President - Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.
Joe Essa joined the Wolfgang Puck group in 1999 and as Managing Partner of Operations assisted with finance and operations for the 15 fine dining restaurants coast to coast. He has worked with his partners to ensure that the Wolfgang Puck fine dining restaurants continue to lead the industry in product quality, exceptional service and operational systems.
In 2004, Essa was appointed Executive Vice President of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. responsible for the day-to-day business operations and brand development. Essa was appointed President of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide in August of 2008 and has worked to refine and streamline the company's business lines and initiate strategic partnerships to help further the Wolfgang Puck brand of casual restaurants and consumer products including packaged foods, media, cookware and appliances.
Prior to joining the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Essa worked with restaurateur Pino Luongo in New York City, as Vice President of Operations at TOSCORP, Inc., which includes the restaurant concepts Coco Pazzo, Le Madri and Tuscan Square. He also founded and operated two successful restaurants, Assaggio in West Hartford, Conn. and Café Pasta in Greensboro, N.C.
Essa graduated cum laude from Boston College with a bachelor of science in accounting and finance. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is accredited by the National Restaurant Association.
His community involvement includes personal work with charitable organizations benefiting Meals on Wheels , Alzheimer's research, Nevada Cancer Institute, Nevada Public Education Foundation and March of Dimes, among others.
In his spare time, Essa enjoys playing the saxophone, cooking and spending time with his wife and their three daughters, Mary, Katharine and Margaret.
The Managing Partners for Wolfgang Puck are as passionate about music as Chef Puck. Connect with Joe Essa by listening to his favorite tunes on the Partners' Playlist.
"We will strive to lead the casual dining and consumer product segments of the market by developing healthy, innovative and value oriented concepts and products that complement Wolfgang's brand promise of best in class quality and genuine hospitality." - Joe Essa