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 reflects his dedication to his herb-inflected cuisine, fresh ingredients and his childhood in the Tuscan countryside where rosemary grew wild and his family ran a small trattoria, Vipore, outside of Lucca.
For over 20 years, Chef Casella has been sharing his passion for authentic Italian food with Americans. He is the Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center and serves as Chief of DNA, The Department of Nourishment Arts® at The Center for Discovery, where he works to raise awareness about healthy eating and sustainability for a population of children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Casella has created some of New York City’s most loved Italian restaurants, including Salumeria Rosi, a small plates delicatessen, and its sister fine-dining eatery, Ristorante Rosi. His restaurant Maremma won three stars in 2005 from Forbes and New York Magazine called it one of the Top 5 “Best New Restaurants.” Casella’s first solo New York restaurant, Beppe, opened in New York in 2001.
In addition to Feeding the Heart, Casella has written many books, including the 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). Casella also contributed to the English edition of Food Editore’s Gusto, an encyclopedia of Italian food and ingredients published by Abbeville Press in April 2014.
An expert in Italian charcuterie and heirloom products, Casella has been creating artisanal, Italian-style salumi in the United States since 2010. He is the founder of Casella’s, a small-batch maker of cured meats in based in upstate New York; the popular Giorgio’s Salami line, and the Republic of Beans, which specializes in imported beans, grains, extra virgin olive oil, and spezie forte.
Voted one of the best chefs in New York City by Food & Wine magazine, Casella has appeared 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 recognized by publications such as Food Arts, which awarded him a “Silver Spoon Award” in 2007, and appears regularly in a variety of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Men’s Health, Grubstreet, Eater and SeriousEats.
Casella frequents both the James Beard House and De Gustibus as a featured visiting guest chef. In 2015, Casella served as a Board Member of the Friends of the USA Pavilion and represented the United States at the EXPO Milano 2015. 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 dedicated to promoting Italian cuisine.