Meet the Team

Patrick Whalen Owner – Operator

Patrick is a career hospitality professional. With a somewhat modest start as a busboy in a small neighborhood joint in his teens, Patrick has strategically moved up each step of the ladder over the last 15 years. By utilizing his expertise in brand management, sales, operations, and service, Patrick has established himself as one of the top people in his field.

Both 5Church and Nan and Byron’s were the result of a collaborative partnership between Patrick and his partners. Award winning service, great top and bottom line numbers, and consistent long term growth are the backbone of Patrick’s management style and strategy.

In 2013, Patrick was selected as one of the cities Top 40 under 40 by The Charlotte Business Journal. At the age of 32, he was the second youngest honoree chosen.

“Fundamentally my job is to take care of people, staff and customers alike. Whatever successes our businesses have been able to enjoy are a direct result of being populated by great people.”

Ayman Kamel Owner- Operator

Ayman Kamel is a Principal with MAP Management Hospitality Group having moved to Charlotte, NC to grow the successful New American Cuisine, 5Church and Nan and Byron’s restaurants into a national brand. Prior to joining MAP, Ayman was the Executive of the international entertainment group Big Bowl LLC, a firm focused on growth strategies, business improvement and systems optimization within the hospitality and retail industries. Ayman previously served as an Area Director Of Operations for the Cheesecake Factory. He was instrumental in positioning the North East Region to head all regions within The Cheesecake Factory, leading all strategic development for expansion and profits. Ayman is active as an advisory and/or Board role to several hospitality companies.

Alejandro Torio Owner – Marketing Director

Since moving from New York City in 2010, Alejandro Torio has worked diligently to provide the social scene with fresh entertainment concepts.

Torio may be the ultimate tastemaker in the South East. Utilizing an impressive database of contacts, he is able to market a brand in a way that guarantees attention. Combined with his past experiences as a NYC promoter, he is able to seamlessly transfer his skills to brand management. 5Church has already received more press from every reputable news source in the region, and in the nation than most restaurants obtain during their entire existence. From The Charlotte Observer and Charleston City Paper to press giants including The New York Times, Eater, Conde Nast Traveler, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune, 5Church continues to receive attention and accolades.

Torio has become a master of brand roll outs- partnering television, newspapers, radio, social media, and good old-fashioned grassroots campaigns.

"Dining out should be an event experience," says Torio. "5Church boasts an environment where diners can enjoy the combined elements of sophisticated décor, unique food, and a hip staff all in one place."

Jamie Lynch Executive Chef - Partner

Jamie Lynch is a New York native and attended New England Culinary Institute in Burlington Vermont where he was awarded a degree in Culinary Arts

Upon graduation, Jamie was offered a prestigious position by New York Time's 4 star, Le Cirque 2000 Restaurant in The Palace Hotel in NYC. At Le Cirque Jamie continued to polish Jamie's technique through emmersive cooking. Jamie continued his training at culinary heavyweights Aureole and Café Boulud, before settling in as Sous Chef at Touquevillle Restaurant in Union Square. "At that time we had an all or nothing approach to cooking, we ate, drank and slept food. It was ether the very best we could do or it was garbage." Says Jamie, reflecting on his years cooking in NYC.

Jamie moved to Charlotte, NC in 2002 to pursue his dream to eventually open his own restaurant. This fostered Jamie's relationship with Charlotte's sustainable farming community and local dining culture. His most recent venture, lauded by critics, is 5Church Restaurant, which has become a Charlotte favorite of locals and visitors alike in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. Jamie has garnered many accolades such as being Voted BEST CHEF in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Charlotte Magazine's BOB (Best of the Best) Awards since 5Church's inception in 2012.