Michele Casadei Massari, CEO, Founder, Executive Chef, Lucciola
Michele Massari, an esteemed chef and entrepreneur, currently holds the roles of CEO, Founder, and Executive Chef at Lucciola, a gem of a restaurant located in the heart of New York City. Born in 1975 in Riccione and nurtured in the rich cultural landscape of Bologna, Michele's passion for Italy's multifaceted heritage, from its enticing cuisine to its vibrant art and literature, is palpable.
Relocating to New York City in 2009, Michele, together with his trusted business partner Alberto Ghezzi, established Lucciola. They created a charming 18-seat restaurant where Michele showcases his culinary expertise and unswerving dedication to high standards through an ambitious chef’s selection tasting menu, skillfully paired with wines chosen from an award-winning list, which recently received the “Due Bicchieri” distinction from Wine Spectator.
This commitment to excellence was recognized when Lucciola was honored with the title of Best Restaurant in New York by the New York Restaurant Association, a testament to its outstanding quality and the exceptional dining experience it offers.
Michele, an alumnus of the prestigious Università di Bologna, has seamlessly integrated his diverse skill set and academic background in medicine into his culinary pursuits, positioning him as one of the world's most respected Executive Chefs and culinary consultants. His collaborations extend to renowned brands like Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano and Pastificio Felicetti, serving as chef and brand ambassador for the US market.
Aside from his hands-on roles in the kitchen, Michele serves as the Executive Chef of the BiograFilm Food Academy based in Bologna. He also contributes his expertise as an Advisor & Partner at I Wonder Pictures, a film production and distribution company known for award-winning movies such as the Oscar winner "Everything Everywhere All At Once" and "The Whale."
His culinary philosophy is unmistakably Italian, favoring a minimalist approach that underscores the quality of ingredients over complicated cooking techniques. Beyond the kitchen, Michele is a regular contributor to RAI Italia, Il Sole 24 Ore (the Financial Times of Italy), and often lends his voice to national Italian radio broadcasts such as Radio 2. Beyond his culinary exploits, Michele taps into his artistic side as a conceptual photographer and T-shirt designer.