Growing up in Milan, Roberto Ruggeri always knew he would follow his mother, Beatrice, and his older brother, Remo, into the restaurant business. From childhood, he was involved in every aspect of the restaurant, absorbing the signature “made in Milan” flavors and flair even as he mastered the intricacies of the business.
As Bice and her sons held court on Via Borgospesso, in the center of the international capital of fashion, BiCE Ristorante attracted the stars of the fashion design world, from runway models and international magazine editors to world-renowned designers Valentino Garavani, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, and others. It was that excitement and sense of style that Roberto carried with him as he moved his family to New York and opened the first U.S. BiCE Ristorante on E. 54th Street.
He also brought the taste of his mother’s dishes, from the simplest meatballs and beans she had prepared for her sisters and brothers to the fritto di coniglio e verdure that was reserved for special occasions. Incorporating a skillful mix of traditional Tuscan cuisine and newer trends in dining, BiCE New York opened to great success and quickly became the cornerstone of BiCE’s U.S. operations.
In 2003, Roberto Ruggeri was selected as one of the “Outstanding Italians in the World” by the Italian Minister of Residents Abroad. It was an honor he shared with Sophia Loren, Princess Elettra Marconi, and Ferrari Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello.
With expansion into new restaurant concepts and global franchising, Roberto opened restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Paris, and many other locations around the world. Before long, his children, Raffaele and Rossella, and his brother’s children, Beatrice and Roberta, stepped into their roles to carry forward the “made in Milan” traditions of hospitality and delectable dining.
As Chairman of BiCE Group, Roberto Ruggeri today acknowledges the rare honor of his position among four generations of a family business. “I know my mother would be delighted and proud to taste the dishes we are preparing. She taught and inspired us and she would certainly recognize her favorite flavors in the wonderful food we offer to BiCE diners.”