Fabio Trabocchi is an Italian chef and restaurateur based in Washington, D.C., where his restaurant Fiola earned a Michelin Star. Before opening his own restaurants, Trabocchi ran kitchens in London, Virginia, and New York, winning a James Beard Foundation Award in 2006.

Early years (1974-1997)Edit

Trabocchi was born in 1974 in Osimo, in the Marche region of Italy.[1] He studied at the Istituto Alberghiero Panzine in Senigallia, working as a pastry chef in the summers.[2] He then earned an apprenticeship with Gualtiero Marchesi at his eponymous restaurant in Milan.[2][3]

Trabocchi then worked in Moscow and in the United States at BiCE Ristorante in New York and in Washington, D.C., where he met his wife, Maria.[4] They moved to Maria’s native Spain to open a BiCE restaurant in Marbella and then to London.[3][5]

Floriana, Maestro, and Fiamma (1998-2010)Edit

Trabocchi gaining notoriety at Floriana in Knightsbridge, London,[3] where he won a Carlton London Restaurant Award as Best Young Chef of 1999.[6]

He was recruited back to the United States in 2001 by the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia to open a new restaurant called Maestro.[7] Maestro's menu featured two takes on Italian cuisine: La Tradizione, Trabocchi's version of traditional regional Italian dishes updated with high-quality products; and L'Evoluzione, Trabocchi's very modern interpretation of Italian cooking.[2] In 2002, Trabocchi was recognized as one of America's best new chefs by Food & Wine magazine.[1] In 2005, Trabocchi was named chef of the year by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.[8] He was nominated for several James Beard Awards, finally winning Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, in 2006.[9]

In 2006, he published a cookbook, Cucina of Le Marche.[10]

In 2007, Trabocchi moved to New York City to replace Michael White at Fiamma.[11] While he was the chef, Fiamma earned three stars from New York Times food critic Frank Bruni, and a Michelin star in the 2009 Michelin Guide.[11][12] After a sharp downturn in business following the financial crisis of 2007–2008, Fiamma abruptly closed.[13] Trabocchi was named the Executive Chef at The Four Seasons Restaurant in 2010 but parted ways with the restaurant after a few months.[12]

Trabocchi competed on Iron Chef America in 2009.[14]

Fiola and restaurant group (2011-present)Edit

Trabocchi returned to Washington, D.C. with the opening of Fiola in 2011, in the same space in Penn Quarter where he had been a chef (and met his wife, Maria) at BiCE.[15] Fiola opened to mixed reviews, but soon earned its place among the city's best restaurants.[16] It won Best New Restaurant at the 2012 Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMMY) Awards.[17] Bon Appétit magazine named it one of the 50 best new restaurants in America.[18] In 2014, Fiola won the RAMMY Award for Best Formal Dining Restaurant.[19] In the inaugural Michelin Guide for Washington, D.C., Fiola received one Michelin star.[20]

The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington again honored Trabocchi as the Chef of the Year in 2013.[21] That year, he opened Casa Luca, a more casual restaurant named for his son.[22]

In 2014, Trabocchi opened Fiola Mare, a 7,500 square-foot restaurant focused on Italian seafood, at Washington Harbour on the Georgetown waterfront with views of the Potomac River and the Kennedy Center.[23] Fiola Mare soon became a popular destination for Washington, D.C.'s elite.[24] President Barack Obama and his family dined there in August 2014.[25] In 2015, Fiola Mare won the RAMMY Award for Best New Restaurant.[26] Washingtonian Magazine named Fabio and Maria Trabocchi the 2015 Restaurateurs of the Year.[27]

In 2016, Trabocchi opened Sfoglina, a casual pasta house in the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington, D.C.[28] Another Sfoglina lease was signed in 2018 and will open in Summer 2019 in Rosslyn, Virginia.[29] In 2018, Casa Luca was renovated and re-branded as a branch of Sfoglina.[30]

In 2017, Trabocchi opened Del Mar, a fine dining restaurant focused on Spanish coastal cuisine, at The Wharf, a new development on Washington's Southwest Waterfront.[31] The 240-seat restaurant features a bi-level nautical-themed space with an open kitchen, towering ceilings, large windows overlooking the water and hand-painted forest green tiled walls.[32] Early reviews have been positive, with the Washington Post's Tom Sietsema placing Del Mar #1 on his list of top ten restaurants for 2018.[33]

Trabocchi opened Fiola Miami in November 2018 to strong reviews.[34] In 2019, Trabocchi opened Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia in the JW Marriott Hotel in Venice, Italy.[35]



