Meet our Culinary Chair: Chelf Ralph Scamardella

Partner/Chef, TAO Group

After nearly three decades in the kitchens of the most esteemed restaurants in the world, Ralph Scamardella serves as Partner and Chef of TAO Group, overseeing all chefs and concepts in New York (TAO Uptown, TAO Downtown, LAVO Italian Restaurant, food & beverage at Dream Downtown and Dream Midtown, and food & beverage at Moxy Times Square including Legasea, a seafood brasserie); Las Vegas (TAO Asian Bistro at The Venetian, TAO Beach and LAVO Italian Restaurant at The Palazzo); and Los Angeles (TAO, Luchini, and food & beverage at Dream Los Angeles).

As the son of Italian immigrants, Scamardella developed an affinity for cooking with fresh ingredients early on, enjoying seasonal produce as staples in the family’s cooking within their Brooklyn kitchen.

Scamardella began his studies at New York City’s Technology Institute, learning to master the business of hotel and restaurant management while simultaneously building his culinary skills at The Plaza Hotel’s French restaurant. He then moved on to hone his skills with one of the world’s true master chefs, working under mentor Daniel Boulud at Polo Restaurant.

Paving the way to distinction early, he received a two-star rating from The New York Times at Vanessa’s restaurant, where he served as Executive Chef. Scamardella went on to have a large hand in the success of the opening and driving concept behind Carmine’s, as chef and partner. After nearly 15 years and several successful projects, he left the kitchen to consult for restaurants such as The Strip House, Harrah’s Casino, and Cessca.

Upon joining TAO Group in 2007 as Corporate Executive Chef and Partner, Scamardella opened LAVO Italian Restaurant and TAO Beach in Las Vegas. He then went on to open LAVO Italian Restaurant in New York, as well as TAO Downtown in Chelsea, Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown, The Rickey and Fishbowl at Dream Midtown, the Los Angeles locations of TAO and new brand, Luchini as well as Legasea and Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square. In 2018, Scamardella helped open LAVO Singapore, atop the iconic Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. Most recently, TAO Group’s most recent U.S. expansion introduced TAO Asian Bistro & Nightclub to Chicago, in September 2018.

Dan Arnowitz

Jill & Jeffrey Bernard

Staci & Andrew Friedwald

Gil Pagovich

Lauren & Adam Schwartz


Guillaume Ginther, Executive Chef

Beauty & Essex

Sarah Nelson, Executive Chef

Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse

Admir Alibasic, Executive Chef

Bryant Park Grill

Anne-Marie Noonan, Pastry Chef


Michael Jenkins, Chef de Cuisine

Danny Macaroons

Dan Cohen, Baker

Hotel Chocolat

Lamia’s Fish Market

Lamia Funti, Owner and Executive Chef


Jason Hall, Executive Chef

Ocean Prime

Eugenio Reyes, Executive Chef

Osteria Morini

Andrew Minitelli, Chef de Cuisine


Gonzalo Colin, Executive Chef

Serendipity 3


Melisa Panchano, Executive Chef

Lavo NY

Patrick Nuti, Executive Chef