Gay, can cook and is totally handsome? Sign me up!
Out Chef Raffaele Ronca is one of the brightest culinary stars in and out of the New York City area. His restaurant, West Village hotspot Rafele, has gotten so popular that he opened a second location upstate in Rye just last year.
Raffaele has built a ton of momentum around his illustrious career so far. He won the popular Food Network competition show Chopped and holds the Guinness Book of World Record for the most expensive cheesecake to ever be made! The cost. A whopping $5,000. Whoa!
The food that Raffaele creates is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s Italian done in the best of ways with dishes that sing to you with each bite you take. He excels in everything from freshly made pizzas to scrumptious appetizers and entrée options that will leave you feeling beyond satisfied the minute you head out of his location.
Items like his Tagliata Di Manzo (Grilled grass-fed New York strip loin, salsa verde, arugula, shaved Grana Padano) Pizza Margherita (Fior di latte mozzarella, house tomato sauce, basil) and yes, his amazing cheesecake (don’t worry, the regular is one normal price but still tastes amazing) shows the kind of level and sophistication he has when it comes to making amazing food.
Becoming a chef wasn’t initially Raffaele’s passion. The Naples-born stud left his country at the age of 19 and headed for New York City in order to be more accepted as a gay man. He quickly found success in his “day gig,” working behind the bar and, ultimately, in the kitchen of NYC’s most popular restaurants which helped get him to where he is today.
He opened Rafele after his Chopped win in the heart of the West Village, which has been a mecca for the LGBTQ community for decades.
Chef Ronca also wholeheartedly believes in giving back to the community and supporting LGBTQ youth. He often donates his time and gifts by appearing at and cooking for various LGBTQ charities, including the Rainbow Railroad, an organization dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries.
He also developed a WorldPride themed cocktail last month, the Espresso Yourself Martini, that tasted absolutely incredible.
I am a firm believer that we should support our gay brethren who are going out there and putting smiles on many faces. Raffaele is doing that with his cooking, his good looks and his personality that beams throughout your dining experience at either location.
If you happen to be in the New York City area this summer and beyond, try Rafele’s out. You won’t be let down.
More on him here.