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Michael GiampetruzziMichael Giampetruzzi from Cafe Trio
Posted: 10/5/2017




If having "chocolate" as a guilty food pleasure [and Mexican food] were the only qualifications for being an Executive Chef, then countless numbers of us would be, just like Michael Giampetruzzi of Cafe Trio.  Fortunately, it takes way more than that, including a passion for food, tireless dedication to turning out "dishes that impress" and "food that makes people want to return to your restaurant again and again, as well as some decent training and learning your craft with years on the line.  Those are the kinds of credentials that Chef Michael brings to his role and he credits all he learned through the Culinary Arts program at Johnson County Community College, especially from Chef Marcelline, who drilled him in technique, as well as lessons he learned from his previous bosses at Trio, Chefs Adam Yoder and Nick Estell.

Aside from formal training Michael cherishes his childhood experiences where he absorbed life lessons about food from his grandparents on both sides of his ethnic heritage. On the farm with his Hungarian grandmother he learned how close the connection is between farm and table as well as the intuitive nature of rustic food preparation, "by feel, from scratch, without recipes" and using ingredients which are close at hand. From his Italian grandparents he discovered anappreciation for handed down recipes shared across generations as well as more formal presentation. Maybe you can see where this is going as he takes more control of the Cafe Trio kitchen team

Cafe Trio

Of course, like most chefs, Chef Michael is a bit of a workaholic, but he balances that with spending time with his daughter, baby Cecila; working on improvements to his new house; and hanging out in the park or bowling.  Michael also tells us that he actually finds the challenges of working with food to create a "wow" guest experience is relaxing when he gets in the "zone of continuous improvement."  He encourages the entire kitchen team to weigh in on menu creation but his culinary philosophy shapes the final results - "minimal ingredients with big flavors."  So he often digs deeply into his roots with accents of Hungarian spice Paprika and and Italian staple, tomato. When we talked Chef was working out the final details of the new Fall-Winter menus for Trio and while he didn't let any "secrets" slip we are pretty certain he will be making excellent use of the flavor profiles and produce of the season - fresh both locally and regionally.

As we wrapped up our chat we gave Chef Michael the last words. And he gave us lots to think about. While confident that most folks are familiar with Trio's impeccable reputation he wanted to remind regulars and new guests that "Trio is mostly local farm-to-table, welcoming to everyone, with top-notch service" and adding that the kitchen can definitely accommodate special requests - vegetarian, gluten-free, or [laughing] just re-experiencing an old favorite - "if we have the ingredients and they can be patient" as special requests can take extra time.

Sounds like our kind of place. And Michael reminded us that now is time to book special event space for the holidays, check out the Thanksgiving special offerings, and plan on Sunday dining mid-november to mid-January.  Look out as well for the dinner specials and, oh yeah, the daily soup specials - that is Chef Michael's favorite creation - creating warm, comforting goodness from what is at hand in Trio's well-stocked larder.    Yep, our kind of place; our kind of Chef!