German Rizzo, co-owner and chef of L’ARTISTA in Hamilton Heights
Born and raised in Turin, Italy’s Piedmont region, Rizzo grew up around the culinary inspirations and authentic flavors that Italy has to offer. Her culinary career started early as she was inspired by her love and respect for the quality and tradition of her roots in southern Italy. After graduating from the U. Ubertini School of Culinary Arts in Turin, Chef Rizzo looked for opportunities to further develop his creativity in other regions of Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Canada. With his newly developed knowledge, refined culinary techniques and desire to learn more, Chef Rizzo has come to New York. Here he worked for the famous group Cipriani, but soon after he opened his own restaurant in Astoria Queens, Hurry Vinosteria, in 2018. With his varied knowledge of cooking and his passion for cooking, Chef Rizzo wanted more, so he opened Plado tasting bar in 2019 in New York’s beloved East Village.
Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing German Rizzo about his career and L’Artista Italian Kitchen & Bar in Hamilton Heights.
What was your first interest in cooking?
The passion to create something unique started as a young child. My first memory goes back to when I was 9 in the kitchen making fresh pasta with my mom before church.
Who were some of your career mentors?
I have had three mentors in my life; Andrea Baldini, Giovanni Ciresa and my mother. His determination brought me to where I am now.
What cooking styles have influenced your career?
Mediterranean fusion and authentic Italian cuisine.
What do you think are the most distinctive characteristics of your work as a chef?
Be consistent with my food, always serving fresh, high quality ingredients, and using different cooking techniques [ex using a taro root for make gnocchi].
What is your favorite dish (s)?
Raw fish, risotto and grilled meat or fish
Tell me a bit about your restaurant for our readers.
L’Artista is a hidden gem / dining destination in the Hamilton Heights Sugar Hill neighborhood, which has introduced authentic Northern Italian cuisine to the area.
Everything is homemade and my goal is to give the local community and beyond the same experience I grew up with in Turin, Italy.
The restaurant has four dining areas: the front patio, the indoor dining room + bar seats, the mezzanine and the large garden. The garden itself is just over 500 square feet and can accommodate 10 to 25 people depending on how the seating is set up. The entire restaurant is approximately 1,200 square feet and can seat approximately 50 people.
The Artista Kitchen & Bar is located at 142 Hamilton Pl, New York, NY 10031. To browse their menu, current hours, and make reservations, please visit https://www.lartistanyc.com/ or call 646.858.0312.
Photo credit: courtesy of L’Artista and German Rizzo