Born: Sept. 14, 1975 in Suffern
Grew up: Suffern
Culinary School: Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park
Experience: Externship at Restaurant Jean-Louis in Greenwich, Conn.; sous chef at Marcello’s in Suffern; sous chef and then chef at Paris Commune in Greenwich Village.
Cooking style: Classical French mixed with rustic Italian. “I believe in fresh stuff — really fresh ingredients, hand-picked things.”
Signature dish: Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Lamb Bolognese Sauce
Why he’s one to watch: DeVanzo worked at Marcello’s in Suffern, and then took over the location of the former Heather’s, so Rockland diners were expecting a lot from him when it came to creative Italian cuisine. Still, he hasn’t gone too overboard: he keeps true to his philosophy of treating ingredients with a light touch. His flavors are true and his cooking is honest. His chianti risotto couldn’t be simpler: red wine, rice, cheese — a shaving of truffle. But each bite brings flavors that warm and comfort.
Future influence? “I like to keep things really simple — taking old recipes and techniques and playing with them a little bit.” He also wants to keep educating customers about food and wine pairings, encouraging them to try wines they might not know or consider the proper combination with what they’re ordering.
Bill Cary contributed. Photo by Tania Savayan/TJN.