Rising Star Chef Steve Mannino of Rustico Restaurant and Bar - Biography

Alexandria, VA

November 2011

Steve Mannino’s love for the culinary arts began at home in Amsterdam, New York, in an Italian household where the focus was definitely food. Following his graduation from Schenectady County Community College, where he discovered the true depth of his interest in the culinary arts, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York to further develop his craft. While attending the CIA, Mannino worked with Chef David Burke at Park Avenue Café in New York City and assisted in opening the Café in Chicago.

After graduating, Mannino received an offer to spend a year working in the classical French kitchen of Les Nomades in Chicago. It was here that he decided to embark on his own culinary journey, experiencing the palate and cuisine of five different cities in five years. After returning to the East coast, he joined the team at Olives in Charlestown, Massachusetts, under the tutelage of Todd English.

An opportunity presented itself in San Francisco, prompting the difficult decision to leave Olives in Boston and explore another region. At Brasserie Savoy, Mannino learned to manipulate the classical French skills he had perfected in Chicago in a loose bistro setting under Chef Fabrice Canelle. Las Vegas was experiencing the birth of the exclusive five-star Bellagio Hotel. Mannino’s experience and time at the original Olives proved him the ideal candidate for the assistant executive chef position with Victor LaPlaca. Together they opened the western-most extension of Todd English’s signature restaurant. Mannino’s relationship with The Olive Group grew; at the tender age of 25, he was called upon to open the Washington, DC, location of Olives in November 1999.

After years of hard work and countless culinary travels, including Orlando, London and the Queen Mary 2 project with Todd English, Mannino returned to Olives at the Bellagio in July 2004. At Alexandria, VA neighborhood restaurant Rustico, Mannino executes his signature style.