ROBERTO DONNA


Born in the Piedmont region of Italy, Roberto Donna’s fervent mission is the promotion of authentic Italian cuisine. As a James Beard Award winning Chef and Restaurateur in Washington, DC, Roberto is committed to introducing others to the real flavors of Italy, which he provides in his six restaurants.

Roberto arrived in Washington, DC at age 19 with four years of cooking school education from his native Torino and experience working in kitchens throughout Europe. In 1984, he opened Galileo and gained a strong following in Washington, DC and throughout the nation. Creating restaurants ranging in style from his formal Galileo and Laboratorio del Galileo, to his casual Il Radicchio, Roberto’s restaurants appeal to the full range of culinary tastes in the capitol region and beyond.

Roberto Donna’s efforts have received worldwide attention and recognition. Wine Spectator has called Galileo one of the “10 Best Italian Restaurants in America,” and the magazine has continuously presented Chef Donna with its Grand Award of Excellence for Galileo’s extensive wine cellar since 1997. In 1996, Galileo was named one of the twenty finest Italian restaurants in the world by the President of Italy, and Roberto published his first cookbook “Cooking in Piedmont with Roberto Donna.”

Additional recognitions include the 1996 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic, the induction of Galileo into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame, and the DiRoNa (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) Award from 1990 to the present. In 2002, Chef Donna was presented The First Annual Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners Award, which is presented to chefs worldwide for their efforts to promote authentic Italian cuisine.

Nationally, Roberto Donna is Vice-Chairman of the Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani, a national organization with the goal of emphasizing authentic Italian food and culture in the United States. Locally, he is an active supporter of the DC Central Kitchen and the American Institute of Wine & Food. As an active member of Share Our Strength and The James Beard Foundation, Roberto participates in numerous charitable events in Washington, DC and across the country. Roberto Donna’s civic-minded activities are his way of giving back to the community that has helped him succeed in achieving his dreams.

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