Some chefs pair food with wine. Dante Boccuzzi pairs food with rock ‘n' roll. Every career high for this Michelin-star chef comes with a musical counterpart.
During a stint at New York's famed Aureole restaurant, he jammed out at Lollapalooza. At Silks at The Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco, he cooked for Bruce Springsteen. As executive chef at Giorgio Armani's Nobu in Milan he met Eric Clapton.
After 16 years of rocking and chopping around the globe, the Parma, OH, native returned to Cleveland. He opened his signature restaurant, Dante in 2007. And, oh yes, attended a Police reunion concert.
Great food, like great music, depends on a mix of technique and heart, according to Boccuzzi, who's also a rock and blues guitarist and singer.
Boccuzzi's work has earned two James Beard Foundation Rising Star nominations. He credits celebrity chef Charlie Palmer as his main culinary mentor. Palmer hired Boccuzzi after he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and encouraged him to travel abroad for more experience. He did, working in top-notch kitchens in Italy, France, England, China and Taiwan.
At Ginko in Tremont, Boccuzzi flexes some of the sushi skills he learned under Japanese master Nobu Yuki Matsuhisa. At Dante, also in Tremont, guests can go big or small, from a multi-course chef's menu to inexpensive small tastings of pasta or risotto.