Executive chef and restaurateur Allan Philip Russo’s passion for the art of cooking began at an early age. Born in Bülach, Switzerland he entered into a life and family with deep heritage for cuisine and hospitality. His father and mentor Filippo Russo, founder and proprietor to internationally acclaimed restaurant Da Filippo’s Autentica Cucina Italiana comes from a heritage of long line fishermen still present in Carini, Sicily. Russo was classically trained by his father using the “hands on approach” along with his mother’s Swiss roots. His aunt served as Governess to Switzerland’s most prominent figures at the famous Hotel Airport in Zürich for thirty-five years.
He was exposed to an environment where gastronomy remains the center of his family dynamic. At the young age of twelve he began apprenticing at Da Filippo’s Autentica Cucina Italiana. A recipient of prestigious awards such as Luigi Veronelli’s “One of the Best Italian Restaurants in America”, Zagat’s “Top 1,000 Italian Restaurants in America” and NJ Monthly Magazine’s 24th Annual “Critic’s Pick for Best Italian Restaurant.” This is where Russo absorbed the very fabric of authentic Italian cuisine while enriching his passion and mastering his craft. Similarly to an artist with blank canvas, Russo used his ingredients and creativity to make his own art.
His drive for learning new and innovative practices led him to Italy & Switzerland. His education is not limited to the culinary arts, but also in the financial sector having acquired a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Seton Hall University.
His dedication to offer guests European hospitality continues with his highly acclaimed restaurant Sette. Nationally recognized as “One of the Top 100 Best Restaurants in the United States” by OpenTable, a status rating of “Excellent” by Zagat and an inductee as “One of the Best Chefs in America”, Russo’s dedication and passion is seen and felt when meeting him. “The art of cooking is always evolving, making it exciting, challenging and fun. My desire is to create an environment where guests can leave their world for a moment and enjoy a wonderful dining experience.”- Allan Philip Russo