VUE | Summer 2017

The Digest | New Jersey Magazine

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Page 107 of 131

chef spotlight of BY MICHAEL SCIVOLI W hen you meet Chef Robbie Felice, the first thing you'll notice—other than how young he is—is his high food IQ. The talented young chef opened his first restaurant in Wayne last year, and his vision is putting Passaic County on the New Jersey foodie map in a big way. Felice, who is just 26, has some real experience under his belt and aims to bring 'old country' Italian cooking with a modern twist to diners at Viaggio. Felice's story is one of passion and pure work ethic. But beyond that, the Sussex County-native has spent nearly his entire life around great cooking. Growing up, Felice's earliest memories of food come from the homecooking of his grandmothers, who no doubt still inspire him today. In addition to this, Felice's father, Joe Felice, has been a successful restaurateur his entire life and today, the two are partners at Viaggio. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2011, Felice spent five years cooking across the country and in Europe. Things really started to take off when he began working for Mario Batali, completing an externship at Babbo in Manhattan—where he worked with Chef Frank Langello—and B&B Ristorante in Las Vegas. Felice also spent time working for other notable chefs like the Michelin- starred Sergio Herman in The Netherlands and Ryan DePersio at the widely-known Fascino in Montclair. After all that, the ambitious chef found himself opening his first restaurant at Wedgewood Plaza in Wayne, juxtaposed beside a list of the usual strip mall suspects. But Viaggio you'll find, is anything but ordinary. VUE ON DINING V U E N J . C O M 108

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