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JOE CICALA

Executive Chef | Owner

Chef Joe Cicala grew up in an Italian-American household, where he discovered his love for simple, regional, and authentic Italian cooking by way of his mother and grandmother, in their suburban DC home. He moved to Italy at a young age to start his career as an apprentice under Chef Pietro Rispoli at his renowned restaurant  Al Cenacolo (Salerno, Italy). While living abroad, he honed his skills at some of the world’s top restaurants along the Amalfi and Sorrento coasts.  

 

Stateside, Chef Cicala’s experience includes cooking with James Beard Award-winning Chef Roberto Donna at Galileo, (Washington, DC.), Georgetown’s celebrity hang-out Cafe Milano, and at the Michelin-Starred Del Posto, (New York City), under another James Beard winner, Chef Mark Ladner.  In 2010, Chef Cicala moved to Philadelphia and became the Executive Chef of Le Virtu, where he gained national attention as a multiple James Beard Award Semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the year and  James Beard Award Nominee for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.  He received the Artisan Rising Star Chef award from Star Chefs for his artisanal charcuterie and has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine, Food & Wine, The Washington Post, GQ, Vogue, and many other print and online publications.

 

ANGELA CICALA

Pastry Chef | Owner

Angela learned the craft of making traditional Italian cookies and pastries from her mother and grandmother, which they sold at markets and fairs throughout South Jersey and Philadelphia. Later she worked at her family’s Jersey Shore restaurant, and went on to work under Cape May, NJ premier French pastry chef, Michel Gras. Angela has led the pastry kitchen in some of Philadelphia’s most

acclaimed restaurants such as the Waterworks, Vernick Food and Drink, and Le Virtu.

 

Her work has been celebrated in numerous publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Zagat, Eater Philly, The Washington Post, and National Culinary Magazine. She has spent extensive time living in Italy, working, traveling, and researching food and culture over the past 25 years. She hosts culinary tours to Italy throughout the year via her company Antico Italian Travel.

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MATTHEW ARCOMONE

Chef de Cuisine

Chef Arcomone was attracted to Italian cuisine while connecting with his ancestors.  In order to completely immerse himself in Italian culture, history, and cuisine, he attended the Gultiaro Marchesi culinary school, (ALMA),  in Parma, Italy where he cooked with guest chefs from each region learning modern and classic techniques. He later spent two months staging with Bruno Barberi at Hotel Villa del Quar in Verona, Italy after graduating.  Upon returning to America, Chef Arcomone worked with Italian chefs in the Philadelphia area for 10 years including James Beard Award Winner Chef Jeff Michaud. 

 

Chef Arcomone later moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he helped Chef Vladimir Muhkin of White Rabbit, (Moscow, Russia),  open a Mediterranean seafood concept in the Middle East before returning to Italy.  In search of  Italian inspiration once again,  he returned to Italy and staged at Trattoria da Amerigo a one Michelin star restaurant in Emilia Romagna.  Chef Arcomone has traveled throughout Italy researching the cuisine of Campania and Puglia, then working his way back to Val d' Aosta.  He is passionate about the history of Italian cuisine and feels it is important that the soul of Italian food isn't lost in the modern world. He has a passion for Parmagiano Reggiano, making fresh pasta and salumi, expanding his wine knowledge, and spending time with family.  

 

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KATELYNN WATSON

Service Director

 

Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Systems, Katelynn switched gears from the kitchen and took on a front of house supervisory role at “America’s Resort”, The Greenbrier, located in the mountains of West Virginia.  Katelynn became the Assistant manager and was later promoted to Food and Beverage Manager at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, located in Farmington, PA.  

 

While working at The Greenbrier, Katelynn began studying wine with fellow colleagues and continues her studies through multiple platforms, including Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), GuildSomm, and the Society of Wine Educators. Katelynn has her WSET level 2 award in Wines and Spirits and is currently studying for her level 2 certified exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers.