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Mike Isabella      

Celebrity Chef and Owner of Graffiato, "Top Chef All-Stars" Runner-Up

Mike Isabella is the Chef/Owner of Graffiato, which opened in June 2011 in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The 130-seat Italian-inspired spot features small plates, locally cured meats, artisanal pizzas, and pastas with seasonal ingredients influenced by the food Chef Isabella grew up eating in New Jersey prepared by his Italian-American grandmother.

Chef Isabella was named FOOD & WINES The Peoples Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic winner for 2012.

Before opening Graffiato, Chef Isabella was the executive chef of Jos Andrs Zaytinya. During his three-year tenure, Chef Isabella generated accolades and national attention for Washington, D.C.s Mediterranean powerhouse restaurant.

Chef Isabellas formal training began at The Restaurant School in New York, taking classes and cooking his way through some of New York Citys finest establishments. After honing his skills in the Big Apple, he travelled down the coast to Philadelphia, first as a sous chef for James Beard Award winner Douglas Rodriguez at Alma de Cuba, then at a host of other Stephen Starr restaurants. At El Vez, Chef Isabella learned the true craft of Latin cuisine under the direction of Jose Garces, and as Executive Sous Chef of Marcus Samuelssons Washington Square, he educated himself on the strenuous yet exciting task of opening a fine dining establishment.

While Philadelphia proved to be an incredible learning experience and launching ground, Chef Isabella still needed to find his niche. That niche came when he moved to Atlanta and joined Buckhead Life Groups top-notch Greek restaurant, Kyma. As Chef de Cuisine of the seafood-inspired menu, Chef Isabella learned the slight flavors and techniques of Greek cooking and immersed himself in the traditions of one of the oldest cuisines in the world. While traveling through Greece and parts of the Middle East, Chef Isabella learned the nuances of these cuisines. Talking to locals and sifting through the daily markets gave Chef Isabella a chance to truly understand these foods and helped to form a base for his culinary imagination.

Outside the kitchen, Chef Isabella appeared on Season Six of Top Chef, and he was the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars. In September 2012, he published his first cookbook with Da Capo Lifelong Books titled, Mike Isabellas Crazy Good Italian. In 2013, Chef Isabella plans to open the Greek concept, Kapnos, and Italian sandwich shop, G. These will be his third and fourth restaurants in Washington, D.C.


Mike Isabella formally separates from Bandolero

Two-time "Top Chef" contestant Mike Isabella has officially cut ties with Bandolero, the modern Mexican restaurant whose owners have been fighting a legal ...

Kapnos, Mike Isabella's Greek Restaurant, To Open July 5

WASHINGTON -- One of D.C.'s most anticipated restaurants finally has an opening date: Kapnos, the third Washington offering from Chef Mike Isabella ( Graffiato ...

Mike Isabella Plans Kapnos Spinoff in Arlington | Food & Restaurant ...

It has been a busy year for Graffiato chef/restaurateur Mike Isabella, who opened his second restaurant, the northern-Greece-inspired Kapnos, at 14th and W ...

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