Chef and Partner Federico Comacchio’s culinary journey spans more than 30 years of bringing Italy’s vibrant flavors to life. Born in Lodi, Italy – located in the northern region of Lombardy – Comacchio was always inspired by the fresh, locally harvested ingredients that found their way onto his family’s dinner table daily, driving his interest in cooking. Comacchio first gained foundational experience at the Michelin starred La Quinta Ristorante under Chef Sergio Granata. He then took his adventure to Milan, cooking alongside Chef Claudio Sadler at the Sadler Ristorante, also famed for its Michelin star status. During this period, Comacchio honed his craftsmanship of Italian dishes both familiar and new, and his fascination with regional cooking blossomed.
Ready for change, Comacchio traversed the Atlantic to San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1991, where he served as a sous chef with the Bice Group, which also took him to Paris and Italy. After a visit to Chicago in 2000, he set his sights on a move as he joined the Stefani Restaurant Group to serve as the executive chef of 437 Rush. A new opportunity called in 2012, leading him to the executive chef role at the revered Coco Pazzo restaurant showcasing Tuscany’s refined, colorful cuisine for the next seven years. Realizing it was time for him to forge his own path, Comacchio has stepped into his own restaurant and kitchen to open Gioia Ristorante + Pastificio, located in the heart of Chicago’s thriving West Loop community. He is thrilled to express his interpretation of regional Italian cooking with the purity of ingredients that ignited his journey more than three decades ago.