By Jeff Schlessignger and Stephanie Webster
"Napa and Company in Stamford has a new, very talented chef overseeing its award-winning kitchen. Chef Leonardo Marino is slowly modifying the menu to showcase his commitment of using exceptional ingredients to highlight their natural flavors. Three weeks after assuming Napa’s Executive Chef position, CTbites sat with Chef Leo for this “Behind the Scenes,” review, discussed his passion for food and sampled several of his recently premiered dishes.
Chef Leo’s devotion to cooking started at an early age as he assisted his mother and aunt in the kitchen; they inspired him to pursue a culinary education. After attending the Culinary Institute of America, his philosophy of accentuating the natural flavors was further influenced in the kitchens of some of America’s greatest chefs. While working as the Lead Sous Chef for Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, Ripert asked him to relocate to Washington DC to take the reins of Chef de Cuisine at Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert. Chef Leo returned to New York in 2009 and joined David Bouley at both Bouley and as the Chef of Bouley Upstairs. In 2010 he joined Jean George Vongerichten, first as the Executive Sous Chef at his flagship restaurant, Jean George, and subsequently as the Executive Sous Chef at The Mark Restaurant by Jean George. After working with all of these legendary chefs, Chef Leo commented, “My mother and my aunt are two of the best chefs,” but he quickly added, “…in addition to Eric and Jean George.”........
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