MARIO CARBONE, CO-OWNER
Growing up in Queens, New York, Mario Carbone was steeped in two Italian culinary traditions: the northern elegance preserved by his maternal grandparents and the Sicilian abbondanza that defined his father’s side of the family. His future path was always clear. He worked at local eateries in his spare time, gaining a love for the rhythms...
MARIO CARBONE, CO-OWNER
Growing up in Queens, New York, Mario Carbone was steeped in two Italian culinary traditions: the northern elegance preserved by his maternal grandparents and the Sicilian abbondanza that defined his father’s side of the family. His future path was always clear. He worked at local eateries in his spare time, gaining a love for the rhythms of the professional kitchen, and he earned a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, Mario honed his skills at several formidable establishments: the New York City trailblazers Babbo and Lupa; La Dogana, a family-run restaurant in Tuscany; wd-50, from modern master Wylie Dufresne; and Café Boulud, Daniel Boulud’s temple to classic French cuisine.
It was at Café Boulud that Mario reconnected with an old pal from culinary school, Rich Torrisi, planting the seed for the idea the two would make real five years later, in 2009: Torrisi Italian Specialties. Built with a modest investment from friends and family, that small Little Italy restaurant turned into the talk of the town. When one enthusiastic regular, Jeff Zalaznick, became a partner, Major Food Group was born. In the years since, MFG has become a powerhouse with 27 highly acclaimed restaurants spanning the globe. These
include Mario’s namesake concept, Carbone, which redefined the midcentury Italian restaurant for a new era. The partnership between the three friends is highly collaborative, but over the years Mario has developed a special interest in creative direction—curating music and wardrobe, selecting china and glassware, and overseeing graphic design—which helps to maintain Major Food Group’s reputation for providing a thrilling, entirely unparalleled dining experience.
ABOUT MAJOR FOOD GROUP
Major Food Group (MFG) is a New York-based restaurant company founded by Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick, and Rich Torrisi. In less than a decade, MFG has gone from a small Little Italy restaurant to one of the most acclaimed hospitality groups in the world: They have pioneered a celebratory style of dining at such iconic restaurants as CARBONE and THE GRILL, developed dynamic new concepts across genres, and maintained a reputation for uncommon consistency. Beyond building celebrated restaurants, MFG is proud of its support of various social causes and its lasting partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, one of New York City’s most important forces in the fight against poverty.
To date, MFG has been awarded a total of 19 stars from The New York Times and three from the Michelin Guide, as well as numerous distinctions from the James Beard Foundation and other noted organizations. MFG’s 27 businesses are located in New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, and Tel Aviv. The concepts include: CARBONE, Sadelle’s, THE GRILL, ZZ’s Clam Bar, Dirty French, Parm, and The Lobster Club.Read Less