Chef Carlo Lamagna of Magna - Biography

Portland, OR

October 2018

Philippines-born Carlo Lamagna was 9 months old when his family immigrated to Canada. His parents were nurses, and when their contracts were up, the family moved to Detroit. Lamagna’s father went on to a surgical residency in the Philippines, and 11-year-old Lamagna went with him.

He returned to Detroit to attend college but dropped out, finding direction in restaurant kitchens instead. In 2005, Lamagna earned a culinary arts degree and met mentor and Certified Master Chef Brian Beland at Country Club of Detroit. From there, he went on to the Culinary Institute of America.

Next, Lamagna worked at Chicago’s North Pond, taking a sabbatical after year two when his father died, practicing charcuterie in Germany, and cooking rustic French cuisine in Lyon. Back stateside in Chicago, he spent two years at Perennial with Paul Virant, who helped Lamagna develop a Filipino dish for the menu.

During his three-year tenure as executive chef of Portland, Oregon’s Clyde Common, Lamagna started pop-up Twisted Filipino, an outlet for his personal mission to amplify and elevate Filipino cuisine. In 2018, Lamagna earned a StarChefs Rising Stars Award, and soon he will open Magna with a fire pit out front and progressive Filipino menu within. It will be the first restaurant of its kind in Portland.