2022 Nashville Rising Star Chef Michael Hanna of St. Vito Focacciaria

2022 Nashville Rising Star Chef Michael Hanna of St. Vito Focacciaria

St. Vito Focacciaria
Pop-Up
Nashville, TN 37209
stvitonashville.com

Recipe

Born in Memphis, Tennessee to a Sicilian-Southern family, Chef Michael Hanna’s life has always revolved around hospitality. His earliest food memories revolved around his trips to Dallas, where his grandfather owned a small deli. In college, Hanna found a job in the kitchen of a local hot wing spot and quickly realized how much more he loved cooking than school. He set off to travel around the country in search of mentorship, but ultimately realized that what he truly wanted was to make a difference in his hometown. He joined Rising Star Alums Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis, while simultaneously operating a chef-driven farm with his father in Arkansas. 

Eager to learn and train from the bottom-up, Hanna moved to Nashville to cook with Rising Stars alum Ryan Poli at The Catbird Seat and Rising Stars alum Philip Krajeck at Rolf and Daughters and Folk. After his daughter was born in 2019, he helped Niche Food Group run their Italian concept, Pastaria, but one year later, the COVID-19 pandemic left him furloughed. Hanna took the time as an opportunity to bring a new style of pizza to Nashville: Sicilian-style sfincione. What started as Hanna making pizzas for industry friends around town became a weekly restaurant takeover at Hathorne. Named after the powerhouse bakery run by the nuns at San Vitus covenant in Palermo, St. Vito’s Focacciaria features composed, playful, Sicilian-inspired dishes and fluffy, fontina-stuffed pizza.