Chef Mario Rizzotti
The Italian Culinary Expert, Celebrity Judge Iron Chef America
Mario Rizzotti “The Italian Culinary Expert” lives by one simple motto, “An authentic Italian meal is not the consumption of food, but a celebration of Dolce Vita”. For years now, with his quick wit, natural charm, and deep knowledge of the culinary world, Mario has been guiding Americans to the “festa a tavola.”
Fans and foodies alike know Mario best as the approachable judge on The Food Network’s popular “Iron Chef America” show. His Italian culinary background combined with his familiarity with worldwide cuisines and a gift for expressing just what works and what doesn’t in the most entertaining of ways, makes him a standout.
Mario grew up in Rome, Italy, where his mamma Nives and his brother Massimo, taught and exposed him not only the fine art of cooking, but also the art of experiencing food. From there, his passion for food and cuisine never stopped evolving to this day.
In his early twenties, Mario moved to the United States to learn how Americans use Italian ingredients. After working in the hospitality industry for several years, Mario decided to spend his time educating the country about Italian ingredients, helping them understand what makes them authentic and how they are used in his homeland.
In 2002, Mario joined Academia Barilla as an Italian Culinary Specialist. In this role, Mario traveled throughout the U.S. educating consumers on the differences in olive oils, balsamic vinegars, Italian cheeses and cured meats, and how to distinguish real Italian products from the many other products that are available in our markets.
Most recently, Mario has been featured as the headlining celebrity and demonstration chef on the Bellavita stage at the countries largest industry expo, The National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Illinois. He was granted the title of “Master of Ceremonies” at the famous Chicago Gourmet, for the Italian celebration. Mario, also continues to educate the world through his television appearances, live cooking demonstrations and educational sessions, and by teaming up with local Chefs across the U.S. to host authentic Italian themed dinners on his tour entitled, “All about Italian Food.” People leave Mario’s events with both a better understanding of all things Italian, and a smile on their faces from his
engaging personality that could light up anyone’s day.