RICHARD CAPIZZI | Pastry ChefPastry Chef Richard Capizzi has derived his cooking philosophy and enhanced his skills from the time he spent in and out of the kitchen with some of the world’s most renowned chefs, from Thomas Keller to Jean Louis Palladin and Pascal Brunstein.
Assisting, and tasting the pastries of his Sicilian and Neapolitan family led him to take a job at a local bakery. His ever-growing passion prompted him to attend The Culinary Institute Of America in Hyde Park, NY. While studying, he conducted a stage at Le Cirque in New York City with Pastry Chef Jacques Torres and later became a Pastry Cook Extern and then Pastry Assistant at Chef Jean Louis Palladin's Napa Restaurant at The Rio Hotel, Las Vegas. After graduation Richard remained in Hyde Park for a continuing education program on Artisan Breads and Viennoiserie.
Capizzi later relocated to France to begin an apprenticeship at The Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo. The following year, he worked at The Royaume du Chocolat in Lyon, honing his skills in chocolate work, gelatos and sorbets.
Richard returned to the U.S. in 2001 and worked at The Russian Tea Room as a Pastry Assistant under Pastry Chef Andrew Shotts. A year later he moved on to Mondrian Pastry as Sous Chef under Michelle William, and finally to The Chocolate Loft/Garrison Confections as Assistant Chocolatier.
Capizzi, working closely with Pastry Chef Sebastien Rouxel, was named the Pastry Sous Chef for the opening of Per Se and was promoted to Pastry Chef of Per Se and Bouchon Bakery two years later. At this post Capizzi worked closely with the Head Baker on a specialty breads and pastries program for Bouchon Bakery, Per Se, and other wholesale accounts.
At Lincoln Ristorante, Capizzi will turn out the most authentic and refined Italian desserts using modern methods and the finest ingredients. Capizzi will also be at the helm of the bread service, which will be comprised of four types of bread and taralli as a bar snack.
Capizzi won the title of Pastry Chef of the Year, as well as gold medals for "Most Artistic Plated Dessert," The Vatel Club's "Technical Prize" and the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique's Award for Exceptional Taste at the 14th Annual US Pastry Competition in New York in 2003. He was the youngest and the first pastry chef ever to sweep the entire competition. While at Per Se, Capizzi was honored by Dessert Professional, as one of the top 10 best pastry chefs in 2009.