Rising Star Chef Alex Figura and Spencer White of Dio Mio - Biography

Denver, CO

March 2017

Spencer White never imagined that waiting tables at Macaroni Grill would turn into opening a pasta restaurant of his own. The Colorado native had every intention of being a ski bum and worked in restaurants to fund the lifestyle. White graduated from University Colorado Denver with a degree in public relations and marketing, which he put to use with Bonanno Concepts. Ultimately, he missed life on the line, so he headed to Europe to backpack and stage around the continent.

Alex Figura, on the other hand, knew he wanted to be a chef early on. He had a plan and he acted on it, putting in time at top kitchens: Philly’s Vetri and Osteria, l’Escaleta and Las Rejas in Spain, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York. When his family moved to Colorado, Figura joined the team at Frasca Food and Wine. Not quite finished with travel, he returned to Spain for a stage at El Celler de Can Roca before officially rooting himself in Denver. In 2013, Figura and business partner Mario Nocifera opened 250-seat Lower48 Kitchen. During the restaurant’s two-year run, it was lauded by local press and received three stars from The Denver Post.

Upon returning from Europe, White worked with Figura at Lower48, and together they decided to do something completely different (and smaller) for their next project. In November 2016, Dio Mio opened its doors. The casual, counter-service spot in RiNo offers handmade and refined pasta dishes with global influences. The concept is thoroughly modern with bowls of their sophisticated comfort served alongside a juice glass of wine and curated cocktails.