Chef Antonia Lofaso is rightfully proud of her Sicilian heritage. The Long Island-born chef even named her Venice, California, restaurant Scopa Italian Roots to celebrate classic cooking from Italy. At Scopa, Lofaso dishes like old-school maccheroni with meat sauce; a creste rigate with chanterelles, dandelion greens, parmesan, and breadcrumbs; and a veal chop Milanese are on the menu. And she does it all in style. Her other restaurant, Black Market Liquor Bar, which opened in 2011, features plates to share, like duck rillettes with bourbon raisins, cress, and grainy mustard on toasted ciabatta; spicy Korean chicken wings with cucumber and kimchi; and ricotta gnudi in brown butter with pistachios.
Lofaso is known across the country because of her stints on Bravo’s Top Chef (season 4), Top Chef All-Stars, Top Chef Duels, and Top Chef Junior. She’s been a judge on Cutthroat Kitchen and for two seasons of CNBC’s Restaurant Startup, with Joe Bastianich and Tim Love. And when she wasn’t on TV, she wrote The Busy Mom’s Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Home-Cooked Meals.
Thinking about how chefs move in the kitchen, Lofaso worked to develop a new line of chef wear called Chefletics, which lets men and women behind the stove bend, breathe, and cook more comfortably.