Chef Andrew Carmellini has certainly been busy since his days as executive chef for Café Boulud, shaping dynamic and award-winning menus at his restaurant concepts under the NoHo Hospitality Group which include: Locanda Verde; The Dutch in New York and Miami; Lafayette, Bar Primi, Little Park and Evening Bar at the Smythe Hotel; The Public Theater, which includes the celebrated nightclub Joe's Pub and The Library at the Public; Westlight, Leuca, and Mister Dips at the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn; Rye Street Tavern, the Rec Pier Chop House, and The Cannon Room in Baltimore; and multiple Sausage Boss locations in Madison Square Garden in NYC.
His latest project is the partnership with the new Shinola Hotel in Detroit, MI. In January 2019, the NoHo Hospitality Group opened San Morello in the hotel, which serves Southern Italian cuisine, wood-fired dishes, pizza, and house-made pastas. The Brakeman American Beer Hall soon followed and serves a rotation of craft beers and small bites. The latest addition is Penny Red's, a fried chicken spot that serves up buckets of chicken, honey-buttered biscuits, and local farmstand sides.
From a family rich in food traditions, Chef Carmellini’s culinary passion is rooted in his childhood experiences in Seven Hills, OH. His enthusiasm grew in his family’s kitchen garden, and he developed respect for the values of technique and discipline by watching his mother grind wheat for home-baked bread. Carmellini’s grandmother encouraged him further when she gave him a copy of Jacques Pépin’s seminal La Methode.
His passion for cooking led him to study at the CIA. He spent his weekends cooking for former New York Governor Mario Cuomo in Albany. After graduating in 1991, Chef Carmellini began cooking at famed restaurateur Tony May’s San Domenico in New York City. Mr. May, impressed by his new chef’s talent and dedication, arranged for a six-month traveling apprenticeship in Italy. His Italian tour culminated in a stage at San Domenico in Imola under Michelin two-star chef Valentino Mercatelli.
Returning to the United States in 1992, Carmellini worked under Gray Kunz as chef de partie at Lespinasse. While there, he was again given the opportunity to exercise his love of travel. For six months he studied the cuisines of England and France and interned in some of Europe’s top kitchens.
In 2000, Chef Carmellini was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine and won a James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef. He was nominated three times by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef in New York City, winning the prestigious award on 2005. In February 2018, he was named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation, the sixth time in consecutive years Chef Carmellini has received the distinction.
Widely respected by his peers, Carmellini is a cook’s cook. Known in kitchen circles as A.C., Chef Carmellini has the reputation of being an encyclopedia of food. In 2008, he co-authored Urban Italian: True Stories and Simple Recipes from a Life in Food, with his wife, Gwen Hyman. The pair published their second cookbook, American Flavor, in 2011.