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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > Las Vegas Dining with Chefs > Sirio Ristorante (Part 1 of 3)

Sirio Ristorante

Executive Chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia

TravelsinTaste.com recently met Executive Chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia of the newly opened Sirio at ARIA in Las Vegas. He has a quite impressive resume, as he's worked in and around Tuscany and throughout the United States for such notable chefs as Paul Bartolotta and Piero Selvaggio, making him the perfect choice for the kitchen at ARIA's rustic Tuscan restaurant.

During our meal with him, we first asked Chef Scarmiglia to tell us how he wound up at Sirio, and to take us back to where it all began: in Italy. "In Italy, I mostly worked in my hometown," he told us. "It’s a small town off the coast of Tuscany called Orbetello. I worked there basically my entire career, besides a few small experiences when I went to work in Livigno in the mountains and when I worked for a few weeks in Florence. But most of my experience was in this small village called Porto Ercole, off the coast of Tuscany. It's very picturesque -- it's gorgeous -- but the business is not as good as it is here, which is the reason why I moved to the United States. Over there I worked for 10 to 12 years in two to three different restaurants and had my own restaurant for about one year. Then I moved to the States. I had the opportunity to come to Valentino, where I stayed for five years. I wanted to try a different experience. I had an 18-month visa and I renewed it and I'm still here. I got married, I have a kid and I have a career here in the United States. It worked out here pretty well, actually."

Once in the United States, Chef Scarmiglia told us, he eventually moved from Valentino to Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare. "I stayed about seven months at Bartolotta," he said. "My relationship with Paul [Bartolotta] was great. One of the reasons he hired me was because, coming from the coast of Tuscany, I'm still an expert on Mediterranean seafood. And as you know, the restaurant is all about Italian seafood. So I used a little bit of my experience and helped out with the opening. It was a fun experience, actually, but there is another part of my experience with Mediterranean seafood: I am allergic to it! I ate too much crab, lobster and shrimp when I was a kid. My dad had a fishing boat so I grew up eating those things, and all of a sudden my body rejected them. So I couldn't work there anymore. It wasn't pleasant. I had asthma and I had rashes all over my body, so I decided to leave. I was a little tired of Las Vegas and started working in Reno as a partner in a restaurant. After a few months, I received a call from Mr. Maccioni, who got my number from a mutual friend. He asked me if I was interested in moving back to Vegas to take the executive chef position at Circo, so I did. I thank God he called me; that was the best thing that ever happened to me in this business."

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