Executive Chef, Dante Boccuzzi
Dante Boccuzzi started his culinary training early. At the age of 14 he began working in local Cleveland restaurants. In 1991, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and began his career at Charlie Palmer's New York acclaimed restaurant, Aureole. While at Aureole he gained extensive experience in all aspects of all things culinary under the watchful eye of Charlie Palmer himself. THe renowned chef and owner was impressed by the young chef's talents and encouraged Boccuzzi to further his culinary training elsewhere.
To that advice, Bocuzzi spent three years in Europe working in Italy, France and England learning techniques and culinary tips in restaurants such as Michelin one-star London restaurant L'Escargot, the famed Les Muscadin in Mougins, France and the Michelin three-star Gualtiero Marchese in Brescia, Italy. To further this background, Boccuzzi added a "stage" in Hong Kong and Taiwan in his pursuit to explore influential culinary traditions from around the world.
In 1997, Boccuzzi was asked to return to the States when Charlie Palmer, who was working as a restaurant consultant to the Silks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco decided that Boccuzzi was the ideal chef for the new restaurant. Within months, Boccuzzi's classic French menu with subtle Asian flavors was receiving rave reviews. His three year tenure at Silks resulted in two James Beard nominations for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 1998 and 1999 and catapulted the restaurant to the city's top-10 list.
Boccuzzi then moved to Milan, Italy to become the Executive Chef at Nobu/Milan, working directly with Giorgio Armani at his flagship establishment. In 2002, he celebrated his own right in Europe and the United States as he returned to Aureole as the executive chef. It was during his time at Aureole that Boccuzzi was selected by Star Chefs as one of their Rising Stars in 2002. Under his leadership, Aureole earned a Michelin star in 2006, in the first year that Michelin produced its legendary "Red Guide" for New York City restaurants.
Boccuzzi's culinary career has come full circle, returning him to his home state of Ohio where he opened Dante in 2007.
Besides cooking, Boccuzzi is passionate about music. A combination of blues and rock, he's released two CDs, the second entitled Parmatown, after the shopping mall in his hometown of Parma. He hopes to start an all-chef band in Cleveland similar to the band he had in San Francisco. He is lovingly supported by his wife, Monica and their three children, Francis, Andrea and Julien.