Chef Cesare Casella is best known as the chef with the rosemary. He is rarely without a small bouquet springing from his jacket pocket, a signature that represents his dedication to fresh ingredients, his herb-inflected cuisine and his childhood in the Tuscan countryside where rosemary grew wild and his family ran a small trattoria, Vipore, outside of Lucca.
For the past 20 years, Chef Casella has been sharing his passion for authentic Italian food with Americans. Today, Chef Casella is the owner and executive chef of Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto and Il Ristorante Rosi. He is the Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center and serves as Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts at the Center for Discovery (www.thecenterfordiscovery.org), where he works to raise awareness about sustainability and nutrition.
Chef Casella has written several books including 2013 James Beard Foundation Award nominee, The Fundamentals of Classic Italian Cuisine (2012), True Tuscan (2005), Italian Cooking for Dummies (2002), and Diary of a Tuscan Chef (1998).
Known as the ‘Swami of Salami,’ Chef Casella consults and creates artisanal Italian-style salumi in the United States. He is also the founder of the Republic of Beans, specializing in imported Italian heirloom products.
Chef Casella is a favorite with the media, appearing on hit shows such as “Iron Chef,” “Top Chef,” “Master Chef Australia,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “No Reservations,” “Food Porn,” and “After Hours with Daniel Boulud.” He has been featured in prominent print publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Food & Wine, Bon Appetite, Gourmet, and Men’s Health; and his movements are tracked by bloggers and food websites such as Grubstreet, Eater and SeriousEats
Chef Casella opened his traditional modern Italian restaurant, Il Ristorante Rosi in September 2012 on New York’s Madison Avenue. In 2008, Chef Casella opened Salumeria Rosi, the Italian-style small plates delicatessen. Soon after, he received a notable “Dining Brief” by the New York Times’ Frank Bruni and was honored with the title of “Best Meatballs” and “Critic’s Choice” by New York Magazine. In 2007, Casella was the recipient of Food Arts magazine’s “Silver Spoon Award,” and in 2005, Forbes awarded his restaurant Maremma with three stars and New York Magazine called it one of the Top 5 “Best New Restaurants.”
Chef Casella frequents both the James Beard House and De Gustibus as a featured visiting guest chef. He is an active member and supporter of City Harvest, Meals on Wheels, Food Bank of New York, Autism Speaks, Slow Food USA, and the Gruppo Ristoranti Italiani (GRI), a group of Italian culinary professionals around the world that seek to promote Italian cuisine. For decades the ‘TuscanChef’ has been eternally committed to helping people understand that Italian culture is defined by its history and its most basic components – much like how Italian cuisine is defined by the ingredients from which a dish derives.