Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Raffaele Ronca comes from a family
of butchers and fishermen and has had a passion for food all his life.
With his family also in the restaurant business, food and cooking was
not only an integral part of his Italian culture, it is in his blood.
Working in his Uncle's restaurant in Naples and helping his Mother
make fresh pasta daily, Raffaele developed a lifelong passion for
food. Immigrating to America at the age of 21, he worked steadily at
some of New York's most authentic Italian restaurants including as
Executive Chef at Palma, Chef du Cuisine at Bellavitae, and Manager of
Food and Wine at Café Torino.
A few years ago, Raffaele and Romeo Palmisano, an old friend from
Naples, began discussing opening their own restaurant that would
feature their beloved Naples' cuisine. Working together perfecting
each detail which includes weekly fresh floral accents by premier floral designer, Roberta Bendavid (Danny Meyer Restaurants) - they created Ristorante Rafele.
At Rafele, Romeo and Raffaele believe in L'appetito viene
mangiando—that's Italian for "Food that makes you want more!”
* Chef Raffaele Ronca has appeared on The Food Network's "Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade" where he shared a recipe for one of his signature cocktails.
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