FOUNDER – VALENTINO RESTAURANT GROUP
“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry,” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, over nearly 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. Expanding a $4,500 venture into a multi-million dollar business has enabled Selvaggio to realize his vision – to bring the food of Italy, with authenticity and style, to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and most recently, Houston.
Selvaggio did not foresee his success in the restaurant business. Born in Modica, Sicily, he immigrated to the United States, arriving in Brooklyn at the age of 18. After a few months of washing dishes in a cafeteria at New York University, he moved to Los Angeles to live with an uncle who was a manager at the legendary Chasen’s. Selvaggio was given a job as a busboy, attending college during the day. Within five years, he advanced from busboy to manager, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Romance languages, speaking fluent French, Spanish, English and Italian.