About Roberto Donna

Born in the Piedmont Region of Italy, Roberto Donna's fervent mission is the promotion of authentic Italian cuisine. As a James Beard Award winning Chef and Restaurateur in Washington, DC, Roberto is committed to introducing others to the real flavors of Italy, which he provides in his seven restaurants.

Roberto arrived in DC at the age of 19 after having expanded his culinary horizons by working in kitchens across England, France and Switzerland. Four years later, in 1984, he opened Galileo and gained a strong following. With restaurants ranging in style from the formal Galileo to the "all you can eat" Il Radicchio, Roberto has taken into consideration the full range of consumers' culinary taste buds.

Roberto Donna's efforts have been widley applauded. Wine Spectator has called Galileo one of the "10 Best Italian Restaurants in America", and the magazine presented Mr. Donna with the Grand Award of Excellence for his wine cellar since 1997. In 1996, Galileo was named one of the twenty finest Italian restaurants in the world by the President of Italy, and Roberto published his first cookbook "Cooking in Piedmont with Roberto Donna."

Additional recognition includes the 1996 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic, the induction of Galileo into Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame, and the DiRoNa (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) Award from 1990 to the present.

Nationally, Roberto Donna is Chairman of the Gruppo Ristoratori Italini, an national organization with the goal of emphasizing authentic Italian food culture in the United States. Locally, he is on the boards of the DC Central Kitchen and American Institute of Wine & Food. As an active member of Share Our Strength and The James Beard Foundation, he participates in numerous charity events across the country.

Roberto Donna's civic-minded activities and the food he offers are his way of saying "thank you" to those that have helped him succeed.


Current Activities


Galileo - Washington, D.C.
Laboratorio del Galileo - Washington, D.C.
Vivo! - Washington, D.C.
Barolo - Washington, D.C.
Il Radicchio - Washington D.C., Arlington, VA
Cesco - Bethesda, MD

Chairman: Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani

Origin: Piedmont Region, Italy

Experience: Restaurants throughout Italy, England, France, Switzerland, and the U.S.A.


Awards and Achievements

Published cookbook "Cooking in Piedmont", By Roberto Donna - 1997

Wine Spectator Grand Award of Excellence 1997 to present
Recipient: Five Star Diamond Award - The American Academy Of Hospitality Sciences 2001
2001 Immigrant Achievement Award-The American Imigration Law Foundation
Insegna Del Ristorante Italiano, 1996
Winner: The James Beard Award for Best Chef/Mid-Atlantic Region, 1996
Inductee: The Fine Dining Hall of Fame, the Nation's Restaurant News, 1996Traveler's Choice Award, reader selected Washington Flyer Magazine, June 1996
Restaurateur of the Year, 1995, Chef of the Year 1990 - Restaurant Assoc. of Metropolitan Washington

Other Past Acknowledgements
Achievement Award, 1992 - Italian Wine & Food Institute
President's Humanitarian Award, 1992 - American Culinary Federation
The Caterina de Medici Award, 1991 - Federazione Italiana Cuochi
The Chef of America Award, 1991 - Master Chef's Society

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