Italia@RiverCity © 2015 images by Italia Staff/Joni ~ website by Joni iadevaia
corporate executive Chef
I started in restaurants scooping ice cream at Disney World.
Since then I have never looked back.
I'm a culinary lifer.
I attended and graduated from Culinary Institute of America.
I have high standards for myself to only serve the best food.
I'm excited to to be at Italia, where we create awesome delicious dishes!
I planned on being an architect. In college I worked in a restaurant because it offered flexible hours that accommodated my class schedule. That's when I made an important discovery. Once I got in the kitchen I realized that's what I really wanted. I left school to pursue my calling and I've never regretted the move. Before being brought on as executive chef at the opening of River City Grill, Stephen was enjoying success as the head chef of the Mangrove Cafe. Mangrove Cafe is River City Grill & Italia's sister restaurant in downtown Naples. Under his leadership River City Grill has been named best restaurant by readers of The Charlotte Sun every year consecutively since 2003. "Being a chef is definitely a journey", he said. His responsibilities include many things these days but, Stephen still spends part of each day cooking on the line. Looking back on what was to be his previous career, he said, "Although as an architect I would make more money, I'd have less stress and not work 16 hour days, I wouldn't have it any other way."
chef ~ proprietor
I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and began pursuing my dream of opening restaurants. Italia began in my mind
after attending the
"Naples Winter Wine
Festival" a few years back, I shared a FEW glasses of fine
wine with (famous chef/restaurateur)
During our conversation
(and subsequent lift home in his limo)
I asked for his advice on Italian cuisine.
He said, "Take your 7 ingredients, drop them
to 5, then make them the best and freshest you can buy - keep it simple, clean, and fresh, "That's Italian"
I'VE TAKEN MARIO'S ADVICE WITH
ITALIA at River City Grill!!