Moveable Feast. He is featured in Harvest to Heat Cookbook, which highlights the relationship between the top chefs of our country and the farmers with which they work. Bill was named a James Beard-Best Chefs in America: Northeast Semi-finalist in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
He is heavily involved in the Westport/Weston community and supports many local charities and organizations through his own personal networking and restaurant resources. He currently sits on the board of Food Rescue US and is the President of the Westport Farmer’s Market.
Over the past 10 years, Bill has mentored dozens of Weston youth through his involvement with the Weston Little League.