Richard Capizzi, The Late Pastry and Executive Chef at Lincoln Ristorante, Honored by Star Chef Friends at Tribute Dinner
Chef Richard Capizzi was honored by a star-studded group of his friends and colleagues this past weekend at a tribute dinner and fundraiser at Patina Restaurant Group's Lincoln Ristorante. It was an evening of friendship, artistry and remembrance, as Chefs Thomas Keller, Jonathan Benno, Shea Gallante and Artem Orlovskyy cooked an exquisite dinner in homage to their friend. Pastry Chefs Sebastien Rouxel, Stefanie Morgado, Kara Blitz, Katie Backlund and Scott Cioe prepared desserts inspired by Capizzi's favorite confections. Guests included family, Capizzi's wife Phyllis and two children, a community of friends, chefs and colleagues.
Chef Capizzi's tragic passing this past September left the culinary community stunned and bereft. The vibrant and dynamic Capizzi suffered from glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. Capizzi was a rare expert in all the pastry arts: a gifted baker, confectioner, chocolatier and maker of gelato and sorbetto. Yet it was his teaching, leadership, camaraderie, generosity and grace that made him beloved to those whose paths he crossed.
"Richard was the most talented pastry chef I've worked with," said Jonathan Benno. "He was meticulous, with utmost integrity. I've never seen anybody work harder in my life. He really was Superman in the kitchen."
"Richard was a tremendous talent and tremendous human being who graced our teams at Per Se and Bouchon Bakery. We owe to Richard how we make our Bouchons, how we make our confections, and so much else at the bakery. His legacy is everywhere," said Thomas Keller.
Delaware North's Patina Restaurant Group conceived of the tribute dinner as a fundraiser for Capizzi's family. The evening also launched a scholarship in his honor at his Alma Mater, The Culinary Institute of America.