Culinary Institute of America Launches Richard Capizzi Memorial Scholarship

NEW YORK, NY, February 02, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Pastry Chef Richard Capizzi will be honored this February 19th with a tribute dinner and fundraiser at Lincoln Ristorante, where he practiced his craft for the last decade. A star-studded lineup of Chefs Thomas Keller, Shea Gallante, Jonathan Benno, Artem Orlovskyy and Chad Palagi will cook a sumptuous dinner in homage to their beloved friend, while Pastry Chefs Sebastien Rouxel, Stefanie Morgado, Kara Blitz, Katie Backlund and Scott Cioe will collaborate on desserts.

Chef Capizzi’s tragic passing this past September left the culinary community stunned and bereft. The vibrant and dynamic Capizzi suffered from glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group conceived of the tribute dinner as a fundraiser for Capizzi’s family, with all proceeds benefiting his wife Phyllis and their two children. The evening provides an opportunity for the restaurant community who loved him to gather and remember him, and an opportunity to launch a scholarship in his honor at his Alma Mater, The Culinary Institute of America.

The evening will celebrate Chef Capizzi’s life and legacy and the enormously positive impact he had on those around him. Capizzi was a rare expert in all the pastry arts: a gifted baker, confectioner, chocolatier and maker of gelato and sorbetto. Yet it was his teaching, leadership, camaraderie, generosity and grace that made him beloved to those whose paths he crossed.

“Richard was a tremendous talent and tremendous human being who graced our teams at Per Se and Bouchon Bakery. We owe to Richard how we make our Bouchons, how we make our confections, and so much else at the bakery. His legacy is everywhere,” said Thomas Keller.

The February 19th tribute includes a cocktail hour followed by lavish six-course dinner with wine pairings. Priced at $1250 pp all-inclusive of beverage, tax and gratuity, all proceeds will go to the Capizzi family.

Lincoln Ristorante will offer a donation for the scholarship through the remainder of the year of $1 for every Tortino di Ciccolato con Pizelle dessert and every Big Easy Capizzi cocktail sold. This legacy chocolate dessert is made with hazelnuts, which Capizzi loved. The cocktail was Capizzi’s favorite libation: a signature blend of rye whiskey, fennel liqueur, spice bread syrup, ground black pepper, and Peychaud’s bitters.

Richard Capizzi Tribute Dinner
Sunday, February 19, 2023
6 pm Cocktail Hour
7 pm Dinner
at Lincoln Ristorante, 142 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023

Reservations are open via

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Chickpea Panelle, Smoked Eggplant Purée, Pomegranate
Risotto Al Salto, Black Garlic Aioli, Crispy Garlic Chip
Smoked Sable Fish, Pastrami Spice, Cauliflower Panna Cotta
Beef Tartare, Feuille De Brick, Chives
Duck Presse, Dates, Marsala Onions, Pistachio

Lanson Rosé Champagne, Big Easy Capizzi Cocktail

Potato Torta, Hen Egg Mousse, Black Truffle
Chef Artem Orlovskyy

Lanson Rosé Champagne, Big Easy Capizzi Cocktail

Japanese Hamachi
Regiis Ova ossetra caviar, with green apple and cucumber
Chef Thomas Keller and Chef Chad Palagi

Feudi Di San Gregorio ‘Cutizzi’ Greco di Tufo ’21

Rigatoni with Octopus “Fra Diavolo”
Housemade rigatoni with San Marzano tomato,
octopus, Calabrian chili and guanciale
Chef Shea Gallante

Cecchi Coevo Toscana IGT ’13

Red wine braised beef short rib,
cavolo nero, Marsh Hen Mills polenta, shaved black truffles
Chef Jonathan Benno

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino ’17

Noisette Chocolat
Milk chocolate crémeaux, praline croustillant and hazelnut nougatine
Chef Sebastien Rouxel

Lanson Brut Champagne, L’Aperitivo Nonino, Amaro Nonino Riserva

Chefs Stefanie Morgado, Kara Blitz, Katie Backlund, Scott Cioe

About Richard Capizzi:

Pastry Chef Richard Capizzi crafted refined renditions of Italy’s classics: light, lush, and beautifully constructed. He was known for a highly attuned attention to detail and fine artistry. Richard worked in what might be called the golden age of pastry, when no well-regarded restaurant would ever be without a pastry chef and often a pastry department. Earlier in his career, before becoming pastry chef at Lincoln Ristorante, he was a pastry assistant at The Russian Tea Room, the pastry sous chef at the opening of Per Se and later pastry chef for the restaurant and Bouchon Bakery. He had stints at Le Cirque, Chef Jean Louis Palladin’s Napa Restaurant, The Royaume du Chocolat in Lyon and Monte Carlo’s Grand Hotel. With each position, he honed his craft, methodically perfected his skills.

Richard graduated first in his class at The Culinary Institute of America. He won the title of Pastry Chef of the Year, as well as gold medals for “Most Artistic Plated Dessert,” The Vatel Club’s “Technical Prize” and the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique’s Award for Exceptional Taste at the 14th Annual US Pastry Competition in New York in 2003. He was the youngest and the first pastry chef ever to sweep the entire competition. While at Per Se Dessert Professional honored Richard as one of the top 10 best pastry chefs in 2009. With him as pastry chef, Lincoln Ristorante was awarded two New York Times stars and one Michelin star.

In 2021 the covid pandemic led him to expand his pastry role and serve as executive chef at Lincoln. He undertook the challenge with his usual focus and determination. Due to his selfless nature, only those close to him knew that he had become ill with glioblastoma. He passed away in September 2022 at the age of 45, mourned by his wife, children, and all who knew him.

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