We are a young generation from Northern Italy (Milano and Modena). After owning a restaurant in San Diego in 1998 for seven years, running a fine-dining restaurant and a mozzarella-bar in Milan, and opening an bistro in New York, we realized that our “home” was indeed San Diego, where it all started ten years earlier. So we decided to come back to San Diego — welcoming and curious in its relaxed urban vibe — to share our worldly restaurant experience blended with our culinary heritage.
Abandoned his decennial bank career, Guido left Milan in 1998, determined to follow his passion for food, wine, and hospitality. Guido started working in the restaurant business in September 1998, when he opened in partnership the Italian Restaurant Caffé Bella Italia in Pacific Beach, San Diego, serving authentic Italian food in an elegant atmosphere. In 2004, Guido moved back to Italy, hired as general manager to run the up-scale restaurant Osteria Artidoro — located in the historic area in Milan. In the meantime, he studied and became Sommelier. In January 2007, Guido was appointed as project manager to open Obiká Restaurant and Lounge Bar — on top of the oldest and most celebrated department store in Milan “La Rinascente”, situated in front of the Duomo cathedral. In December 2007, longing to return to the States, Guido accepted the offer from Parmacotto, prominent Italian Specialty Meat Company. As Project Manager, Guido opened Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto in the Upper West Side, an Italian bistro (designed by Oscar winner Dante Ferretti) offering a variety of the best Italian recipes and cold cuts.
Fabrizio was born and raised in Emilia Romagna, which is among the Italian regions most famous and celebrated for culinary excellence. His family has been in the restaurant business since 1960. After spending his young years in the family Gourmet kitchen, Fabrizio was accepted at the Hospitality Institute in Modena. In 1993, Fabrizio bought restaurant Europa 93, which he ran successfully for thirteen years, offering an outstanding variety of homemade pasta. In 2006, Fabrizio was hired by Guido as chef for Osteria Artidoro, where expertise and talent excelled with both Milanese and international clientele. In 2008, Fabrizio was hired as executive chef of Beccofino, a high-volume gourmet in historic Milan. Fabrizio was responsible for preparing complete and elaborated menus for up-scale catering and food connoisseurs dinners. At Beccofino, he broadened his knowledge of semi-industrial kitchen appliances, experimented new recipes, and introduced innovative combinations of traditional menus.
While teaching and pursuing higher education at SDSU and UCSD, Valentina worked with Guido at Caffé Bella Italia for several years. After getting married, they decided to move back to Milan, where Valentina began to work in fashion public relations. While in New York working for Dolce & Gabbana, Valentina helped Guido to bring Bencotto’s concept to life, and now she is putting her public relations skills at service of this new endeavor.
Michael developed a passion for fine food at a young age while dining at upscale restaurants with his family in Denver, Colorado. His father's job later took the family on foreign assignments around the globe, thus exposing Michael to foreign travel and cuisines. Michael attended Northern Arizona University where he acquired his bachelors degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management which launched his career in the industry. While studying at NAU, Michael completed internships with Disneyland in Anaheim and Pacific Islands Club in Guam. He worked for Loews hotels for ten and a half years at three different properties; Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson, AZ, Loews Miami Beach in South Beach, FL and lastly, Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado, CA, where he opened Mistral and was Director of Restaurants. Excited by Bencotto's vision and passion for providing guests a true culinary experience, Michael joined the team in June 2011 and has great anticipation of helping to expand the Bencotto experience.