Nicholas Stefanelli

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Nicholas Stefanelli
Nicholas Stefanelli.jpg
  • DeMatha Hyattsville, Maryland
  • L’academic de Cuisine, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Culinary career
Cooking styleItalian
Current restaurant(s)
    • Masseria
    • Officina
Previous restaurant(s)
    • Bibiana (2009-2014)
    • Fiamma (2007-2009)
    • Maestro (2003-2007)
    • Laboratorio del Galileo (2001-2003)
Award(s) won

Nicholas Stefanelli is an American chef and restaurateur in Washington, D.C., known for his Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Masseria.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Maryland, Stefanelli is of Greek and Italian descent, with family from the Apulia region of southern Italy.[3] He was an aspiring baseball player at DeMatha Catholic High School in Washington, D.C., until he broke his foot.[4][5] After high school, he went to Italy to pursue a career in fashion in Milan, but he became interested in the food he encountered in Rome, Florence, Assisi, and Venice.[6] After realizing his passion for cooking, he enrolled in L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland and joined the kitchen of Roberto Donna at Italian restaurant Galileo in Washington, D.C.[4] He then went to work for Fabio Trabocchi at Maestro in Tysons Corner, Virginia, following Trabocchi to Fiamma in New York City.[6] After Fiamma closed in 2009, Stefanelli worked a stage at The French Laundry in California.[4]

In 2009, Stefanelli was recruited by restaurateur Ashok Bajaj to return to D.C. to develop a menu and lead the kitchen at a new Italian restaurant, Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca.[7] Bibiana received many positive reviews upon opening,[8] and it was recognized as one of the best new restaurants in America by Esquire magazine.[9] Stefanelli won the title of "Rising Culinary Star" at the 2010 Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (Rammy) Awards.[10]

Masseria and Officina[edit]

In 2014, Stefanelli left Bibiana to open his own restaurant, called Masseria.[11] Named for the agricultural estates in Italy's Apulia region, Masseria opened in August 2015 and was Union Market's first standalone restaurant.[12] In October 2016, Masseria earned a Michelin Star within the city's first-ever guide.[13] In 2018, Masseria won the Rammy Award for Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year.[14]

In October 2018, Stefanelli opened Officina, a three-floor Italian trattoria, café, and market located in The Wharf, a new development on Washington's Southwest Waterfront.[15][16] In November 2018, Stefanelli announced plans to open a Greek restaurant in downtown Washington, DC.[17]


  • 2010 Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMMY), Rising Culinary Star.[10]
  • 2017 Michelin Star 1 star (Masseria), the Michelin Guide.[18]
  • 2018 Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMMY), Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year (Masseria).[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sanson, Michael (February 1, 2011). "Nicholas Stefanelli". Restaurant Hospitality. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  3. ^ Marchetti, Domenica (2015-12-10). "Give the sugar a rest: These holiday snacks have savory Italian flair". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  4. ^ a b c Greeley, Alexandra (November 5, 2009). "Unique path, unique food: Chef goes from baseball to fashion to food". Washington Examiner.
  5. ^ Carman, Tim (August 5, 2015). "Amy Brandwein and Nick Stefanelli among the chefs in this year's Capital Food Fight". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ a b Marchetti, Domenica (June 6, 2011). "Q & A with Bibiana Executive Chef Nick Stefanelli". Domenica Cooks.
  7. ^ Sidman, Jessica (September 4, 2009). "An Early Look at Bibiana". Washingtonian Magazine.
  8. ^ Cerulo, Erica (July 1, 2010). "Restaurant Review: Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca in Washington, D.C." The New York Times.
  9. ^ Mariani, John (October 18, 2010). "Best New Restaurants: Bibiana". Esquire Magazine.
  10. ^ a b Dusty Lockhart (June 11, 2010). "2010 RAMMY Winners". Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  11. ^ Sietsema, Tom (2014-12-10). "Former Bibiana chef Nicholas Stefanelli to open Masseria near Union Market". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  12. ^ Krystal, Becky (2015-07-15). "Union Market is about to get its first standalone restaurant in Nick Stefanelli's Masseria". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  13. ^ 13, Jessica Sidman on October; 2016 (2016-10-13). "12 DC Restaurants Earn Michelin Stars". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2016-10-31.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Jessica Sidman; Anna Spiegel (June 10, 2018). "Here Are the Winners of Washington's 2018 RAMMY Awards". Washingtonian Magazine.
  15. ^ Spiegel, Anna (October 16, 2018). "Eat Your Way From Market to Rooftop at the Wharf's New Italian "Culinary Complex"". Washingtonian Magazine.
  16. ^ Stephens, Regan (November 2, 2018). "Inside Washington, D.C.'s Massive New Tri-Level Italian Food Emporium". Food & Wine.
  17. ^ Hiatt, Gabe (November 20, 2018). "The D.C. Chef Who Wants to Revolutionize Greek Food in America". Eater.
  18. ^ "MICHELIN Guide Washington 2017 : 12 restaurants earn stars". The Michelin Guide (2017). Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Announces 2018 RAMMY Award Winners". Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. June 10, 2018.

External links[edit]