OUR TEAM

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MARIO SANTORO

Pastry Chef & Artist

Mario Giuseppe Santoro is a talented artist.
Born in Foggia Italy, he discovered a passion for fine arts and interest in music at a young age.  While learning about visual art and making noise with his longtime favorite music instrument: drums, he had the opportunity to learn the art of pastry in the family-owned bakery. Mario worked side by side with his father Pasquale, who was a master pastry artist himself, and he became familiar with the basics of the bakery business. Soon enough he was able to discover the ability to use his talent and create artistic creations using marzipan, fondant and chocolate.
He moved to New York back in 1988 and pursued working in the bakery business, though he continued to be involved in the visual arts and music.

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LUIGI MELCARNE

Founder, Pastry Chef & Master Gelataio

 Luigi is from Lecce in the Apuglia region in Italy.  After opening Bakery & Pastry Shops in Rome, he decided to move in USA.  In 1990, with his partners, they opened the first Cardinali Bakery in Syosset, NY.  In addition to be a great Pastry Chef, Luigi loves to make Gelato and he was one of the firsts to bring it in US and on Long Island.  His work and the success of Cardinali were published in many newspapers as New York Times, NewsDay Long Island.

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CHRISTOPHE TOURY

Master Chocolatier

Christophe Toury was born in Chartres, France where he apprenticed as a pastry chef and his passion took hold.
He began his career at the Ritz, Paris where he spent two years developing and sharpening his skills — before moving to NYC where he worked at the Essex House Hotel as a Pastry sous chef.  He was then invited to join the Four Seasons Resort in Maui as Assistant Pastry Chef Christophe served the Resort for 16 months before returning to New York 
to assume the role Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel. Five years later he became the opening Executive Pastry Chef in the Mandarin Oriental before deciding to hone a new skill set as Production Manager of Food Attitude where he worked for six years. Christophe was then moved by his other passion, chocolate craft, and worked alongside Jacque Torres as chocolatier Executive Pastry chef. Most recently for the last four years Christophe was responsible for the 
development of the unique concept Voila-Chocolat.
In 2001 Christophe was listed as one of Pastry Art & Design magazine’s 10 Best Pastry Chefs in America. He has also been interviewed by New York Magazine and Chocolatier Magazine. In 2015 he was nominated one of Dessert Professional Magazine’s 2015 Top Chocolatier in America.

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FABRIZIO FACCHINI

Chef, Co-Owner & VP

Fabrizio is an Executive Chef and Business Owner in the USA and he was awarded by the Italian American Chamber in New York for his work bringing an Authentic Italian Cuisine to the USA. Fabrizio is part of the Slow Food Chef Alliance in Italy and the USA. He is the Co-Chair of Cooks Alliance Slow Food USA and Cooks Alliance President Slow Food New York State.  He has participated in Denver at Slow Food Nations Festival 2018 where he cooked at the Zero Waste Family Meal with Massimo Bottura and other famous chefs.
Fabrizio is a board member as Adviser of AICNY (Association Italian Chefs Of New York).  He appeared on Food Network and other TV shows. 
Fabrizio is also a Brand Ambassador for Urbani Truffles, Pasta Di Martino and DiSano Pistacchio di Bronte.  Since 2020, Fabrizio is part of Associazione Italiana Ambasciatori Del Gusto.

During the Pandemic crisis Covid-19, Fabrizio founded the non-profit Italians Feed America (www.italiansfeedamerica.org), the organization has for mission to help people in need fighting the hunger, feeding the Frontline Workers and helping restaurant industry & restaurant workers.

The association has provided hundred thousands of meals to Americans and New Yorkers.  Personalities and friends has joined Chef Fabrizio in the board: Rocco Dispirito, Elizabeth Falkner, Michele Mazza, Francesco Panella, Cesare Casella,..