2017 Honorary Chef
Gino Angelini
Chef, Angelini Osteria

Chef Gino Angelini was born in San Clemente, near the seaside city of Rimini in Italy’s richest food region. At the age of 23, Gino became the youngest chef of a five-star hotel restaurant working for the Ambasciatori and Bellevue Hotels in Rimini from 1973 to 1987. His fame in Italy continued to rise as chef of the acclaimed Grand Hotel des Bains Riccione from 1989 to 1995.

In 1995, Chef Angelini came to the United States as chef of Rex, Il Ristorante in Los Angeles, where he received acclaim for both his innovative and traditional Italian cuisine. In late 1997, Chef Angelini opened Vincenti Restaurant in Brentwood, where it promptly became a critical smash, then followed with his own restaurant, Angelini Osteria, in 2001. It has become one of LA’s most celebrated restaurants, and was voted the Best Italian Restaurant in Los Angeles by Zagat in 2012.

Chef Angelini has received numerous honors for his significant work in the culinary arts from around the world including the 2007 Artusi Award, the 2011 Galvanina Trophy for Best Chef of the Year, and the 2011 Sigismondo Malatesta d’Oro, Rimini’s highest civilian award. His kitchen philosophy is simple and authentic, focused on the products and the region; a kitchen that renews itself without losing sight of the true Italian tradition.

Angelii loves Italy and has great relationships with the chefs there. He’s also traveled around the world cooking and says, “Although I do Italian food, it’s good to see and eat all kinds of food. Even when you don’t speak the language of the country, in the kitchen everything is fine. It was a great experience to travel and work with so many chefs.” He reflects on a major turning point in his life. “I came to LA because I fell in love. And here I am 21 years later,” he laughed. He loves the weather and the proximity to the ocean. “It reminds me of home because I grew up near the water.”

When asked what Special Olympics means to him, he replies enthusiastically, “It’s very emotional for me to see what these athletes do and that they are so proud of what they do. It’s beautiful. It’s an example for all of us. And we love being at Pier del Sol. We have a beautiful view of the ocean, and we have a lot of fun. It’s a happy reunion for the chefs.”