David Ruggerio


Location icon United States

David Ruggerio is a Brooklyn born chef whose father was the infamous heroin trafficker, Saverio Gambino. Along with his cousins, they created what law enforcement called “The Cherry Hill Gambino’s. They controlled the importation of heroin into the US during the 1970s and ’80s.
Despite David’s family, he pursued his love. Ruggerio honed his culinary skills in France at several of the country's leading restaurants, among them, the Hotel Negresco with Jacques Maximin; Moulin de Mougins with Roger Verge; and Les Pres d'Eugenie with Michel Guerard.
His rise to fame began as the chef at the legendary New York eatery, La Caravelle. At the time Ruggerio was only twenty-five years old and garnished rave reviews as the restaurant was hailed as one of the best in the country. He went on to take command of Pierre Cardin's New York outpost of Maxim's de Paris where he unbelievably garnished three stars from the New York Times. He then took his talents to the iconic Park Avenue restaurant, Le Chantilly. Here he gained national acclaim by again receiving three stars from the New York Times. David has cooked for five US Presidents.
He was honored in 1995 by noted vintner Robert Mondavi as one of the thirteen best young chefs in America. He went on to star in his own PBS cooking series entitled, Little Italy with David Ruggerio. He later went on to star in his own iconic series on Food Network entitled, Ruggerio to Go. Before his arrest, Ruggerio to Go became the second-highest-rated show on the network.


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