Giancarlo Perbellini loves to define himself as an “artisan cook”. Born in 1964 in Bovolone, a quiet town located in the Verona valley, his roots lie in the great Italian rural tradition, where the land and its produce are a fundamental resource. He grew up while cultivating a passion for pastry-making, kept alive by his family, and for cuisine, to which he decided to dedicate his studies and career. His first steps were taken at the restaurant “Marconi” and “12 Apostoli” in Verona, to then take off at “San Domenico” in Imola. The elegant and refined atmosphere at Gianluigi Morini’s grande maison and the French inspiration of Nino Bergese’s cuisine led him to important restaurants outside Italy, placing refinement alongside tradition. From Taillevent to Ambroisie, as well as Terrasse in Juan Les Pins and Chateau d’Esclimont, thanks to his experience at these temples of cuisine, he created a foundation within haute cuisine. In 1989, he opened an eponymous restaurant in Isola Rizza, where he was able to temper the taste of tradition with innovation. In 1996, Perbellini earned his first Michelin star and in 1998 he was named Emerging Chef by the Espresso guide. His second star was awarded in 2002, to which were added three forks from the Gambero Rosso guide in 2005. He has been President of the Italian Commission of the prestigious competition for chefs, the “Bocuse d’Or”, since 2010. In August of 2014, Giancarlo Perbellini reworked a modern take on his family’s passion. Not far from Verona’s Arena, he opened the pastry shop “Dolce Locanda”, where treats inspired by the great Italian and Veronese tradition of sweats are baked daily. One of Giancarlo’s points of reference has been his grandfather Ernesto, to whom the chef dedicated his version of the Pandoro.
Perbellini has also reinterpreted his idea of cooking and this is why he distanced himself from his first restaurant and, in December 2014, opened the concept restaurant “Casa Perbellini”. It is his latest source of pride, where the kitchen and the dining room blend together in the perfect balance of flavors and sensations. In 2015 Casa Perbellini received Three Hats, the score 18/20 and the award as New Proposal of the Year by the Espresso Guide. A month later, Touring Club Italiano ranked the restaurant in the Olimpo della Ristorazione (its top award ) and gave it the recognition for the best Pasta of the Year. Finally, in December of last year, the Michelin Guide 2016 assigned two stars to Casa Perbellini and one star to Dopolavoro.
Starting as a humble dishwasher at a small Italian eatery in her teenage years, and working her way to the front-of-house of legendary restaurant Alinea, Chef Iliana Regan is famous for her delicate dishes focused intensely on the natural bounty of the Midwest region. She opened her restaurant Elizabeth, named for her late sister, in Chicago in 2012 and in the following year she won her first Michelin star. Prior to opening Elizabeth, Chef Regan had built a substantial reputation for herself through her underground restaurant projects where she developed and perfected the dishes that would ultimately become part of her Elizabeth menu. The items on that menu are commonly described as “new-gatherer cuisine,” which is an homage to Chef Regan’s unique focus on gathering and foraging for her ingredients.
Known as the ‘foraging chef’, Regan describes the practice as “an art, involving an acute level of curiosity and patience. It involves immersing oneself in the rawness of nature, embracing the principles of simple living.” In addition to being awarded a Michelin star, Regan was selected as one of Food & Wine's Best Chefs of 2016 and was nominated as a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Great Lakes.