Josh Laurano grew up in a food family. Known as the knish queen of West Virginia, Laurano's mother owned and operated a local organic bakery. His father, a vegetarian restaurant in New Jersey. After graduating from school, Laurano did a brief stint at a fine art gallery where he realized that his true passion was cooking. Laurano was hired as a line cook at Lupa over a decade ago. When Mario Batali opened Del Posto in 2007, Laurano followed and was soon promoted to sous chef. After three and a half years as sous chef at B&B's flagship Greenwich Village restaurant, Babbo, Laurano took the helm of Tarry Market in Port Chester as Executive Chef. In April 2014, Laurano rejoined Lupa as Executive Chef. Laurano, his wife, Alessandra, and son, Raphael, live in Lower Manhattan. On days off, he enjoys the bounty of Long Island's North Fork as well as Sunday dinners with his wife's Sicilian family in Staten Island.
A Seattle-bred, New York-based restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality, Mario Batali is known for his signature style—brazen meets sophisticated, forward meets enduring. He was named Man of the Year in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002, he won the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: New York City award and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario Outstanding Chef of the Year. Mario is also one of the recipients of the 2001 D'Artagnan Cervena Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, a prestigious lifetime achievement award. Most recently, he and Joe Bastianich were awarded the 2008 James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife Susan Cahn of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons.
Beginning with almost Dickensian roots, working in his parents Italian restaurant in Queens, washing dishes, cleaning the sidewalk, and touring the jungle-like meat markets of the Bronx, Joe Bastianich's life charts a culinary adventure that ends with this nice Italian boy becoming one of America's premier restaurateurs - as well as a noted author, reality television personality, and eventually, a triathlete. After studying finance and spending a year on Wall Street, Joe bought a one-way ticket to Italy and explored the country's small corners, keeping food and wine a top priority. He came back to New York and opened Becco with his mother, Lidia Bastianich, and then partnered with Mario Batali to open Babbo, which garnered three coveted stars from The New York Times and the prestigious Best New Restaurant in America award from the James Beard Foundation-indeed, the prophetic beginning of their thriving collection of restaurants. In 2005 he was recognized as an Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional by both the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit, and in 2008 both he and Mario were awarded the 2008 James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award. He has co-authored two award winning books on Italian wine, and in its first week of release in May of 2012, Joe's highly anticipated memoir, Restaurant Man, became a New York Times Best Seller. In 2010, Joe, Lidia, and Mario teamed up with Italian retail pioneer Oscar Farinetti to bring Eataly, the world's largest Italian artisanal marketplace, to New York. Joe is a judge on FOX's reality TV hit MasterChef, and MasterChef Jr. as well as Sky's MasterChef Italia. Joe feels fortunate to be working within "the vernacular of the Italian table."