Born and raised in the gastronomy-driven region of Southern Italy to a long family line of chefs and hoteliers, it seems that Mermolia was always destined for culinary success. However, this career path wasn’t the original plan for the young celebrity chef. As a teenager, Mermolia was discovered as a promising young basketball player and drafted to play in Italy’s...Read More
Born and raised in the gastronomy-driven region of Southern Italy to a long family line of chefs and hoteliers, it seems that Mermolia was always destined for culinary success. However, this career path wasn’t the original plan for the young celebrity chef. As a teenager, Mermolia was discovered as a promising young basketball player and drafted to play in Italy’s national league. It was during this time that Mermolia also worked at Hotel Villa Calliope, his family’s historic boutique hotel dating from the 19th century. Initially working as a restaurant server, Mermolia’s curious nature eventually led him to the kitchen where a new passion was discovered and his true calling revealed.
After two years leading Hotel Villa Calliope’s well-loved restaurant, Mermolia embarked on a mission to learn from the best restaurants in Italy. His journey would later take Mermolia to Sicily to apprentice with Pietro D’Agostino, considered one of the most influential chefs in the country. Mermolia says this experience “completely opened my mind to the great possibilities of a restaurant.”
In 2012, a chance meeting with New York City restaurateurs would spark a move to Manhattan. Chef Mermolia soon found great success at Il Punto restaurant, receiving critical acclaim from the Wall Street Journal and top restaurant critics including John Mariani, who wrote that Mermolia’s menu “shows how endlessly creative a man of his talents can be.” Two years later, a new opportunity to open the restaurant Mulino a Vino with award-winning chef Davide Scabin appealed to Mermolia’s drive to continually challenge himself and his cuisine. In 2015, the desire to return to his Southern Italian roots would inspire Mermolia to join a new restaurant, Capatosta, its name alluding to someone with the character and willpower to take the road less travelled.
Today, he brings his experience and expertise to Four Seasons Hotel The Surf Club as Executive Chef at Lido Restaurant, a new dining experience featuring simple and genuine Mediterranean cuisine. Lido’s menu celebrates its home as the best oceanfront dining experience in the Miami Beaches. Showcasing sea-centric, organic and sustainable ingredients meticulously selected from exceptional artisans both near and far, the focus is on mastering simplicity. “The marvel of Lido’s food is the art behind the scenes,” says Chef Mermolia. “I seek to make every dish understandable, where my attention is on sourcing the world’s best ingredients and then treating each one with just what is needed to reveal its essence.” The inspiration is rooted in chef’s Southern Italian culture, where exceptional ingredients, mostly fish and vegetables, are respected and cooked to perfection without too much manipulation. “Even if you’ve tried pasta pomodoro everywhere, many times in your life, I love the challenge to get you to feel that this one is as close as one can get to your favourite childhood memory.”Read Less