ABOUT MARISA

Born and raised a true native New Yorker, Marisa May spent her summers on the coast of Naples, the island of Capri, and throughout Italy, learning firsthand about the hospitality and the cuisine of Italy from award-winning restaurateurs, winemakers and celebrated chefs, who exposed Marisa to the dynamic authentic cuisine of Italy. Marisa reignited the New York City restaurant scene by bringing a lifetime of experience, unique dedication to hospitality and vibrant Italian charm to the New York City restaurants that she co-owned with her father Tony May, a venerable and celebrated restaurateur.

Marisa learned the restaurant business from the ground up by working, during the summers, at the iconic Rainbow Room, then owned by her father, and at Palio. For the next 20 years, Marisa took on a full-time role at San Domenico NY. Her warm welcoming personality was the secret behind the impeccable service and ambiance in the San Domenico dining room. San Domenico NY was the first fine dining Italian restaurant to receive 3 stars from the New York Times. Other restaurants Marisa is instrumental in creating include Gemelli in 1997, Pasta Break in 1998 and SD26 Restaurant & Wine Bar in 2009 to usher in the new generation of Italian fine dining.

Marisa May has made her important mark in the restaurant-hospitality industry, with numerous appearances on national television network shows including The Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, Rocco DiSpirito’s Restaurant Divided, Restaurant Redemption and NBC’s Today Show. She has also been featured in many exclusive articles in Food & Wine Magazine, The New York Times, Esquire, Departures, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Saveur, New York Magazine, Time Out NY Magazine, Wine Spectator Magazine  and The Italian Tribune, to name a few.

Active within the New York City and restaurant communities, Marisa serves on committees in organizations and charity causes including the prestigious Les Dames D'Escoffier, Women’s Chefs & Restaurateurs, C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program), Food Bank for New York City, CityMeals-on-Wheels, The Madison Square Park Conservancy, Central Park Conservancy and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Greater New York.

Marisa divides her time between her hometown New York City and Rome.

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Our Italian trip initiatives are an Italian Culinary Foundation project.

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Thank you to our contributing photographers Marisa May, Nanette Bedway and Jean Bortner.