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Pietro Rota
Born in Milan, Italy, Pietro Rota, age 35, ventured into the culinary world at the young age of 13 as a dishwasher for a bustling restaurant in his hometown of Bergamo, a small town near Lake Como. The aromas of the fresh herbs and seafood he encountered daily as a child piqued his passion, and he soon set out to pursue his new obsession by learning as much as possible about the fascinating world of the culinary arts.

Rota attended the prestigious Professional Institute of State in San Pellegrino, Italy and began climbing the ranks in some of the world's best known kitchens from Italy and London to Germany, France and Brazil. From 1992 until 2001 his experience encompassed a range of positions, from cook at the Ristorante Pizzaria and the Hotel Floralp to chef at the Ristorante Avvoltio Nero in Bergamo, Italy. Later, he spent three years as chef at Ristorante Lo Stivale in Iflorianpolis, Brazil, followed by a three-year tenure as the executive chef at Ristorante Osteria Del Piano in Livorno, Italy.

Eventually, Rota traveled to the United States and immersed himself in the glamour and fast pace of the California culinary scene. He worked as chef for La Loggia Restaurant in Studio City and executive chef for both Sapori Italian Restaurant in Marina del Rey and Il Sole Italian Restaurant in West Hollywood before being appointed as new executive chef for La Marea at The Tides South Beach.

No stranger to the world of the rich and famous, Rota honed his culinary talents at Il Sole, a popular restaurant on the Sunset Strip, where his acclaimed authentic Northern Italian cuisine attracted a regular hip clientele. Among this "who's who" list of music producers, rock stars and celebrities, regulars included Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross and Nicolette Sheridan from the hit television show Desperate Housewives, and actors Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. His signature dishes at Il Sole always reflected a clean ingredient-driven approach to flavor layering and healthy eating.

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