I grew up in a Sicilian home in the Hudson Valley in New York and my love of food was discovered at an early age. Family field trips to NYC’s Chinatown, Fish Markets and Union Square Farmer’s Market quickly hooked me to the wide world of food. I attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, in 1993. While at the CIA, I worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who at the time had two restaurants, JoJo and Vong. In 1998, I returned to working with Vongerichten, working my way up the ranks of Jean Georges, the chef’s Michelin three-star restaurant in the Trump International Hotel and Tower. In 2001, at only 26, I became the famed restaurant’s Executive Chef.
In 2004, after working in New York City’s best restaurants for 14 years, I left the East Coast and headed to Southern California, where I opened Jack’s La Jolla as Executive Chef/Partner. Jack’s quickly made it onto the map, winning four Mobil stars, among other accolades. In 2009, I became the Executive Chef at Viceroy Santa Monica and corporate chef for Viceroy Hotel Group. My passions for food extend to always searching for the best of the season and the most sustainable and local products as well as my love of travel and the outdoors.