Meet the Chef

Blackthorn kitchens are overseen by Executive Chef Gabriel Rivera in New Brunswick and in Kenilworth. Executive Chef Gabriel Rivera runs the daily operations in New Brunswick.

Born and raised in the southern state of Oaxaca in Mexico, Chef Gabe began his culinary training at an early age at “The Imperia” banquets and conference center. Starting as a dishwasher Chef Gabe quickly moved up to the preparation area where he discovered his true love and passion for cooking, after 2 years he worked his way up to Banquet Chef. Later on he worked for the luxurious Eagle Oaks Country Club located in Farmingdale New Jersey where he received most of his professional culinary training, French inspired. Chef Gabe developed his skills and passion for French cuisine under the supervision of Executive Chef Chris Kaszuba where he began to be even more passionate about food and discovered “Fine Dining”. Chef Gabe has experience in both fields of restaurant business, “A la Carte” and “Catering”, he loves the diversity and fusion between both worlds and enjoys to create new recipes and plating designs. “To cook a perfect dish you have to first understand the product” as chef Gabe quotes.

Currently Chef Gabe overviews all daily kitchen operations at “The Blackthorn New Brunswick” ensuring excellence and quality in every single dish that comes out of his kitchen. Innovating and creating dishes for our weekly specials and brunch menu Chef Gabe is compromised to deliver delicious and great looking dishes. 

Blackthorn’s unique take on Irish cuisine begins with the ingredients. Chef Rivera’s approach to creating a memorable experience starts with his philosophy of taking humble ingredients and using the utmost care in preparation in order to elicit as much flavor as possible. At Blackthorn, there is no element that is taken for granted whether it’s the unique spice blend and infused vinegar that goes into creating Blackthorn’s original wing sauce or the 7 days it takes to brine the short ribs that composes the corned beef and cabbage.