Chef Thomas Harvey
Executive Chef / Owner at Harvey’s
Chef Harvey is a well traveled chef who brings years of experience around the Blue Ridge to his new restaurant in Falls Church
“Guilty pleasure” snack: “I have a big sweet tooth so Chocolate does not last long in my house. There really is no bad time for chocolate. If I’m in the mood for something more savory I’m most likely grabbing pretzels, soft pretzels or pretzel sticks are an easy go to snack.
Favorite meal: “Lasagna has always been my favorite food. It is something that takes time and attention to make so it’s not a staple in the everyday rotation at home. Everyone makes it slightly different and as far as I’m concerned there is no wrong answer when making it.”
“Can’t live without” ingredient: “Duke’s Mayo! Hands down the best and no substitution will do!”
Most essential kitchen item: “Cast Iron, I love cast iron pans, dutch ovens, grill plates etc. Food takes on such a wonderful texture when cooked on the pan and the flavors are emboldened by a well seasoned pan. Plus where there is cast iron there is typically fire so the food gets kissed with smoke and adds another depth of flavor. ”
Get to know Chef Thomas Harvey
Chef Harvey started taking cooking seriously in college. Harvey would often cook for friends growing up and loved grilling but never really pursued any cooking until he started a job cooking at Radford University. Chef Harvey was enrolled in the music business program at Radford but quickly found that music was more of a hobby than a passion. Looking for a way to stay in the arts, cooking became his path.
Small stints in Sushi houses, Pizza, and Commercial Catering led Harvey to the restaurant that solidified his path and really made him fall in love with industry. Harvey was on the opening team of Magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville. He started his time there as the grill cook and quickly learned all stations and became Sous Chef there within the first 18 months. After working with Magnolias for a few years Harvey became a personal chef and traveled between Virginia and Florida cooking seasonal and local wherever he happened to be.
Time to grow as a Chef
Knowing that he had to grow his skills more, Harvey left his job as a personal chef and went to L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD. After completing the courses there he went to work at Palena in Washington DC with James Beard Winning Chef Frank Ruta. Chef Ruta imparted a precision to detail that has stuck with Harvey since his days at Palena. After Palena Harvey became Chef de Cuisine for Fabio Trabbochi at Casa Luca also in Washington DC.
Opening the restaurant and growing his knowledge of Italian food for 4 years under the Michelin Starred Chef. He then became the Executive Chef for The Partisan/Red Apron and really dove into the craft of butchering and charcuterie. Learning from one of the best around Nathan Anda. Chef Anda stressed and perfected the methods of using all parts of the animals and making it fun and playful in the same way. Coming from more technical and classic cooking Anda truly started Harvey on a path of originality in food. The Tuskies group called Harvey and offered him an opportunity that he had only dreamed about before. Harvey took over as the Corporate Chef and a Partner with the group. Helping to oversee all operations in their 6 locations and opening a new restaurant with them.
Taking a risk – Setting out to open his own restuarant
The pandemic changed Harvey’s life forever. Seeing opportunity when the world was reeling from the virus, Harvey set out to open his own restaurant. In the beginning most landlords just laughed or were too hesitant to talk with the ongoing pandemic. Harvey found his home in Falls Church about 6 months into his search. The town is everything Harvey was looking for when opening up. Small town feel in an urban environment. Opening up March 2022 Harvey’s has quickly embedded itself in the community and become a neighborhood go to. Winning Best New Restaurant and Best New Business this year in Falls Church as well as People’s Choice for Taste of Falls Church.
Chef Harvey has had years of learning from some of the best in the industry and is loving the new chapter of running a restaurant, working with local farms and being a part of the community.
Supporting the Locally Sourced Movement
Harvey’s uses as much local product as we can. We work with Farms like Seven Hills for all of our Beef, Baker Farms for our sausage and bacon, Locally foraged mushrooms from the mushroom stand in Falls Church, Pies and sauces made from local vendors in town that are sold in our market and restaurant. We even sourced our decorations and custom made bar from local vendors and tradesmiths. Virginia is home to so many wonderful people that help to make it feel like home and Harvey’s is built on the fact that home is where the heart and friends are.