Chef Ralph Perrazzo of Clio - Biography
Ralph Perrazzo fell in love with food alongside his mother and grandmothers in their Long Island kitchen, and a job at a local restaurant at 16 cemented Perrazzo’s passion. Sure, the teenage Perrazzo might have initially gotten into it for money for a car. But he quickly realized that life in the kitchen was much more fun than the conventional concept of “work.”
Not that Perrazzo was looking to slack off—far from it. While attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Perrazzo packed his knife kit for weekend excursions to volunteer in some of the city’s top kitchens, including Jean Georges under then chef de cuisine Gabriel Kreuther. When Kreuther offered him a job in pastry after graduation, Perrazzo met Eric Hubert, who fostered Perrazzo’s creativity over the next two years, encouraging him to use his mind as vigorously as his hands.
Perrazzo’s next stop was Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where he had complete freedom to explore his ideas and philosophies in the bake shop. This freedom apparently paid off. During his tenure, Bradley Ogden won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and Perrazzo—a Willy Wonka virtuoso of creative pastry—was named a 2005 StarChefs.com Las Vegas Rising Star Pastry Chef.
A post as corporate executive pastry chef for PURE Management Group followed, with Perrazzo overseeing operations at several—and ultimately award-winning—venues. And while Perrazzo’s own restaurant group, Rare Concepts (formed with long-time friend Hugo Moreno) ultimately stalled due to investment complications, the venture helped Perrazzo hone his creativity with travel. Perrazzo’s found an ideal home for his pastry and passion at Ken Oringer’s flagship restaurant Clio, where the pastry chef works tirelessly (but not conventionally) to transform desserts with the freshest ingredients and concepts.