April 7, 2011
Top Chef All Star for seals
Chef Mike Isabella is set to open his first restaurant, Graffiato, in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. in spring 2011. Isabella was influenced by the food he grew up eating in New Jersey prepared by his Italian-American grandmother.
Before opening Graffiato, Chef Isabella was the executive chef of Jose Andres' Zaytinya, D.C.'s Mediterranean powerhouse restaurant.
Chef Isabella's formal training began at The Restaurant School in New York, taking classes and cooking his way through some of New York's and Philadelphia's finest establishments.
Mike Isabella on the Protect Seals boycott:
"Until the Canadian provinces end seal hunting, I cannot in good conscience source my seafood from that region."
While travelling through Greece and parts of the Middle East, Chef Isabella learned the nuances of these cuisines. Talking to locals and sifting through the daily markets gave Chef Isabella a chance to truly understand these foods and helped form a base for his culinary imagination.
In addition to appearing on "Top Chef All Stars" in 2010 – 2011, Isabella appeared on season 6 of "Top Chef."