Michael Toscano, who hails from Texas, stumbled into a career in hospitality. A frequent golfer, he applied for work at a local course’s country club to make a few bucks. Initially landing a job washing dishes, Toscano quickly grew interested in the suds-free side of the kitchen and worked his way through the prep and hot lines.
After deciding on the kitchen as his career calling, Toscano spent three years in an apprenticeship at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. As soon as he completed the program, he moved to New York City and landed a job at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. Transitioning to the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, Toscano took a sous chef position at Babbo and later became executive chef of Eataly’s Manzo, the meat centric fine-dining spot in the restaurant group’s 60,000-square foot food mecca.
In 2012, Toscano opened Perla with Gabriel Stulman in Greenwich Village. He is now serving bold Italian dishes in a menu that reflects his no-nonsense approach and penchant for cooking carne. With Toscano at the helm, Perla landed two stars from The New York Times. He is a 2013 James Beard “Rising Star Chef” Semi-Finalist and winner of the StarChefs.com 2013 New York Rising Stars Award.