Chef, REX 1516
Justin Swain was born and raised in Philadelphia. He went to high school for visual arts at CAPA on South Broad Street and worked at the Mayfair Diner for three years as a teenager, dishwashing and peeling potatoes. After high school he spent four years as a bike messenger, racing frequently, being an artist and cooking for himself every night. His girlfriend urged him to pursue his interest in food and he enrolled in culinary school at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. He began his career working at 1601, working with former Chef Regis Jansen and learned a lot very quickly. From there he moved on to Bridget Foy’s where he perfected his talents. The chef at Foy’s (Brendan Mullen) gave him a lot of culinary freedom and he quickly honed his skills. Once Rex 1516 opened Jansen brought him on and he quickly was made sous-chef.
After Regis fell ill Justin took over as Executive Chef of Rex 1516. He strives to uphold their elevated Southern cuisine with personal influence from charcuterie, bbq, and classical French techniques with a modern twist. Justin graduated valedictorian from Walnut Hill College while taking on the Executive Chef position at Rex 1516.