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Giorgio Rapicavoli

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli
Photo © Mario Davilas

Restaurant: Eating House (Read a review)

Location: Coral Gables, FL

Why He's Amazing: Because he's translated his devotion to slow food, graffiti and childhood treats like Oreos into a wildly successful pop-up that's now a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Culinary School: Coursework at Johnson & Wales University (North Miami)

Background: Chispa (Doral, FL), 660 at The Angler's (Miami Beach)

Quintessential Dish: Heirloom tomatoes with frozen coconut milk

Lessons Learned: Rapicavoli grew up helping his Italian mother make pomodoro sauce. A semester short of graduating from cooking school with a near-perfect GPA, he had an argument with a teacher over the proper way to make tomato sauce. "Forget it, dude. What they teach in school may be a basis but it's not necessarily practical."

How He Funded His Pop-Up: He invested the $10,000 he won for taking first prize on Season 10, Episode 3 of the Food Network's Chopped.

Inspirations: "Miami has so many different cultural influences—Italians, Cubans, people from Nigeria and Ecuador. My food isn't necessarily a fusion of these cultures, but they influence my cooking."

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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