“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry,” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, over more than 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. Expanding a $4,500 venture into a multi-million-dollar business has enabled Selvaggio to realize his vision – to bring the food of Italy, with authenticity and style, to the United States.
Born in Sicily, Piero Selvaggio opened his first restaurant, Valentino, in Santa Monica, when he was only 25. Despite having held numerous jobs in the restaurant trade, he quickly realized that he had a lot to learn. To take Valentino to the next level, Selvaggio looked to the source, traveling back to Italy to learn the secrets of his native cuisine from some of the greatest chefs Italy had to offer. The results of that profound trip helped change the face of Italian cuisine in America.
Selvaggio steadfastly keeps his ties with Italy through food, wine, culture, events, and activities, finding every opportunity to be a chef or a guest at significant Italian events. He is immensely proud of his Sicilian heritage and the development of the island, especially his native area of Modica, rich with Baroque and Arab traditions. The people of the island recognize him as the most famous Sicilian “ristoratore” of the world, as well as a source of inspiration and an esteemed figure of accomplishment.
Piero lives in Malibu with his wife Dr. Anna Skor and daughter Alexandra.