Cesare Casella, chef and partner at Salumeria Rosi on Manhattan's Upper West Side, comes from a restaurant family near Lucca, Tuscany. After culinary school he returned there, and soon the restaurant earned a Michelin star.
But L'America beckoned, and Casella landed in New York in the early '90s, cooking for Pino Luongo, who helped broaden the mania for Italian, and especially Central Italian, food here. Casella struck out on his own, and now runs his third restaurant. In addition, he sells dried heirloom beans and imported salumi, and raises the vaunted breed of Chianina cattle in upstate New York.