Amiga Amore: The Birth of MexItalian Cuisine
Amiga Amore is a casual dining restaurant opened by husband and wife duo Alessandro and Danielle Zecca. This restaurant is a love of two cultures sharing their heritage through Mexican and Italian flavors. Crafting unique recipes from scratch, sourcing local California produce, highlighting regional Mexican ingredients, and preparing dishes with classic Italian techniques. Their mission is to create a neighborhood eatery in highland park, a second home within the community where guests can enjoy a meal cooked with love.
When Danielle and Alessandro met in the kitchen of the popular NYC restaurant Vespa in 2013, it was food love at first sight. With an irresistible passion for food and their respective cultures, the birth of Amiga Amore was inevitable. After falling in love and working together across numerous top restaurants such as Le Coucou and the Modern in NYC, Danielle and Alessandro decided to pursue their dreams. They moved to LA in hopes of opening and running their own restaurant. Amiga Amore was built from this love and is a fusion of their identities. Danielle brings the flavors of her Mexican heritage and combines it with her husband’s Italian family's cooking techniques. This cuisine is a beautiful marriage that transcends the physical boundaries of their two heritages. Cleverly called Mexitalian (Mexican - Italian), Amiga Amore’s cuisine is plate-popping with taste, colors, and love. After 5 years of doing pop-up events at various locations around Los Angeles, the couple's dream of coming into a restaurant was stronger than ever. Through their pop-up’s, they discovered the perfect location for their restaurant in a neighborhood Chef Danielle grew up in, establishing roots in Highland Park. Amiga Amore’s home will be a safe haven of gathering and joy, where everyone can experience the love of Mexitalian cuisine.
Danielle graduated from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts with honors and worked for celebrated Los Angeles chefs such as Walter Manzke, Neal Fraser, and Sang Yoon. She spent many years afterwards honing her craft in New York City at Le Bernardin, as a sous chef at The Modern, Chef de Cuisine at Vespa, and sous chef at the highly acclaimed Le Coucou, the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 2017.
She has made appearances on the Food Network winning “Kitchen Casino” and challenging Bobby Flay himself on “Beat Bobby Flay." In 2019 she participated at "Supermarket Stakeout".
Her style of cooking is “MexItalian” which subtly combines the Mexican food influences of her heritage, with her Italian husband’s heritage. They created a pop up called Amiga Amore, which was just featured at the James Beard House this past February.
Grew up in a restaurant family in Italy. After travelling and learning techniques throughout the country , he decided to emigrate to the US and follow his dream to have a restaurant on the beach one day. He arrived in NYC in 2009, working as a server and quickly moved to manager in 2011. He managed Amarone and Bocca di Bacco in the theater district from 2011 to 2013, After that he had the opportunity to partner in a ownership at Vespa, in the upper east side. There he met his wife/Chef Danielle. The duo worked together since then. After sadly closing Vespa, Alessandro went to work as Captain at Le CouCou. Then the move to LA, where he worked at Republique as his first job in the new city. Went eventually to manage The Ponte from Scott Conant and then started a catering company with his wife. Little after that they started the pop up Amiga Amore, that is leading them to their first location in LA.
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