About Us

CULINARY TEAM

Derik Watson, Executive Chef

Derik has spent much of his early career working with famed chef Takashi Yagihashi at many awarded Metro Detroit and Chicago area restaurants, including Iridescence and Tribute. A natural talent in the kitchen, Derik is making quite a name for himself among area “foodies” and restaurant critics.

Joseph VanWagner, Chef de Cuisine

Joseph joins AFB Hospitality Group with nearly a decade of culinary experience in both Detroit and Chicago, where he has worked at some of the cities’ best restaurants, including Bacco Ristorante, Chartreuse, and Local Kitchen and Bar. Joseph’s experience has led him to develop an aesthetic approach to progressive flavors, developing modern cuisine sourced with fresh local ingredients. He is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business.

Ben Robison, Executive Pastry Chef

Ben is a graduate of the Culinary Arts program at Schoolcraft College, and joins AFB Hospitality Group with over 11 years of culinary experience in both Detroit and Chicago. Known for his utilization of savory ingredients, Ben has an artistic ability and delicacy with pastry. Most recently, Ben served as Executive Pastry Chef and Chef de Cuisine at Local Kitchen and Bar, and had previous long-term Executive Pastry Chef positions with Bacco Ristorante and Marais.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Keith Schofield, Director of Operations, AFB Hospitality Group

Keith joined AFB Hospitality Group in February 2017 as the General Manager of Bistro 82. Now overseeing all properties, Keith brings over 30 years of restaurant experience to the team, with expertise in both front and back-of-the-house operations. Keith puts his hands-on management style into action as he has in previous roles as Food & Beverage Director at MGM Grand Detroit, Director of Restaurant Operations at The Townsend Hotel, and Senior Managing Partner of the Matt Prentice Restaurant Group.

Lea Schofield, Genral Manager

Lea boasts 25 years of hospitality experience in a wide array of food and beverage concepts, from delis to corner bars to fine dining venues. Prior to joining the Bistro 82, Lea managed several Metro Detroit area restaurants for the Unique Restaurant Group, and most recently opened and operated Café ML and Bill’s Eat & Drink for the Roberts Restaurant Group. Lea was named the 2015 Michigan Restaurant Manager of the Year by the Michigan Restaurant Association.

Adam Fry, Manager

As his career in the restaurant industry nears the 20-year mark, Adam continues to build a certain enthusiastic and earnest dedication to his craft. Pairing a passionate reverence for dining culture with a meticulous work ethic, he has a keen eye for nailing the details.

PR or Media Related Inquiries, Please Contact Justin Near: justin@nearperfectmedia.com

Testimonials

"When I first read the pre-opening comments about Bistro 82... — I thought the writers had gone just a tad overboard. Now I know they didn’t."

- Molly Abraham, The Detroit News RATING:☆☆☆☆


"Bistro 82's cool vibe and modern, sophisticated styling aren’t the only reasons you should move this new Royal Oak destination to the top of your must-try dining list. You should really go for the food."

- Sylvia Rector, Detroit Free Press RATING:☆☆☆☆


"The star of the night was the reasonably priced bone marrow, simply served with sea salt, lemon zest, petite greens tossed in a truffle vinaigrette and toast ($11). "I call it meat butter," Watson said with a chuckle as he took a bite. I call it amazing."

- Nathan Skid, Crain's Detroit Business


"...everything was ridiculously tasty and the service was nothing short of outstanding. Afterward I took a trip upstairs where Belen gave me the grand tour. The gorgeous couches, stunning bar (I seriously can't get over that bar), simple and elegant color scheme and amazing view solidified Bistro 82 and Sabrage's reign as the new crown jewel of Royal Oak.

- Alysa Offman, Real Detroit Weekly