Pastry Chef Iacopo Falai of Falai Panetteria - Biography

New York, NY

July 2010

Florence native Iacopo Falai began cooking in his hometown, with courses at the local pastry school and a two-year apprenticeship at Pasticceria Marisa, but his experiencequickly expanded. After four years working at Michelin three-star Enoteca Pinchiorri, Falai traveled to France, working as a bread baker with renowned Chef Michel Bras and developing chocolate-making techniques alongside Chocolatier Michel Belin at Fauchon.  

Falai entered the New York restaurant scene in 2001 as executive pastry chef at Le Cirque 2000, and then worked at sister restaurant Osteria del Circo before switching to savory and joining Bread Tribeca as executive chef. In 2005, Falai ventured out on his own, opening Falai and Falai Panetteria on the Lower East Side, both of which were, in many ways, tributes to his father, who owned a pastry shop in Florence but died before Falai was born. In 2006, his work earned him a StarChefs.com Rising Stars award. Falai has since closed, but Falai Panetteria carries on the chef’s tradition of sweet-savory mastery.