Fabio Trabocchi is an Italian chef and restaurateur based in Washington, D.C., where his restaurant Fiola earned a Michelin Star. Before opening his own restaurants, Trabocchi ran kitchens in London, Virginia, and New York, winning a James Beard Foundation Award in 2006.
Early years (1974-1997)
Trabocchi was born in 1974 in Osimo, in the Marche region of Italy. He studied at the Istituto Alberghiero Panzine in Senigallia, working as a pastry chef in the summers. He then earned an apprenticeship with Gualtiero Marchesi at his eponymous restaurant in Milan.
Floriana, Maestro, and Fiamma (1998-2010)
He was recruited back to the United States in 2001 by the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia, to open a new restaurant called Maestro. Maestro's menu featured two takes on Italian cuisine: La Tradizione, Trabocchi's version of traditional regional Italian dishes updated with high-quality products; and L'Evoluzione, Trabocchi's very modern interpretation of Italian cooking. In 2002, Trabocchi was recognized as one of America's best new chefs by Food & Wine magazine. In 2005, Trabocchi was named chef of the year by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. He was nominated for several James Beard Awards, finally winning Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, in 2006.
In 2006, he published a cookbook, Cucina of Le Marche.
In 2007, Trabocchi moved to New York City to replace Michael White at Fiamma. While he was the chef, Fiamma earned three stars from the New York Times's food critic Frank Bruni, and a Michelin star in the 2009 Michelin Guide. After a sharp downturn in business following the financial crisis of 2007–2008, Fiamma abruptly closed. Trabocchi was named the executive chef of The Four Seasons Restaurant in 2010, but left after a few months.
Fiola and restaurant group (2011-present)
Trabocchi returned to Washington, D.C., with the opening of Fiola in 2011, in the same space in Penn Quarter where he had been a chef at BiCE. Fiola opened to mixed reviews, but soon earned its place among the city's best restaurants. It won Best New Restaurant at the 2012 Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMMY) Awards. Bon Appétit magazine named it one of the 50 best new restaurants in America. In 2014, Fiola won the RAMMY Award for Best Formal Dining Restaurant. In the inaugural Michelin Guide for Washington, D.C., Fiola received one Michelin star.
In 2014, Trabocchi opened Fiola Mare, a 7,500-square-foot (700 m2) restaurant focused on Italian seafood, at Washington Harbour on the Georgetown waterfront. It soon became a popular destination for Washington's elite. President Barack Obama and his family dined there in August 2014. In 2015, Fiola Mare won the RAMMY Award for Best New Restaurant. Washingtonian Magazine named Fabio its 2015 Restaurateur of the Year.
In 2016, Trabocchi opened Sfoglina, a casual pasta house in the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Another Sfoglina opened in October 2019 in Rosslyn, Virginia. In 2018, Casa Luca was renovated and re-branded as a branch of Sfoglina.
In 2017, Trabocchi opened Del Mar, a fine-dining restaurant focused on Spanish coastal cuisine, at The Wharf, a new development on Washington's Southwest Waterfront. The 240-seat restaurant features a bi-level nautical-themed space with an open kitchen, towering ceilings, large windows overlooking the water and hand-painted forest green tiled walls. Early reviews have been positive, with the Washington Post's Tom Sietsema placing Del Mar #1 on his list of top ten restaurants for 2018.
- Best New Chefs, Food & Wine, 2002
- Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, James Beard Foundation, 2006
- Michelin Star, Fiamma 2009
- Michelin Star, Fiola 2017-2019
- Abdelnour, Salma (July 1, 2002). "America's Best New Chefs 2002". Food & Wine Magazine.
- Weinraub, Judith (May 5, 2004). "Fabio Trabocchi Has His Own Way of Looking at Italian Food". The Washington Post.
- "Floriana". London Evening Standard. 6 October 1998.
- "Power Couples Behind Today's Hottest Restaurants". Forbes Travel Guide. June 1, 2012.
