How Chef Robbie Felice Is Shifting Gears During the Pandemic

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About a month before coronavirus upended the entire American restaurant industry, Robbie Felice was at the highest point in his cooking career.

The 29-year-old chef-owner of Viaggio in Wayne, New Jersey, had opened his second restaurant, a dry-aged Italian chophouse called Osteria Crescendo in Bergen County, last April. Both establishments were ranked in New Jersey Monthly magazine’s 30 Best Restaurants list, a respected barometer of quality for the state. Felice got asked to represent the region in the Barilla Pasta World Championship, and the James Beard Foundation named him a semifinalist for their 2020 Rising Star award for chefs under 30.

“Here I was, some little nobody out here in Jersey, and it was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m killing it this year—nothing can stop me now,’” Felice says. “I was on top of the world, then this whole…

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