Cesare Casella

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Cesare Casella
Born (1960-03-01) March 1, 1960 (age 59)
Lucca, Italy
EducationCulinary Institute Ferdinando Martini, Montecatini, Italy,
Culinary career
Cooking styleItalian

Cesare Casella (born March 1, 1960 in Lucca, Italy) is an Italian chef, restaurateur, writer, consultant and educator. He is Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center in New York City, which is also home to The French Culinary Institute.[1] Casella is the founder of the Italian Cooking School by Cesare Casella.

Personal life[edit]

Casella learned the trade at Vipore, the trattoria owned by his parents, Rosa and Pietro, outside of Lucca, Italy.[2] At age 14, Casella enrolled in the Culinary Institute Ferdinando Martini, in Montecatini, Italy, against his parents' wishes. After graduating, he worked in his parents' trattoria in an effort to transform Vipore from a local favorite into both a regional and international destination. He began developing herbal cuisine, including a garden with over 40 types of aromatic herbs, and updating traditional Italian recipes.[3] By 1991, Casella had earned Vipore a Michelin Guide star and a reputation that attracted clients including Henry Kissinger and Tom Cruise.[4]

Casella now lives with his wife and daughter in New York City.

Professional career[edit]

Casella has appeared on the television series After Hours with Daniel Boulud playing host and guest chef. In 2007, he received Food Arts magazine's Silver Spoon Award for outstanding achievement in the culinary field.[5]

Casella's previous endeavors include the Italian restaurant Maremma, located in Manhattan's West Village, which opened in 2005. New York Magazine named Maremma one of the Top 5 Best New Restaurants in New York City in 2006.[6] At the end of its first year, Maremma received three stars from Forbes magazine, naming it one of the best restaurants in the country. Casella's lamb meatballs held the Number One spot in New York Magazine's Best Meatballs in New York City. Maremma closed within three years due to poor location and mismanagement.

Casella started the Republic of Beans, importing heirloom beans, grains and spices from Italy,[7] in order to recreate some of his favorite Italian dishes with authentic ingredients.

Casella arrived in New York City in the early 1990s, with the goal of introducing Tuscan style cooking to the American public. His early career included being Executive Chef of Coco Pazzo in New York City in 1993. Soon afterwards, he launched its sister restaurant, Il Toscanaccio. He opened his first solo New York restaurant, Beppe, in honor of his grandfather, Giuseppe Polidori in March 2001.[2][8] Beppe earned critical praise and commercial success for its Tuscan cuisine.

Culinary schools[edit]

In 2006, the International Culinary Center, previously known as the French Culinary Institute,[9] appointed Casella as the first dean of Italian Studies in both New York City and Parma, Italy. Casella designed and wrote the curriculum for the joint programs and oversaw the training of all chefs and instructors involved. The International Culinary Center School of Italian Studies, formerly known as The Italian Culinary Academy, launched in October 2006 in New York City and in January 2007 in Parma.[10]

In spring 2011, Casella launched The Italian Cooking School, a program in which he led culinary tours across Italy, promoting education in Italian cuisine, ingredients and culture,[11] as well as a video project to document the tours.[12]


Casella has written several books, including Diary of a Tuscan Chef (Broadway 1998), Italian Cooking for Dummies (Wiley 2002), True Tuscan (Morrow 2005), and Introduction to Italian Cuisine, the textbook for the Italian Culinary Academy.[13]

Guest appearances[edit]

Casella appears regularly on television.[14] Appearances include The Secret Life of..., After Hours with Daniel Boulud, Top Chef, ABC's Nightline, FOX News, New York 1, The Martha Stewart Show,[15] Iron Chef America, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, The Best Thing Ever, and FOX 5's Good Day Café.


  1. ^ "Dean Cesare Casella". The International Culinary Center. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Lee, Matt and Ted (February 11, 2004). "Cesare Casella; Where 'Duck à l'Orange' Is a Canard". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  3. ^ "Cesare Casella". cookstr. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  4. ^ "About Cesare Casella". cesarecasella.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "About Cesare". Italian Cooking School. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Best of New York: 2006". NY Magazine.
  7. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Chef Cesare Casella". Italia Living. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  8. ^ Burros, Marian (June 20, 2001). "A Seasoned Team and Tuscany". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  9. ^ "School of Italian Studies". International Culinary Center.
  10. ^ "School of Italian Studies". The International Culinary Center. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  11. ^ "Q&A with Cesare Casella". Restaurant Girl. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  12. ^ "The Italian Cooking School". Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  13. ^ "About Cesare Casella". Cesare Casella. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  14. ^ "Press". cesarecasella.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  15. ^ "Cesare Casella on Martha Stewart". youtube.com. Retrieved February 2, 2012.

External links[edit]