Joe came to Cleveland at the age of 22, and worked at the Dry Dock in Euclid for 2 years before joining Tony and Fred Lariccia at Freckeltons, (later to become Silvestro’s of Euclid).  Joe has been working with the Silvestro and Lariccia families for the last 24 years.
 
While working at Silvestro’s Depot Café, where the recipes date back generations, Joe has not only learned Silvestro family recipes but has brought his own special touch to many new dishes.   (Did you say Joe’s chili?)
 
Joe’s love for cooking goes back to the days of high school where he enjoyed and learned a great deal from 2 elderly Italian women, working at a family restaurant.  They took him under their wings and shared many old time secrets.  Not only did he learn about the Italian way of cooking but the value of family.
 
Joe and his wife Jackie have been a team for many years now.  Married in 1990, Jackie has worked alongside Joe as a server and bartender on and off over the years.  They live in Painesville Township with their 2 children.  
 
Joe and Jerry Silvestro have spent countless Sunday mornings tailgating at the Muni Lot for the Cleveland Browns Games.  Starting as early as 1 a.m. to prepare for the Steelers Game where a stuffed pig was the main course.  Although they may have been better known for the bear they cooked when Cleveland played the Chicago Bears, or the Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) they cooked when Cleveland played the Miami Dolphins.  Joe has since parked his cooking trailer to pick up a fishing rod, or bocci balls where he plays on team called the “Bocci Bommers” in Murray Hill.  
 
You can see Joe everyday at the Depot Café enjoying what he likes best….cooking for you.  If you happen to miss him while you’re there, check down on the river where he more than likely be fly fishing for Steelhead.  
 
Chef Joe’s kitchen tip:
To aid in washing dishes, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your soapy water, it softens hands while cutting through grease.
 
 
Chef Joe Columbo
Joe Columbo born 1961
Grew up in Youngstown Ohio
Attended: Girard High School
Graduated in 1980
Served in the Army where he was stationed in Hawaii