Chef Gabriel PellegriniMay 24th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: guest bio, the show
Chef Gabriel Pellegrini, Executive Chef and owner of Sagra Trattoria, was destined to make his living feeding people.
Inspired by his own family, Pellegrini remembers family dinners that were truly family affairs, lasting sometimes up to six hours, and he wanted to bring that sense of togetherness to Austin.
As an avid family man, at Sagra Pellegrini has handcrafted many things with love from the mozzarella to the pizza crust to even the restaurant’s floorboards.
Pellegrini has been working in the culinary industry for more than 20 years, starting in 1990 as the Kitchen Manager at J. Christopher’s in Houston, TX.
Working his way up and moving to New York City, Pellegrini soon became the sous chef at Bowery Bar in the East Village in 1995.
In 1997, Pellegrini made the jump to executive chef and maintained that position over the next three years at notable New York restaurants including Prohibition and Sandoval.
Wanting to make the leap into restaurateur, Pellegrini became a partner in opening Urban America in 2000 and followed that by owning and opening Melissa Blue in Midtown and Villa Toscana in the Upper West Side. Serving as owner and executive chef of all three establishments, Pellegrini mastered the art of multi-tasking and also served as a consultant to 10 New York area restaurants. As a consultant he was responsible for all start up kitchen operations and was considered an opening specialist in the New York culinary world.
Missing the much calmer life of the south, Pellegrini shut the doors on his non-stop New York life and headed back to his home state of Texas to open Sagra where he is once again the executive chef and owner in charge of creating menus, selecting ingredients and making specials.
Taking a lot of well-deserved pride in Sagra, Pellegrini says, “The building of the restaurant was entirely a family affair. My wife and I did most of the construction ourselves. We want our customers to feel the love we put into this restaurant.”
Chef Pellegrini currently resides in Austin, TX with his wife Sarwat and their three children. With Sagra being such a family affair, customers often see little chefs in the making as the entire Pellegrini family works in the kitchen and visits with patrons in the restaurant, the family’s second home.