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Michael Pirolo


Born in Queens, New York, but raised in Avellino, Italy, Pirolo comes from a fiercely passionate 

food family. So much, in fact, that at the age of 21 he enrolled in culinary school in Torino, Italy; 

a formal education that led to apprenticeships at Michelin-starred establishments such as La 

Voglia Matta in Bologna and Café Groppi in Piemonte. After finishing his degree, he relocated to 

New York and changed tracks, immersing himself in French cuisine before relocating to 

Philadelphia to take the role of sous chef at Alfred Portale’s Striped Bass. 

During Pirolo’s time at Gilt, the restaurant earned two Michelin stars. Following his love of Italian 

cuisine and striking up a professional bond with celeb chef/restauranteur Scott Conant, Pirolo 

joined Conant’s Scarpetta restaurant in New York, then relocated to Miami to take the helm as 

chef de cuisine of Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. There, Pirolo made a name for 

himself and rose through the media ranks as a rising star in Miami’s culinary community, an 

earnest, hard-working, careerist “chef’s chef.” A rare 4-star review from Miami Herald food critic 

Victoria Pesce Elliot helped elevate his profile and set the stage for Pirolo to move out on his 


He opened Macchialina with partner Jen Chaefsky on Miami Beach’s Alton Road in 2012. The 

restaurant opened to much acclaim, earning the duo accolades including being ranked among 

the top “South Florida Food 50” by The Miami Herald (February 2015). In 2016, Pirolo was named 

a James-Beard Award semi-finalist for “Best Chef: South.”

More about Michael Pirolo

What is your ultimate comfort food?Rigatoni with Sunday Sauce. Sunday sauce consist of tomato sauce cooked with meatballs, bracciole and pork ribs.If you weren't a chef, what would you be?Starting point guard for the Miami HeatWhat three things are always in your pantry?Anchovies, garlic and capersIf you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?The guy who invented rice a roni, have you tried that stuff? The San Francisco treat? It's delicious!