- Sekules, Kate (May 1, 2001). "Postcards from the Edge: New Maestro in Town". Food & Wine.
- "Maestro creates dishes that are a feast for the eye". The Washington Times. August 23, 2001.
- Havemann, Judith M. (June 8, 2005). "Maestro Wins Two Rammys". The Washington Post.
- Nicholls, Walter (May 10, 2006). "James Beard Award for Chef Trabocchi". The Washington Post.
- Benwick, Bonnie S. (October 18, 2006). "Sometimes Daunting, But Always Instructive". The Washington Post.
- Bruni, Frank (November 28, 2007). "Rewritten, in a Language of Its Own". The New York Times.
- Spartos, Carla (January 24, 2010). "One toque over the line". New York Post.
- Bruni, Frank (January 14, 2009). "Fabio Trabocchi on Fiamma's Closing". The New York Times.
- "Iron Chef America: Symon vs. Trabocchi". Food Network. February 15, 2009.
- Sietsema, Tom (October 12, 2010). "Fabio Trabocchi to open Fiola in spring 2011". The Washington Post.
- Sietsema, Tom (March 18, 2012). "After some missteps, Fiola finds its footing". The Washington Post Magazine. p. 27.
- Voelker, Jessica (June 25, 2012). "Here's the List of Restaurants That Won 2012 RAMMY Awards". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Knowlton, Andrew (August 28, 2012). "Top 50 Best New Restaurants of 2012". Bon Appétit.
- Spiegel, Anna (June 23, 2014). "2014 RAMMY Award Winners Announced". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Sidman, Jessica (October 13, 2016). "12 DC Restaurants Earn Michelin Stars". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Voelker, Jessica (June 24, 2013). "Fabio Trabocchi, Ashok Bajaj Take Top Awards at 2013 RAMMYS". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Carman, Tim (July 3, 2013). "An early look at Fabio Trabocchi's Casa Luca". The Washington Post.
- Nicholls, Walter (April 11, 2014). "Fabio Trabocchi's Fiola Mare". The Georgetowner.
- Joynt, Carol Ross (April 2, 2014). "Spotted: Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett Dine at Fiola Mare". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Andrews-Dyer, Helena (August 7, 2014). "The Obama family enjoys a night out at Fiola Mare". The Washington Post.
- Byrnes, Kelly (June 22, 2015). "Georgetown Gets Its Due: Fiola Mare Named 'New Restaurant of the Year' Among Other Rammys". The Georgetowner.
- Spiegel, Anna (January 12, 2015). "2015 Restaurateurs of the Year: Fabio and Maria Trabocchi". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Nania, Rachel (November 30, 2016). "Award-winning chef to open DC 'pasta house'". WTOP.
- Koma, Alex (May 10, 2018). "Second Location of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurant Sfoglina to Open in Rosslyn". ARLnow.com.
- Plumb, by Tierney (Aug 6, 2018). "Casa Luca Downtown Will Become Its Upscale Sister Restaurant Sfoglina". Eater DC.
- Spiegel, Anna (October 23, 2017). "Chef Fabio Trabocchi's New Waterfront Spanish Restaurant Is Super Luxe". Washingtonian Magazine.
- Vora, Shivani (May 12, 2018). "Can an Italian Chef's Success in D.C. Translate Into Spanish?". The New York Times.
- Sietsema, Tom (October 9, 2018). "Del Mar sings a siren song of Spain". The Washington Post.
- Fagenson, Zachary (December 11, 2018). "Fiola Is the Third Restaurant With Michelin Bona Fides to Open in Miami This Year". Miami New Times.
- Kate Krader; Claire Ballentine (April 19, 2019). "The Croiffle Invades Midtown Manhattan Thanks to the Godiva Cafe". Bloomberg.
To the rescue: Michelin-starred Washington restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi, who has just opened Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia. In the 1920s-styled room in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Trabocchi will serve an Italian version of the food that has made Fiola D.C. a favorite