Chef Spotlight

Featuring: ACF Executive Chef, Don Smeriglio, CEC

Don Smeriglio is a local resident, born and raised in Methuen, MA. He attended the Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical School for culinary arts and started working at The Red Tavern, a local Methuen restaurant, as a pantryman and line cook at the age of 14. After graduating from the vocational school in 1973, he went on to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York with a full scholarship. While attending the CIA, Don worked at various restaurants in New York City to practice his skills. Don graduated from the CIA with an Associate’s Degree and received the Marius Dutrey Trophy for Outstanding Student Chef of the Year.

Don Chef Coat.jpg
Baked Potaotes

After graduating from the CIA in 1975, Don worked starting as Sous Chef then graduated as an Executive Chef at a variety of restaurants and private clubs such as Sheraton Hotels, Nashawtuc Country Club, Salem Country Club, Eastern Yacht Club, and Racquet Club of Palms Spring, CA.

Don then expanded his experience and moved on to other culinary ventures which included Corporate Executive Chef at the Hewlett Packard Corporation Sales office and Food Production Manager at Boston University.

After many years of working for others, Don decided to try his hand at his own business and bought Borrelli’s Italian Deli in Methuen, MA in November of 1993. It started off as a very small business with only himself and one other employee. Over the years it has grown and has moved into a much larger location with 30 employees. Over the last 28 years, with Don’s commitment to good quality food at a fair price, Borrelli’s has become one of the most popular delis and catering businesses in the Merrimack Valley.

Don not only has a commitment to his business; he also is committed to giving back to the community. Borrelli’s participates in various charity organizations such as the Methuen Festival of Trees and Taste of Methuen. He donates to many other charities and fundraisers throughout the year, as well as donating food to the Lazarus House and Bread and Roses. Don also provides internships to culinary students from the vocational school so that students can get hands-on experience while learning their trade. Don has served on the Culinary Arts Advisory Board at Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical School for the past 40 years. Don’s commitment to the community was acknowledged in 2013 when he was named Employer of the Year during the annual Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition Employment Celebration Event. The nonprofit Coalition recognizes different employers for providing employment opportunities to Massachusetts citizens recovering from mental illness. Don has also received many awards and citations from the local Chamber of Commerce, House of Representatives, and State Senate for outstanding achievements.

Avocado Sandwich

Don is proud of his many accomplishments during his career, but one of his most memorable accomplishments was in 1977, where at the age of 22 was tasked at the last minute to prepare dinner for President Jimmy Carter, his staff, and other local dignitaries at the Sheraton Inn in Boxborough, MA. It was a challenge and a chance of a lifetime. Fortunately, all went well, and everyone was very happy with the event.