Internationally regarded as an influential culinary force, multi-James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano has been a trailblazer of defining authentic Italian cuisine in the United States for over three decades. In addition to his role as chef-partner at one of the country’s leading restaurants, Michelin-starred Spiaggia, and its more casual sister restaurant, Café Spiaggia, Mantuano is the chef-partner at River Roast, situated on the Chicago River; Terzo Piano, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago; Terralina Crafted Italian, a waterfront Italian restaurant located in Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida; and Maddon’s Post, an Italian and Polish-inspired restaurant in partnership with Joe Maddon located in Chicago’s iconic Wrigleyville neighborhood.
One of Chicago’s most decorated chefs, Mantuano has received a myriad of awards and accolades including the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef, Midwest. He has also dedicated his career at Spiaggia to mentoring and growing a class of powerhouse culinary talents, considered today to be amongst the most revered chefs in Italian cuisine, like James Beard Award winner (Best Chef, Great Lakes) Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde, James Beard Award winner (Best Chef, New York City) and a Food & Wine Best New Chef (2010) Missy Robbins of Lilia/Misi, and Top Chef Season 15 winner, Joe Flamm.
Amidst all his awards and recognitions, one of Mantuano’s dearest honors was when longtime Spiaggia guest, President Barack Obama, celebrated his presidential election victory at Spiaggia in 2008. Mantuano was also asked to cook for First Lady Michelle Obama at the famed Art Institute of Chicago and for the final state luncheon under the Obama administration. In April 2009 he and Cathy Mantuano were honored with the keys to San Martino in the Italian region of Molise for serving authentic Italian cuisine in America. In September 2012, he was named part of the American Chef Corps and a 2012 State Chef by the U.S. Department of State and its new Culinary Diplomatic Partnership program. Mantuano has also been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and has also appeared on popular television segments like “Nightline,” “The Today Show,” “The Early Show,” “CBS This Morning,” “The Dish,” “Martha” and the Hallmark Channel. He also served as a judge on Bravo’s beloved “Top Chef” series in 2009, and participated in season two of “Top Chef Masters.”
Mantuano’s other projects include co-authoring two cookbooks with wine expert and wife, Cathy Mantuano. Their first book, The Spiaggia Cookbook, was lauded by Food & Wine magazine as one of the top 25 cookbooks of 2004. In 2008, the duo released Wine Bar Food, which has been the inspiration for WINE BAR FOOD outposts at the US Open Tennis Championships in New York.