John Piccolino, the Executive Chef of B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Fort Worth, is no stranger to the restaurant industry with more than 38 years of experience working in a multitude of chef roles. While growing up in Pittsburgh, he discovered his passion for the culinary arts at 16 years old in the kitchen of the Green Oaks Country Club. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, in 1980, Piccolino joined the opening team of the Atlantis Hotel & Casino as a production cook and quickly rose through the ranks to banquet chef.
Born in New York City, Berg has been in the hospitality business for over 19 years working for upscale hotels and steakhouses in key markets including Las Vegas, Mexico City and his hometown.
In June 2015, Benjamin Berg opened his first concept, B&B Butchers & Restaurant, an upscale steakhouse and traditional butcher shop on Washington Avenue, to rave reviews from critics, celebrities and Houstonians. After successfully opening a second location of B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas in January 2018, he formed Berg Hospitality Group, which conceives, launches and operates restaurants in Texas with a commitment to giving back to the local communities. Around the same time, he purchased Carmelo's Ristorante Italiano, a traditional, family-owned and operated restaurant located in Houston's Energy Corridor since 1981. After closing for renovations, Berg reopened the space as two new concepts, B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar and B.B. Pizza To Go, which serve fresh, Italian-American food in an approachable, neighborhood setting with first-class service. The budding culinary group is also responsible for creating B.B. Lemon, an elevated eatery and bar serving classic, straightforward food and cocktails, which opened in November 2018 across the street from B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Houston. In May 2019, Berg Hospitality Group announced its plans to revamp the legendary restaurant, Cafe Annie, through a new partnership with James Beard award-winning Chef Robert Del Grande. The reimagined restaurant reopened as The Annie Café & Bar in September 2019, offering a fresh take on Texas-influenced American cuisine with a well-rounded, approachable menu in a vibrant, sophisticated atmosphere. Turner's, the latest concept from Berg and Del Grande which opened underneath The Annie in March 2020, is an exclusive dining and social establishment with old-world charm and service offering a blend of timeless American and continental dishes.
With a true passion for the hospitality industry, all of Berg's concepts focus on offering excellent service, unique atmospheres and unparalleled experiences for their guests while also giving back to the local community. All the restaurants have given countless in-kind donations to various Houston and Fort Worth charities by hosting fundraising events, donating food and staff for charity events and gift certificates for raffles and silent and live auctions. B&B Butchers & Restaurant has participated in Houston Restaurant Weeks every year since opening and has been the number one donor to the Houston Food Bank for the past three years. Berg, who has rightfully distinguished himself as a philanthropic leader in Houston, founded his annual "First Responder Appreciation Week" in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey. Offered at all the restaurants the week after Labor Day, all on duty First Responders receive a complimentary three-course meal during lunch and dinner. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Greater Houston Restaurant Association and Cherish Our Children Inc.
Prior to his career in restaurants, Berg worked for two luxury hotels, The Point, which was voted the number one small hotel in the country at the time, and Lake Placid Lodge. He began as a bellman and worked his way up, learning every detail of the different facets of the hospitality business. He brings this same, service-oriented mindset to his restaurants. Berg received a Master of Hospitality Management from Cornell University and a B.A. in Art History from Tulane University.