Executive chef and restaurateur Luca’s passion for cooking began at an early age. He was born in Torre del Greco, Italy and much of his influence comes from a family with a heritage forged in cuisine and hospitality. His father and mentor Pietro, a butcher, passed on the art that he had learned from his own mother, to his son Luca.
Gastronomy was always a central force in the Annunziata household as it is with most Italian families and remains today, at the heart of how Italians show their familial love.
At the age of 10, young Luca began apprenticing in his family’s butcher shop. He immediately came to the realization that culinary school and the world stage would become his focus. By 17, he was off to London for two years to work as a demi chef de partie at the Dorchester Intercontinental Hotel. From there he spent two years at The Suvretta House in beautiful San Moritz, Switzerland where he was afforded the opportunity to delve deeper into his craft, working as chef rotissier. He then moved on to Germany and then Cannes, France. With the world as his classroom, Luca decided to take a position with Cunard’s Luxury World Cruises aboard the Seabourn Sun where he remained for 3 years. There he further developed his insatiable passion for cooking but decided he was ready to leave the sea behind and accepted a position with Good Housekeeping Magazine in NYC where he met Jessica and they began to make culinary magic together.
Jessica is co-owner and general manager of Luca Modern Italian Kitchen. Jessica grew up in hospitality and as a teenager in New York, worked alongside her mother in various diners and restaurants.
After 20 years of working in the industry, the energy and excitement paired with her love of people continues to keep her inspired. These many experiences reinforce her comfort while working in many different capacities in the restaurant, including whipping up a mean cocktail behind the bar.
While living in Tuscany, she was also able to hone her fine wine skills as well as develop a passion for seeking out those exceptional rare wines that are difficult to find.
With her husband Luca as her partner, in 2006, they realized the first of many dreams when they opened their first restaurant, Passion8 in Fort Mill, SC. Coming from the New York restaurant scene, the move to Charlotte was quite momentous for both of them but they were up for the challenge. Growing the business has been very rewarding and has been a result of consistent adherence to quality. Jessica is responsible for marketing, business development and strategy for the extension of what will soon become the restaurant leading the Charlotte food scene.
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