Executive Chef/Culinary Director - Fascino
Grand Tasting, Saturday March 29, 2014
At the age of 34, Ryan DePersio has spent nearly half his life making his mark on the food world.
After his 1997 graduation from the NY Restaurant School, he spent time in the kitchens of Bouley Bakery and JUdson Grill (both NYC); the one-Michelin star La Brasserie (Paris); the two-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri (Florence); and two years with Jean Georges Enterprises.
In early 2003 after returning from Italy, Ryan, his mother Cynthia (a pastry chef and former recipe developer), brother Anthony (a former Wall Streeter), and father, Anthony, began serious discussions about opening a high-quality restaurant in their home state of New Jersey. On July 1, 2003, the family opened Fascino with Ryan and Cynthia in the kitchen, and brother Anthony as GM. Fascino's creative, New Italian cuisine was an immediate hit, acheiving an "Excellent" rating from The New York Times (one of only two that year) and no less than three stars from The Star-Ledger, Crain's NY Business, and other important food press.
In January 2010, the DePersio family opened Bar Cara (Cara stands for -- what else? Cynthia, Anthony, Ryan, Anthony!), an Italian restaurant and bar with modern décor, a more casual feel, and "traditional cuisine with a DePersio twist." Bar Cara was rated Best New Restaurant and Best Bang for your Buck.
Ryan's latest project is the launch of NICO Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, which opened in late February 2012. His concept there is "Italian Without Borders" -- contemporary tastes, market driven ingredients, shared plates, high energy. NICO, incidentally, is Ryan's nickname for his six-year-old son Nicholas.
Ryan DePersio's many television appearances include The Today Show, The Food Network, WCBS-TV with Tony Tantillo, and others.