Our Executive Chef
Chef Michael Colletti began his culinary journey at a young age growing up watching his grandparents and father, who migrated from Sicily, preparing the family recipes with home grown ingredients such as figs, cardoons and persimmons. This early influence and curiosity led him into the family business — where it all started with dough — when he studied bagel-making at his father’s side and then learned the ropes at his cousins’ pizzeria, Villa Borghese. The discovery of his natural palate and affinity for cooking led him to attend the Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park, NJ. Degree in hand, he soon worked alongside iconic New York chefs Sirio Maccioni of the world renowned Le Cirque, as well as Drew Nieporent and Michael Bao at Mai House.
During Chef Colletti’s tenure as Chef de Cuisine at Mai House, the restaurant was awarded two stars by Frank Bruni of The New York Times, and named among the Top 10 Best Restaurants in New York City by The New York Times. He spent more than two years at Mai House; during that time Chef Colletti traveled throughout Vietnam for several months to study the local food and culture, and was chosen to guest chef at the 5-Star Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After five years in New York, he decided to join friend and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn in Washington D.C. at the Sunnyside Group. There he would play a vital role in the conceptualization of Chef Mendelsohn’s restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery, located in Capitol Hill. With the national success of Good Stuff Eatery, Chef Colletti was invited to participate in Food Network’s 2009 Food & Wine Festival “Rachel Ray Burger Bash”, in both Miami and New York, where he earned back-to-back victories for his creation of the “Colletti Smokehouse Burger”. Food Network then invited Chef Mendelsohn and Chef Colletti to compete in an episode of Iron Chef America, where they would “Battle Prosciutto” versus world famous Chef Michael Symon in an episode that aired in March 2010.
Chef Colletti was then given responsibility for opening and overseeing operations at the second Spike Mendelsohn venture, We, The Pizza, also in Capitol Hill. We, the Pizza became an instant sensation, and within three months of opening was voted one of the “Top 50 Best Pizzerias in America” by USA TODAY.