Denise Appel


Denise Appel, originally from Glastonbury, Connecticut, has been wildly successful in her pas-
sion and vision as a chef. As co-owner and Executive Chef of ZINC New Haven and Kitchen ZINC, Denise credits her Grandmother, Katherine, for instilling her true love for cooking.

Chef Denise’s cuisine features regionally farmed produce and cheeses, sustainably raised meats and fresh, non-endangered, line-caught fish. At her restaurants, Denise, updates her menus on a regular basis; sourcing only the freshest ingredients. When Denise isn’t creating culinary master-
pieces and broadening her cooking repertoire, you can find her spending time with her three res-
cued pups, traveling the world, or painting.

Alex Blifford


Alex Blifford, ZINC New Haven’s Chef de Cuisine, cooks with integrity. A native of Branford, CT, Alex’s first culinary experience was at ZINC New Haven, when he was 17 years old. Inspired by his time at ZINC, he enrolled in the Center for Culinary Arts and graduated as valedictorian of his class. He cooked his way up and down the coast of Connecticut fine tuning his skills.

With his background in classic French and South American cuisine, his return to ZINC New Haven was hailed, first as Sous Chef and now as Chef de Cuisine. Alex’s key motivation is to provide every guest with the most memorable dining experience. His stellar work ethic, positive attitude and tenacious drive makes him the perfect right hand for Chef-Owner, Denise Appel.

Alba Estenoz


Executive Pastry Chef Alba Estenoz was born in Mérida, Spain. As a child, Alba played in her uncle’s pastelería, and quickly grew to love the art of baking. Alba moved to the United States, and in 1995 she began designing desserts at the acclaimed Shoreline Grill in Austin, Texas. In 2001, Alba returned to Spain and joined Madrid’s prestigious El Gran Barril restaurant. There, she infused her creations with modern Spanish flavors, Iberian influence, and the duende of her homeland.

Alba became the pastry chef at ZINC New Haven in 2003 and it was here that she located her culinary synergy. Alba appeals to our guests memories of traditional pastries while offering a more playful, contemporary approach towards dessert. She lives in New Haven at Morse College with her husband Joel, their son Noah, and their dog, Lulu.