Congrats to Zach for making FSR Magazine 2016 Rising Stars list!! Zach is the youngest on the list, and one of only 2 from Maryland.
Largely reader-nominated, and always restaurant-proven, FSR reveals its rising stars, 40 professionals under the age of 40, who are helping to define new expectations for dining experiences across all spectra of restaurant environments.
"ZACHARY LEONARDI, 22 CHEF DE CUISINE RISTORANTE FIRENZE Baltimore
Zachary Leonardi put in hours of grunt work in commercial kitchens for more than five years before becoming chef de cuisine at his family operation Ristorante Firenze—a newcomer on the Baltimore dining scene. Leonardi will soon be completing a culinary degree program from Anne Arundel Community College, all while juggling daily responsibilities at Ristorante Firenze, which is open seven days a week. Leonardi comes from a family of restaurateurs, with his great uncle, great grandfather, grandfather, and father all playing a role in various Italian restaurant concepts and pasta shops. Leonardi considers his family’s years of built-in experience as a unique source of knowledge and skill he is able to draw upon. He hopes that by creating a guest experience based in quality and consistency, the year-old Ristorante Firenze will continue to thrive. “A restaurant is nothing without happy customers,” Leonardi says. “I love cooking, and nothing brings me more satisfaction than knowing someone enjoyed all the care, effort, time, and planning I put into each dish I make.” As for the future of his career? “As long as the customers are happy, I’m happy.”