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Chef Spotlight

chef florian wehrli

Chef Name: Robbie Felice
Title: Executive Chef
Restaurant Name: Viaggio Ristorante
Location: Wayne, NJ
Restaurant Website: viaggioristorante.com

Viaggio Ristorante in Wayne, NJ

"For me, Fossil Farms is exactly what I want in a company. They only supply the highest quality products, as well as focusing on locally sourced products. Fossil Farms really is the help of what we do here at Viaggio. Whole animal butchery is one of the most important things to us, as well as knowing where these animals are coming from and how they are being treated. Fossil Farms customer service is top notch, and I am extremely thankful to be working with them!"

– Robbie Felice / Executive Chef / Viaggio Ristorante

Chef Robbie Felice Bio

The word Viaggio in Italian translates to “travel” or “the journey.” Robbie Felice’s journey started in high school when he got accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

When it came time for Felice to externship, he wanted to work for none other than Mario Batali at his flagship restaurant, Babbo, in New York City. Felice learned and worked under Chef Frank Langello, who became a culinary mentor to Felice.

After graduating culinary school, Felice worked at the Highlawn Pavilion and The Manor in New Jersey. In 2011, he was given the opportunity to participate in the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. Felice then relocated to Vail, Colorado, where he would spend the next eight months working under various chefs.

After his time in Colorado, Felice moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and rejoined the Batali Bastianich Hospitality Group at B&B Ristorante. While working under Chef Matthew Harbin and alongside culinary director Jason Neve, Felice was promoted to sous chef while running the salume program. In 2015, Felice left Las Vegas to travel Europe, gaining knowledge from the different culinary aspects of other countries. Upon arriving in Holland, Felice staged with Sergio Herman, working at his one Michelin star restaurant, Pure C.

This experience put the culinary industry into a whole new perspective for him. After some time with Pure C, Felice was offered to go to Antwerp Belgium and stage at Herman’s newest restaurant, The Jane. This is where Felice had the opportunity to work directly under Chef Sergio Herman and Chef Nick Bril, which was a life changing experience for him. Felice then went on to spend time at the De Kromme Watergang, a two Michelin star restaurant located in the Netherlands.

From there he traveled to London, Belgium, Italy and Spain, where he would do various day stages. After Europe, Felice landed back in New York City, staging at restaurants such as Del Posto and Gabriel Kreuther, before joining the two Michelin star restaurant, The Modern. Felice spent the next four months learning and drawing inspiration from Chef Tom Allen and Chef Abram Bissell.

Following his time at The Modern, Felice decided to work with a long time culinary mentor of his, Chef Ryan DePersio at Fascino in Montclair, New Jersey. During this period, Felice and his father decided to open their own restaurant together, which is when Viaggio Ristorante was born. Felice incorporates everything he has learned along his journey into traditional Italian food with its own concept.

Porchetta Di Testa by Robbie Felice

Porchetta Di Testa

Download printable .pdf file here.

Ingredients
1 Fossil Farms Pig Head (call office to purchase, 973-917-3155)
3 pounds Kosher Salt
1 ea. head of celery
5 ea. white onion
1⁄2 cup fennel seeds
8 ea. star anise
1 cup whole black peppercorns
1.5 pounds Dark Brown Sugar
6 ea. carrots
1⁄2 cup crushed red pepper
1⁄2 cup mustard seeds
4 ea. cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp. #1 curing salt

For the brine
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT curing salt in pot and simmer for one hour. Strain and add ice to fill a 24 QT capacity container or stock pot. Once cool, add curing salt.

For the head
Using a very sharp boning knife, carefully debone the pigs head, starting from the back. Try to remove the face from the skull in one whole piece. Place deboned head in prepared brine for 5 days. Remove head from brine and roll into a tight cylinder, secured with butchers twine. Prepare a large water bath with an immersion circulator set at 180F. Use a Vacuum Seal or double wrap tightly in Foodservice grade plastic wrap. Cook sous code @ 180F for 8 hours, then cool in ice bath. Remove plastic and ties. Best if sliced very thin on deli slicer and served with seasonal preserves and charred bread.

973.917.3155

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