Summit House

Summit House Executive Chef AJ Capella has – despite his youth – been one of New Jersey’s leading culinary visionaries for more than a decade. His calling card: crafting stunningly beautiful “modern American” cuisine that incorporates global culinary influences while remaining dedicated to best-of-the-best local, seasonal ingredients. 

A 2010 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef AJ spent much of his early career as chef de cuisine at The Ryland Inn, where he was part of the team that was awarded a 4-star “extraordinary” review from New Jersey Monthly. He has also worked alongside Anthony Bucco at Uproot, as well as at famed Chef Grant Achatz’s restaurant, The Aviary, at Columbus Circle in New York. 

In 2017, Chef AJ was honored with the Garden State Culinary Arts Foundation’s Rising Star Chef Award, given to a chef 30 years old or younger whose accomplishments and talent already served to inspire and impress while showing promise to set standards for years to come. 

Setting standards is exactly what Chef AJ has done. He excelled as executive chef at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown until its temporary closure due the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as at A Toute Heure in Cranford and Liberty House in Jersey City. He joined Summit House in 2023 from Montclair Hospitality Group, where as corporate chef he supported menus for restaurants that included pastaRAMEN, Ani Ramen House and Mochinut. 

Chef AJ is as comfortable in the woods as he is in the kitchen, enjoying hiking and hunting with friends and cooking over an open flame. He’s also dedicated his free time to supporting benefits for social causes, teaching aspiring chefs, and creating pop-ups and charity dinners with friends and colleagues. 

Born in Belleville and having lived in several Central Jersey towns, he is fully at home in the Garden State. 


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