With wife Giselle and Ferran Adrià

With wife Giselle and Ferran Adrià

Teaching the young ones

Teaching the young ones

About Roberto Deiaco

Roberto Deiaco opened his first restaurant, East 12th Osteria, in March 2013. One year later, the restaurant was hailed by The Financial Times as one of the 5 Best Italian Restaurants in New York. In 2017, he returned to Midtown to open AVENA on East 57th, which drew the city’s top foodies and wine aficionados.

In January 2019 he and his wife, Giselle, opened AVENA Downtown. They took over the iconic location of the former Da Silvano in Greenwich Village, and after one year of gut renovation, unveiled their personally designed restaurant with a menu that showcases Chef Deiaco’s modern interpretation of classic Italian dishes.

Chef Deiaco hails from the Dolomites in Northern Italy. Like most classically-trained European chefs, he started his training as a kitchen apprentice at the age of 14. For his formal culinary education, he attended the Istituto Alberghiero di Bressanone, under the tutelage of the late Andreas Helrigl, the most celebrated Italian chef of his generation. Chef Deiaco also studied with pastry master Ewald Notter in Lucerne, Switzerland.

After completing the required one-year military service, for which he trained as a parachutist in the Italian Air Force, Chef Deiaco embarked on his first overseas assignment, a stagiaire at The Oriental, the 5-star Mandarin Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. After a year in Asia, he returned to work in Italy, and then on to other assignments at luxury resorts in Kitzbühel, Austria. He became an executive chef when he was 26. In 1996, he was offered to work at Palio, the highly acclaimed Italian restaurant in New York. After two years at Palio, he ventured West to open the F & B facilities at the newly relaunched Mondrian Hotel  in Los Angeles

In 1999, Chef Deiaco returned to New York to work at the Rainbow Room, which was managed by the Cipriani family of Venice. To his new position he brought a wealth of culinary experience — his Italian French and Austrian background and training, which served him well in a very international venue like the Rainbow Room.  

In 2008 he became the Executive Chef at Armani/Ristorante 5th Avenue, one of the three meticulously built Giorgio Armani restaurants (the other two are in Milan and Tokyo). He held his position there for 4 years. 

Traveling around the world has exposed him to various cuisines, from Latin American to Asian. He lived in Hong Kong and China for several months, and in Japan, he was tutored by a master sushi chef. 

From his 20 years in New York, Chef Deiaco  was able to hone his executive management abilities working in a variety of venues — from fine dining at Palio restaurant to catering big banquets of 3,500 covers at the Rainbow Room.  He has also been a guest lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America.

Chef Deiaco’s latest venture is winemaking. He and his wife, a former journalist and wine educator, have made five vintages of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon: an Estate Oakville and Stag's Leap AVA.

The Deiacos contribute their time and resources to March of Dimes, Women’s Campaign Forum, StreetWise Partners, City Harvest, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Hunter College Elementary School, and Get the Kids Cooking.

In December 2010, he was the featured chef at the White Truffle Dinner at James Beard House, the most sold-out dinner (within minutes of announcement) in the history of James Beard events.

The latest on Chef Deiaco: