Rising Star Chef Dante de Magistris of il Casale Lexington - Biography
The consummate Italian-American chef, Dante de Magistris was raised in an Italian-American household that was passionate about food. He went to Italy to connect with his culinary roots and cooked in kitchens in Bologna and Florence. But it was his debut at Ristorante Don Alfonso on the Amalfi Coast that really fast-tracked de Magistris to success. He helped earn the restaurant its third Michelin star while the head chefs traveled abroad and de Magistris was left to run the kitchen.
De Magistris returned to Boston and worked alongside some of the city’s finest chefs, including Michael Schlow at Café Louis, Eric Brennan at The Federalist, and Lydia Shire, Susan Regis, and Daniele Baliani at Pignoli. He made a name for himself at Micheala Larson’s blu and was named a 2003 StarChefs.com Boston Rising Star.
In 2006, he opened the eponymous Restaurant dante in Cambridge, with his brothers Filippo and Damian. The restaurant’s cuisine takes a fresh, modern approach to traditional Italian dishes with de Magistris’ signature innovative technique, and intriguing twists on the classics. Since its opening, Restaurant dante has gained national recognition. It was named one of Bon Appetit magazine’s Hot 10 Restaurants of 2006, Boston Globe magazine’s Best of the New for 2007 and Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston award for Best Italian Restaurant in 2008.
The de Magistris brothers focused on a more rustic Italian concept in April 2009 opening the first of two il Casale locations, this one in Boston suburb, Belmont. The original Il Casale earned an almost unheard-of three and a half out of four stars from the Boston Globe’s Devra First, and two Best of Boston awards from Boston Magazine.
September of 2010 saw de Magistris’ pasta prowess on display at the 5th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress. And then in July 2014, the second il Casale opened in Lexington, Massachusettes. Once again, de Magistris is picking up accolades with il Casale Lexington’s focus on the cuisine of Campania in Southern Italy—the region of his ancestral home.