Meet Raffaele Ronca, Executive Chef and owner of Ristorante Rafele the newest restaurant on our Original Greenwich Village Tour!
WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Born and raised in Naples, the food capital of Italy, food has always been an integral part of Raffaele’s life. He comes from a long line of fishermen and butchers, a background which he credits with his ability to artistically de-bone a chicken.
Immigrating to New York 20 years ago, before NYC restaurants were ‘authentically Italian’ instead of ‘American Italian,’ Raffaele missed the foods from his homeland. So Raffaeli picked up the phone to call home and got some cooking advice and began to cook at home. Without stepping inside a formal cooking classroom, Raffaele learned to cook. Day in and day out Raffaele would call home to his Mom, his Grandmother, his Aunts and Uncles and work through those old Italian recipes. He would cook – so he could eat. Raffaele was like most immigrants, his talents were born out of necessity.
This video is of Raffaele sharing childhood memories of his mother cooking meatballs on Sundays. The meatballs on the menu are inspired by his mother’s meatballs.