Joe George is a photographer, writer, interfaith minister, and lifelong professional cook.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he also studied at Le Cordon Bleu (Paris and Ottawa), and received full scholarship to study with Madeleine Kamman at The School for American Chefs in Napa Valley. After apprenticing in Nashville and New Orleans he returned to Buffalo to take the helm of various highly acclaimed restaurants in Western New York for more than three decades.
For more than 20 years he had food columns in Buffalo Spree Magazine and the former alternative weekly, Artvoice. His writings have also been in such national print and digital magazines as The National Culinary Review and ChefTalk. For a few years his column was syndicated and published across the country, and also in Canada, Mexico, and England.
Later in life he began to take the path of “voluntary downward mobility” (to quote the late theologian, Henry Nouwen), and renounced his position of chef to that of a cook to work with the homeless.
Returning to school, in 2014 he was ordained an interfaith minister through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in NYC, and became a certified spiritual counselor through the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals in 2016. More recently he graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Empire State College with a dual major in religion and Philosophy. He is also an ordained deacon within the United Church of Christ.
As a lifelong cyclist he gave up car ownership more than 10 years ago and gets around primarily by bicycle, walking, and public transportation.
Over the past decade he has also rekindled his love of photography and has been published locally and nationally. He’s had two solo shows and been in many group shows. In addition, Joe has three self published photography books, many of the photos were taken while riding a bicycle.
He lives in an 1860s era home with two elderly pugs in the eclectic, culturally, and architecturally rich neighborhood of Allentown, in Buffalo, NY.