Gabe Thompson, Executive Chef
Chef Gabe Thompson, a Texas born native, is the responsible for the cravable Italian food found here, as well as at L’Artusi, dell’anima, and Anfora. Returning to the United States after several travels, he began his career cooking at the five diamond awarded Little Nell in Aspen Colorado and then at Clarklewis in Portland. Gabe ultimately returned to Austin, Texas, accepting a Sous Chef position with mentor Chris Lanier at Emilia’s. Three years later, Mr. Thompson moved to NYC to accept the ultimate personal challenge, a position at Eric Ripert’s NY Times 4-Star seafood temple, Le Bernardin, where he learned all he could about fine dining in New York City. From there he went to cook at Del Posto, exploring refined Italian cuisine with same sort of devotion he showed throughout his years in kitchens around the world. When West Village darling dell’anima opened in October 2007, Thompson took the reigns as executive chef for the first time. Here, on a much more intimate scale, he took a lifetime of lessons in the kitchen – from selecting vegetables in his grandfather’s garden to making bucatini with Mario – and re-imagined them at this contemporary neighborhood Italian restaurant and wine bar. In December 2008, Thompson opened L’Artusi, which features a larger space and kitchen for him to offer a deeper and more expansive menu, and has helped create the same loyal following at L’Artusi that he developed at dell’anima. And at Anfora, a wine bar just two doors down from dell’anima, Thompson offers guests a diverse selection of small snacks to pair with business partner Joe Campanale’s wine selections, furthering his accomplishments in the kitchen. Thompson’s food has been featured in publications like Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Daily Candy, New York Magazine, Bon Appetit, and the New York Times. Thompson was a Food and Wine People’s Best New Chef nominee in 2011 and 2012 and has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show and VH1 Big Morning Buzz.
Joe Campanale, Beverage Director
Joe Campanale is partner and Beverage Director of Epicurean Management’s L’Artusi, dell’anima, Anfora, and L’Apicio. After earning an M.A. in Food Studies from NYU and the Diploma in Wines & Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, Joe became a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently a Master of Wine candidate. A former sommelier at Babbo Ristorante, he has appeared on national television shows including The Today Show, Rachael Ray and Martha. He has been on several 30 Under 30 lists including Forbes, Restaurant Hospitality and Zagat. Joe grew up in Queens, NY, but now lives in the West Village, and is a marathon runner. You can catch Joe every Wednesday at 10am on Heritage Radio Network on his program, “In the Drink” discussing all things beverage related, and find his “Perfect Pairings” on RachaelRayShow.com .
Katherine Thompson, Executive Pastry Chef
Katherine Thompson grew up outside of Washington, DC, where she says she became obsessed with food after receiving Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” at age 12. But it was business, not culinary studies, that she studied at The College of William & Mary in Virginia. After leaving a job in the hi-tech industry in Seattle because she hated it, Thompson returned to her true love, cooking, and in 2004 graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Thompson went to work as a kitchen server at Per Se, but what she really missed was cooking, so she accepted a job as chef at Italian Wine Merchants, where she met Joe Campanale. Thompson worked a couple of other jobs before ending up at dell’anima however, including pastry chef at Del Posto, chef at New York Vintners in TriBeCa, and pastry sous chef at Brasserie 44. She likes the technical and precise production of desserts, but will always remain, as she says, “rustic and homey-tasting.”
August Cardona, Managing Partner
August Cardona began his career in the Finance sector with Zacks Investment Research in Chicago, but realizing an undeniable connection to the hospitality industry and a passion for food and wine, he decided to leave his career in Finance early and return home to Albany, NY to assist his father and two brothers with the expansion of Cardona’s Market, his family’s Italian specialty store that was founded in 1945. After leading a successful re-branding and expansion of the family business, Cardona moved to New York City to pursue a career in wine, first landing at Italian Wine Merchants (“IWM”). He spent four years working closely with IWM founding partner Sergio Esposito, and spearheaded several marketing and business development initiatives at IWM, most notably the build-out of IWM’s Portfolio Management sales approach and the opening of IWM’s first international office in Hong Kong. Cardona opened dell’anima, in October of 2007 with partners Joe Campanale and Gabe and Katherine Thompson. Following the immediate success of dell’anima, the team decided to open their second restaurant, L’Artusi, in December of 2008. It was shortly after the opening of L’Artusi that Cardona left Italian Wine Merchants to focus solely on the development of his own company with a focus on the Food, Beverage & Hospitality industry. With the formation of Epicurean Capital and Epicurean Management Company (“EMCo.”), Cardona was able to solidify both a flexible pool of dedicated capital for new business initiatives and the foundation of an experienced management team to successfully operate and brand existing and future businesses including Anfora and L’Apicio. Cardona holds a B.S. in Business Management from Cornell University, with a concentration in Food Marketing. Cardona sits on the board of Wellness In The Schools, and is actively committed to an initiative to develop a curriculum focused on expanding the perspective of the world’s children, not the least of which are his own two daughters.