  1. ^ a b Abdelnour, Salma (July 1, 2002). "America's Best New Chefs 2002". Food & Wine Magazine.
  2. ^ a b c Weinraub, Judith (May 5, 2004). "Fabio Trabocchi Has His Own Way of Looking at Italian Food". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ a b c "Floriana". London Evening Standard. 6 October 1998.
  4. ^ Ramanathan, Lavanya (March 23, 2015). "He's the celebrity chef, but she's running the show". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ "Power Couples Behind Today's Hottest Restaurants". Forbes Travel Guide. June 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Sekules, Kate (May 1, 2001). "Postcards from the Edge: New Maestro in Town". Food & Wine Magazine.
  7. ^ "Maestro creates dishes that are a feast for the eye". The Washington Times. August 23, 2001.
  8. ^ Havemann, Judith M. (June 8, 2005). "Maestro Wins Two Rammys". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ Nicholls, Walter (May 10, 2006). "James Beard Award for Chef Trabocchi". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ Benwick, Bonnie S. (October 18, 2006). "Sometimes Daunting, But Always Instructive". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ a b Bruni, Frank (November 28, 2007). "Rewritten, in a Language of Its Own". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b Spartos, Carla (January 24, 2010). "One toque over the line". New York Post.
  13. ^ Bruni, Frank (January 14, 2009). "Fabio Trabocchi on Fiamma's Closing". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "Iron Chef America: Symon vs. Trabocchi". Food Network. February 15, 2009.
  15. ^ Sietsema, Tom (October 12, 2010). "Fabio Trabocchi to open Fiola in spring 2011". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ Sietsema, Tom (March 18, 2012). "After some missteps, Fiola finds its footing". The Washington Post Magazine. p. 27.
  17. ^ Voelker, Jessica (June 25, 2012). "Here's the List of Restaurants That Won 2012 RAMMY Awards". Washingtonian Magazine.
  18. ^ Knowlton, Andrew (August 28, 2012). "Top 50 Best New Restaurants of 2012". Bon Appétit.
  19. ^ Spiegel, Anna (June 23, 2014). "2014 RAMMY Award Winners Announced". Washingtonian Magazine.
  20. ^ Sidman, Jessica (October 13, 2016). "12 DC Restaurants Earn Michelin Stars". Washingtonian Magazine.
  21. ^ Voelker, Jessica (June 24, 2013). "Fabio Trabocchi, Ashok Bajaj Take Top Awards at 2013 RAMMYS". Washingtonian Magazine.
  22. ^ Carman, Tim (July 3, 2013). "An early look at Fabio Trabocchi's Casa Luca". The Washington Post.
  23. ^ Nicholls, Walter (April 11, 2014). "Fabio Trabocchi's Fiola Mare". The Georgetowner.
  24. ^ Joynt, Carol Ross (April 2, 2014). "Spotted: Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett Dine at Fiola Mare". Washingtonian Magazine.
  25. ^ Andrews-Dyer, Helena (August 7, 2014). "The Obama family enjoys a night out at Fiola Mare". The Washington Post.
  26. ^ Byrnes, Kelly (June 22, 2015). "Georgetown Gets Its Due: Fiola Mare Named 'New Restaurant of the Year' Among Other Rammys". The Georgetowner.
  27. ^ Spiegel, Anna (January 12, 2015). "2015 Restaurateurs of the Year: Fabio and Maria Trabocchi". Washingtonian Magazine.
  28. ^ Nania, Rachel (November 30, 2016). "Award-winning chef to open DC 'pasta house'". WTOP.
  29. ^ Koma, Alex (May 10, 2018). "Second Location of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurant Sfoglina to Open in Rosslyn". ARLnow.com.
  30. ^ Plumb, by Tierney (Aug 6, 2018). "Casa Luca Downtown Will Become Its Upscale Sister Restaurant Sfoglina". Eater DC.
  31. ^ Spiegel, Anna (October 23, 2017). "Chef Fabio Trabocchi's New Waterfront Spanish Restaurant Is Super Luxe". Washingtonian Magazine.
  32. ^ Vora, Shivani (May 12, 2018). "Can an Italian Chef's Success in D.C. Translate Into Spanish?". The New York Times.
  33. ^ Sietsema, Tom (October 9, 2018). "Del Mar sings a siren song of Spain". The Washington Post.
  34. ^ Fagenson, Zachary (December 11, 2018). "Fiola Is the Third Restaurant With Michelin Bona Fides to Open in Miami This Year". Miami New Times.
  35. ^ Kate Krader; Claire Ballentine (April 19, 2019). "The Croiffle Invades Midtown Manhattan Thanks to the Godiva Cafe". Bloomberg. To the rescue: Michelin-starred Washington restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi, who has just opened Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia. In the 1920s-styled room in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Trabocchi will serve an Italian version of the food that has made Fiola D.C. a favorite

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