The Chef


Bolsa Chef

Joel Harrington began his career at age 15, working as a fry cook in a family-owned restaurant in Vermont, and he has been cooking ever since. He landed a job working at Five Spice Café, an eclectic Asian restaurant in Burlington where he developed his love for the sweet and spicy flavors found in Asian cuisine and for the pure maple syrup indigenous to that state. After six years of on-the-job training, he decided to further his education by attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York. While there, he was awarded the Craig Claiborne BPS Endowed Scholarship for outstanding performance. 

Upon graduation, he was hired as a line cook by acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit.  He quickly moved up to chef de partie and then sous chef. During his time there the restaurant received three stars from the New York Times and a James Beard Award. Joel was hired by the Ritz Carlton and became Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant 162 which earned Four Stars. He moved to Dallas to become Chef de Cuisine at Fearing’s in the Ritz Carlton Dallas which earned AAA Five Diamonds and was rated the Best New Restaurant by Esquire Magazine and was nominated for a James Beard Award.  He led the kitchens for Stephen Pyles and Charlie Palmer before returning to New York to once again work for Marcus Samuelsson, this time as Director of Culinary at Harlem’s Red Rooster.

Harrington returned to Dallas to become the Chef de Cuisine at Bolsa. Bolsa’s philosophy of an ever changing menu goes hand-in-hand with Joel’s passion for locally sourced ingredients and the people that produce them. Joel has studied the history of Texas cuisine and strives to represent the cultures that make Modern Texas Cuisine so unique. His approachable interpretations of classic dishes are playful, whimsical homages to his past experiences and cultural influences. 

When not in the kitchen, Joel is an avid Yankees fan.  At age six he saw Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in the World Series game between the Yankees and the Dodgers. His fantasy baseball league routinely places in the top three. His attire and signature faux-hawk earned him the distinction as a “Man of Style” by Modern Luxury. He was featured in Jeff Scott’s James Beard Award winning book “Notes From a Kitchen: Volume 2”. On his few days off, Harrington can be found biking from his home in Oak Cliff to White Rock Lake or spending quality time with his son Ian, his daughter Lucy and his partner Beth. 





Bolsa Mercado Chef

Chef Justo attended the Texas Culinary Academy in 2003. He then began his adventures. Where he found himself cooking in Brazil, Hawaii, Italy, Berlin, Nice, Mexico City, Peru, Costa Rica, and Switzerland. In 2008, he began his travels of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand, where he attended Bai Pai cooking school of Bangkok. Chef Blanco fine tuned his techniques of Southeast Asian and Indian Cuisines by attending World Gourmet Summit, and working side by side with Master Chef Milind Sovani of Song of India restaurant. After returning stateside, Chef Blanco left San Francisco for his hometown of Dallas, TX. There he joined the team of Aperture Concepts as the Chef de Cuisine of Scene restaurant, a posh downtown eatery. There the menu consisted of comfort foods deconstructed using molecular gastronomy. In, 2009, Chef Blanco joined the Four Seasons resort and Club in Las Colinas where he was charge of all banquets and special events. In 2012, to return to his native Peru to work for Rafael Osterling at famed Lima cevicheria El Mercado where he trained in modern Peruvian cuisine, and toured the virgin jungle of the Amazon in search of unique ingredients and techniques. He rediscovers his love of global food and cultures yearly by traveling as much as much as possible.