Michael Pirolo

Years of Participation

Born in Queens, New York, but raised in Avellino, Italy, Pirolo comes from a fiercely passionate  food family. So much, in fact, that at the age of 21 he enrolled in culinary school in Torino, Italy;  a formal education that led to apprenticeships at Michelin-starred establishments such as La  Voglia Matta in Bologna and Café Groppi in Piemonte. After finishing his degree, he relocated to  New York and changed tracks, immersing himself in French cuisine before relocating to  Philadelphia to take the role of sous chef at Alfred Portale’s Striped Bass.  During Pirolo’s time at Gilt, the restaurant earned two Michelin stars. Following his love of Italian  cuisine and striking up a professional bond with celeb chef/restauranteur Scott Conant, Pirolo  joined Conant’s Scarpetta restaurant in New York, then relocated to Miami to take the helm as  chef de cuisine of Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. There, Pirolo made a name for  himself and rose through the media ranks as a rising star in Miami’s culinary community, an  earnest, hard-working, careerist “chef’s chef.” A rare 4-star review from Miami Herald food critic  Victoria Pesce Elliot helped elevate his profile and set the stage for Pirolo to move out on his  own.   He opened Macchialina with partner Jen Chaefsky on Miami Beach’s Alton Road in 2012. The restaurant opened to much acclaim, earning the duo accolades including being ranked among  the top “South Florida Food 50” by The Miami Herald (February 2015). In 2016, Pirolo was named  a James-Beard Award semi-finalist for “Best Chef: South.”