Andrew Carmellini believes in delicious food. His cookery is laid back and flavorful, at once rustic and refined. It’s a style that he has developed from his classic training; from his work in some of New York’s best kitchens, from his travels across Europe, Asia and America, and from his firmly planted American roots.
Born and raised in Seven Hills, Ohio Andrew learned about food from his parents who searched out organic products, small growers and old-fashioned artisans long before such things were fashionable. They taught him to love simple, delicious food made well – the best house-made sausages in town, the most flavorful ice cream, the hand-crafted Amish cheeses and right out of the field produce at farmers’ markets.
Andrew graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and by age 20 he was at work on the line at San Domenico, the haute Italian restaurant on Central Park South in Manhattan. There he learned the basics of authentic fine Italian cooking. Then he went to the source: he traveled, studied and cooked in Italy, working on the line under Valentino Mercatile, the highly regarded chef of the Michelin two-star San Domenico in Emilio-Romagna. During this time in Italy, Andrew sunk his hands into the clay of Italian cookery as he had done with heartland American food in his youth: he hunted truffles in Umbria and Piedmonte, studied pasta-making with a respected artisan, and learned everything he could from the wine, cheese and prosciutto makers that he visited.
Back in New York Andrew served as chef de partie at Lespinasse in New York’s St. Regis Hotel. There he returned to his discipline of haute French cuisine, but he also learned to take risks to bring together flavors and culinary traditions from around the world with respect and with elegance, to use uncompromising technique to create flavors and textures at once surprising and delicious. During his time there, Lespinasse earned a four-star review from the New York Times. Three years later, Andrew was sous chef at Le Cirque when that restaurant retained its fourth New York Times star. Andrew also lived for a time in France and England where he spent time in a number of top restaurant kitchens. In addition, he took off on driving trips across the U.S. searching out the best regional American fare from barbeque to root beer.
In 1998, after two years at Le Cirque, Andrew was recruited for the top toque position at the new Café Boulud. In his six years at Café Boulud, Andrew won a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year and was named to Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs roster. In his final month at Café Boulud Andrew won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: New York City award. His earthy but refined fare earned him a dedicated following among serious food lovers. Gael Greene put him on her list of “great chefs” in New York Magazine because as she wrote, “he has the skills, the resume, and the artistry”, in a later article she said he’d been “nominated unanimously as one of the best toques around.”
In Gourmet in 2002, Jonathan Gold wrote, “Andrew Carmellini’s modernist riffs on traditional seasonal bistro cooking, laced with Greenmarket vegetable worship and leavened with an international list of rotating specialties, are the sorts of things you can eat every day.” In 2004, Frank Bruni celebrated this “first-rate” chef’s “comforting, seductive and altogether glorious food” in the New York Times.
At A Voce Andrew’s seasonal Italian cookery is exactly the sort of fare that food lovers want to eat every day. At once stylish and earthy, carefully crafted and intensely flavorful, his food is at once rustic and authentic and refined by uncompromising technique.