Recognized as one of New Jersey’s most talented and respected chefs, executive chef Ryan DePersio brings a wealth of epicurean knowledge and award-winning experience to the kitchens of Fascino, NICO Kitchen + Bar, Battello and The Kitchen Step. Overseeing all culinary aspects of his establishments, DePersio delivers on a promise to provide guests with progressive yet thoughtful dishes featuring market-driven and seasonal ingredients and exceptional service.
Since his debut, DePersio has made an indelible mark on the New Jersey culinary scene, with his work earning his selection as a semifinalist for Best Mid-Atlantic Chef by the prestigious James Beard Foundation in 2004. Most recently, DePersio was nominated in the Outstanding Chef category for the inaugural Garden State Culinary Arts Awards, the first juried food awards program in the state, which honors outstanding talent in New Jersey’s food industry.
In July 2003, a then 25-year old DePersio opened his family’s new-Italian restaurant – Montclair’s Fascino – where his concept of ‘Italian without borders’ paired flawlessly with the establishment’s impeccable and attentive service. Fascino piqued the attention of the region’s most discerning food critics and reviewers, steadily earning his menu three-star reviews, the highly-coveted and allusive New York Times rating of ‘Excellent’ and mention that he was ‘born to run a restaurant.’
Growing up in Nutley, DePersio’s first and fondest memories of cooking are of the legendary meals prepared by his grandmothers and pastry chef mother Cynthia DePersio. It was their influence that ignited Ryan’s passion to pursue a career in the culinary arts and attend New York Restaurant School.
After graduation, DePersio worked at NYC’s famed Bouley Bakery and Judson Grill, where he received the opportunity of a lifetime – to relocate to Paris and work at the one-star Michelin rated La Braserie. It was there where DePersio advanced his craft and appreciation for creating food that electrified one’s palate just as much as ones senses matured.
Immediately upon his return to the United States, DePersio’s reputation as a talented and disciplined chef piqued the interest of master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, for whom he worked at Vong and then at Vongerichten’s self-titled four-star restaurant, Jean-Georges. After two years, opportunity in Europe once again beckoned and DePersio relocated to Florence to work at the two-star Enoteca Pinchiorri.
In addition to his work at Battello, Fascino, NICO Kitchen + Bar and The Kitchen Step, chef DePersio regularly appears in media, having served as a guest on NBC’s Today Show, the Food Network, Tony Tantilo’s CBS morning segment and in in the New York Post’s ‘Just Add Fire’ digital series.