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 Cencacolo (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 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.
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 lead 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.
Wine Director & Sommelier
Born and raised in Palermo, Sicily, Angelo spent his summers as a young hospitalian working in top restaurants in Rome, Milan, London, and Spain. His passion for wine, however, was realized when he moved to the U.S. While honing his dining room experience in New York City’s restaurants. After being offered a taste of Giacomo Conterno “Monfortino” Barolo Riserva 2008, a wine which is only made in exceptional years, Angelo had a revelation and shifted his focus toward wine.
He graduated from The International Culinary Center in NYC, (Formerly The French Culinary Institute), and is a Second Level Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is currently pursuing his Advanced Sommelier Certificate with hopes to someday take the Master. Angelo has developed a unique wine program for Cicala, primarily focusing on boutique organic and biodynamic Southern Italian wines, but has also included the most important appellations from around the world which pair best with Southern Italian cuisine.
Michael has had a life-long love affair with food. Of Calabrese-Sicilian descent, he was inspired by his mother and grandmother's Italian home cooking , and later opened his own restaurant in New Jersey, Arugula. In 2013, Michael made the decision to step out of the kitchen and turn his focus toward restaurant management. He has since led front of house teams at Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga's restaurants, Sbraga and Fat Ham, and at Scott Conant's Scarpetta in the Rittenhouse Hotel. Michael grew up in South Jersey, (but was proudly born in South Philadelphia), is a true family man, loves all things history and bourbon, and is a "Philly Sports 4 for 4" , (Phillies, Flyers, '76ers, Eagles). Guests of Cicala are always in good hands with Michael.