Andrew Carmellini’s cooking is soulful and flavorful, rustic and refined. It’s a style that reflects his American roots, his work in some of the best kitchens, and his travels across the globe.
Born and raised in Seven Hills, Ohio, Andrew learned from parents who loved simple, delicious food made well. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America he set his sights on Europe and found work in some of its finest restaurants including Valentino Mercatile’s Michelin two-star San Domenico in Emilio-Romagna, Italy.
When Andrew first made his way to New York in 1993, Gray Kunz hired him as a chef de partie at Lespinasse, his legendary four-star French restaurant. Andrew then became a sous chef at Le Cirque when it regained its fourth star from The New York Times. Experiencing some of New York’s very best French brigades brought Andrew back to Europe again in 1996, this time to focus on creating a life for himself in France where he worked at three-Michelin-star L’Arpège in Paris.
When Andrew returned to New York, Daniel Boulud made him Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud. During his six years there, Andrew collected two James Beard Awards, a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef award and a three-star review from The New York Times where Frank Bruni wrote of this ”first-rate chef’s comforting, seductive and altogether glorious food.”
Andrew’s future had been cemented during his tenure at Café Boulud and it gave way to a host of opportunity. In May 2009, he was approached by Robert DeNiro to re-open his restaurant in The Greenwich Hotel as Locanda Verde, which has since been handed two stars by The New York Times, a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant and a nod from New York Magazine as one of the “most influential” restaurants the city has seen since 2006.
In 2011, Carmellini obtained an iconic space in SoHo at the corner of Prince Street and Sullivan Street and created The Dutch, roots-inspired American restaurant and oyster bar reminiscent of old corner taverns, country inns, roadside joints and great dining halls. Sam Sifton of The New York Times called it “A-list in the extreme,” and listed it as number one in his top ten list of the best restaurants to open in 2011. Later that year an encore of The Dutch opened inside Miami’s W South Beach Hotel not too far from where his grandfather once ran the Surf Club back in the 1950’s. It too was applauded as one of the year’s best and awarded three out of four stars by The Miami Herald.
Fall of 2012 brought the rededication of The Public Theater and Andrew’s hand in the expansion of the food and drink programming at Joe’s Pub, one of New York’s most celebrated live music and performance venues, and The Library, a lounge serving classic cocktails and an eclectic, New York-inspired menu.
With the opening of Lafayette in 2013, Andrew adorned another old corner of New York with his French grand café and bakery dedicated to seasonal, bistro-style cooking in a cinematic atmosphere. The New York Observer coined it “The Great Gatsby” of restaurants and it was listed among Travel + Leisure’s best additions to New York for food lovers.
What began as an idea for a small restaurant in the East Village in 2007 has become the focus of Andrew’s restaurant on Bowery, Bar Primi – fresh pasta traditionally prepared and cooked to order. Family recipes are traded with his Brooklyn-born chef-partner Sal Lamboglia for a simple menu of Piccolini, Antipasti, Traditional and Seasonal pastas and home-style desserts.
Andrew’s latest endeavors are Little Park and Evening Bar at the Smyth, both located in Tribeca.
Andrew is also the author of two cookbooks with his wife Gwen Hyman: Urban Italian (Bloomsbury Press, 2008), which climbed to the year’s Top Ten Cookbooks list on Amazon.com, and American Flavor (Ecco: Harper Collins, 2011).