Cesare Casella is an acclaimed restaurateur, consultant, author and educator based in New York. He is best known as the chef with the rosemary and is rarely without a small bouquet springing from his jacket pocket — a nod to his childhood in Tuscany, where rosemary grew wild.
For over 35 years, Chef Casella has been committed to helping people understand that Italian cuisine is defined by its simple ingredients, just as Italian culture is defined by its regions and history. He began his career at his family’s trattoria, Vipore, which he elevated from simple, backroad eatery, to world-renown restaurant, eventually earning it a Michelin star. Chef Casella has created and run critically acclaimed New York restaurants including Beppe and Salumeria Rosi; launched the Italian Studies division of the International Culinary Center, and served as the dean of the program from 2005 to 2020; he has written numerous books including the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award nominee, The Fundamentals of Classic Italian Cuisine, and in 2016, Feeding the Heart, winner of the Independent Publisher’s gold award for adult non-fiction.
Today, Casella serves as Chief of DNA, the Department of Nourishment Arts®, overseeing a team of chefs, nutritionists, therapists, farmers and educators at the Center for Discovery, a residential facility in upstate New York for the medically fragile. He owns and operates Casella’s Salumi, a line of Italian cured meats inspired by his Tuscan childhood, when he helped the norcini — the old school butchers who traveled the countryside — prepare the salumi served at Vipore. The line includes various salami and Casella’s Prosciutto Speciale, the winner of the 2020 Good Food Awards in the charcuterie category.
Chef Casella’s contributions to the culinary scene have been recognized in media ranging from Forbes to Food Arts to New York Magazine and The New York Times. He was voted one of the best chefs in New York City by Food & Wine magazine and has appeared on hit shows such as “Iron Chef,” “Top Chef,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “ No Reservations,” and “After Hours with Daniel Boulud.”