Chris D’Amico was born in Brooklyn to Italian American parents. His first job was as a prep cook and dishwasher at his Uncle’s pizzeria at age 14. After completing community college, without any real direction but a passion for food he was accepted to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he graduated in 1999 with honors. After graduation, jaunts through France and Italy inspired and ignited a passion for European cuisine and upon his return he landed his first job out of culinary school for Waldy Malouf, at Beacon. This led to stints with Franklin Becker at Local, Cucina and Capitale, and eventually at the request of the now renowned Waverly Inn chef John Delucie, Chris opened La Bottega in the Maritime Hotel as Executive Sous Chef in October 2003. In October 2005, after Mr. Delucie’s departure, Chris was named Executive Chef of La Bottega and in Summer 2007 he was asked to open Gemma, a rustic Italian restaurant in the newly opened Bowery Hotel. With a focus on simple, rustic and honest Italian fare, Gemma received a fantastic one-star review from the New York Times critic, Frank Bruni and in just a few short years, Chris’s food and Gemma have become a staple in the bustling New York dining scene.