NEW BEDFORD, MA [May 21, 2008] - Tony DeRienzo is the Executive Chef at The Waterfront Grille - Homer's Wharf, New Bedfordset to open in late June on the waterfront at Homer’s Wharf in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  The moderately-priced menu Mr. DeRienzo developed will be 85 percent fish and will include a selection of sushi dishes.  Mr. DeRienzo graduated from Johnson and Wales and got his start cooking in Boston’s finest restaurants, like Ambrosia on Huntington and Biba, where he worked under the James Beard Award-winning chef Lydia Shire.  His cooking style blends traditional New England fare with strong Mediterranean and Asian influences.
The Waterfront Grille, a 10,000-square-foot facility, is the brainchild of the visionary owner Kevin Santos of Dartmouth, MA.  The restaurant features large windows facing the waterfront and includes function rooms for private parties and outdoor dining areas on the waterfront.  This is Mr. Santos’ first significant restaurant project and he sought out an experienced chef with right expertise and shared vision – he chose and partnered with Chef Tony DeRienzo. 
Mr. DeRienzo’s career began to take off when, in 1998, he started working at Stoneforge Restaurants, a restaurant group that originated in Raynham, Massachusetts.  DeRienzo quickly moved up the ranks and soon became the executive chef of all five restaurants, overseeing research and development for all new menus and future Stoneforge concepts.
Today, in addition to being an integral part of The Waterfront Grille project, Chef DeRienzo also oversees all research and development for Venture Restaurant Concepts.  Mr. DeRienzo has represented the Venture Restaurant Concepts at the prestigious Food & Wine Magazine, South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, Florida for past two years; in the company of kitchen idols like Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis, Dylan Laurnen, among others.
The casual dining Waterfront Grille will abut the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel and conference center planned by Lafrance Hospitality of Westport.  Mr. Santos said the restaurant will employ 50 people with room for growth as business increases.  He said The Waterfront Grille will be a "destination" with excellent waterfront views and he envisions conducting fishing tournaments that will have their weigh-ins at the restaurant and give diners a sense of the fresh fish that will be on the menu.

Mr. DeRienzo said, “I look forward to contributing to the revitalization of New Bedford and bringing innovative and unique menu concepts to the area”.  Mr. DeRienzo and Mr. Santos have discussed other possible restaurant locations and are confident in the niche they are moving forward with.  Venture Restaurants Concepts currently has two additional projects in progress in South Eastern, Massachusetts and in Miami, Florida.