Most people are lucky if they can find their one true passion in life. Chef Andrew Riccatelli is one of the exceptions – he found two. His love for cooking started with his Hungarian grandmother and his memories of cooking alongside her as a child. This appreciation was then perpetuated by the big gatherings of his mother’s Puerto Rican family and his father’s Hungarian family (which of course, resulted in massive amounts of food!) As he grew up, his musical talents grew with him, and ended up contributing heavily to who he is today.

From the ages of 17-25, Chef Riccatelli was dividing his time between touring and exploring his skills in the kitchen. He’s a drummer who played in hardcore bands such as Brooklyn’s GRAIL, and it’s very clear that his love for hard – hitting music and his execution of edgy dishes are very much aligned. He eventually reached a point where he had to decide which of these two gifts he would pursue. Like any musician, he misses the rush of performing for venues packed with fans, but the kitchen was his calling, and his career path definitely shows it. 

He started his journey at Stage Left, which was rated one of the best restaurants in the Garden State in the Annual Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll. He then took his talents over the bridge to NYC, where he worked under Bobby Flay at Bar Americain. Following that, he spent a year in Asheville, North Carolina working under James Beard nominated chef Katie Button at Curate, and then returned to NYC to work alongside both the Buddakan and Spice Market teams. He is also credited with transforming wine bar, Terrior, into a restaurant that is well known for its locally-sourced food. After all of these accomplishments, Chef Riccatelli went on to win the Chopped “Something Dumpling” episode, and even added a dumpling tattoo to his already diverse collection to commemorate his victory. His most recent venture was as executive chef at NYC’s bagatelle, a meatpacking district staple.

Chef Riccatelli is also in the midst of creating a team of likeminded individuals. His South Asian culinary influence helps him create dishes with a multifaceted flavor pallet, and of course, a little bit of heat. His fearless approach to culinary exploration, ability to never miss a beat, and love for creativity fit right in with Ventanas- a one of a kind fine dining experience with a bit of edge and the perfect amount of artistic flair. 

His personality truly reflects in his cooking style- bold with a kick, and VENTANAS is excited to welcome Chef Riccatelli to the family as their newest Executive Chef.