Chef Joseph Tartaglia was hired as new culinary teacher at EHHS for the 2018-2019 school year after the departure of Chef Bigelow in the beginning of this school year. He was hired by our assistant principal, Mrs. Susan Harkins, who oversees the Unified Arts program. Before coming to East Haven, Chef Tartaglia was the culinary instructor at Henry Abbott Technical High School for ten years. After retiring, Chef Tartaglia opened up a restaurant that he owned and operated in Bridgeport for 25 years. He sold that restaurant in 2006 and opened a new one called Figs in Sandy Hook in 2010. Chef Tartilaga is still running and operating that restaurant today in addition to teaching.
Chef Tartaglia was hired in the beginning of the year by a committee of teachers and administration including Mrs. Harkins. She said, Chef Tartaglia is a, “Great candidate because he developed an organizational system, and developed innovative culinary methods to teach students.” He has experience with creating menus and recipes, catering, and teaching at the high school level.
Chef Tartaglia and Chef Trzcinski had a friendship before Chef Tartaglia came to East Haven. Because of their friendship, Chef Trzcinski highly recommended Chef Tartaglia after the departure of Chef Bigelow at the beginning of this school year. Chef Trzcinski said, “We were introduced to each other in 1984 at a picnic by a friend.” The two chefs started working together for 30 years on and off in two of Chef Tartaglia’s three restaurants.
Chef Trzcinski has made the transition to EHHS for Chef Tartaglia a lot easier. Chef Tartaglia said, “The staff and administration were welcoming and supportive.” Everyone has been very accommodating and willing to help him. Mrs. Harkins has been very positive about Chef Tartaglia’s classes so far. She has been able to observe him several times and enjoyed watching the students work. Join one of his culinary or baking classes or stop down in the kitchens to welcome him to our EHHS community.