Chef Wayne Whiteside joined Aksum in November 2011 as Exective Chef. Wayne was born and raised in Philadelphia, and has commanded the stoves of his home city for twenty years. His career began at seventeen, filling in for a friend at an Italian restaurant on South Street called Cheflu. Wayne started out doing prep work, and was introduced to making pastas from scratch and butchery. The owner recognized Wayne's ability and took him under his wing, teaching Wayne how to butcher various meats and seafood. Wayne moved up quickly in the ranks, and within two years was promoted to Sous Chef, which turned into a twelve year stint as Executive Chef.
Chef Wayne’s foundation was established at Cheflu and Mediterranean cuisine became his focus. Wayne also had a thirst for regional American cooking which led him to Fork. While at Fork, he further cemented his skills in fine dining and service. Wayne also studied desserts and pastries, keeping in mind what he was taught about hand crafted preparations and the importance of cooking from scratch. Although Wayne moved on to work at other notable restaurants in the city, he attributes the core foundation of his success to his experience at Cheflu and Fork. He has taught and mentored many chefs throughout his career. Chef Wayne’s exceptional skills in butchery, his range as a pastry chef, and his innovative approach to Mediterranean cuisine places him among highly distinguished chefs.
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