Born in Tuscany in 1972 and raised in Milan, Raffaele Ruggeri never strays too far from the delicious flavors of home and hospitality he learned at his grandmother’s side. Beatrice, known as Bice to her friends, was always Nonna to Raffaele. By the time he started with her in the kitchen, his Nonna had presided over BiCE Ristorante, in Milan, for more than 50 years.
His father, Roberto, and his uncle, Remo, had learned the art of hospitality from their mother, so when the young Raffaele was old enough to carry a basket of bread or water glasses to the restaurant’s guests, they began sharing Bice’s wisdom with their eager protégé. Excited by everything about the restaurant—the kitchen, the food, the guests, the constant activity, and the atmosphere—Raffaele knew right away that this was what he wanted to do.
Thus the third generation of Ruggeri family members stepped into a tradition of generous hospitality and delectable fare—a journey that has continued to earn Raffaele enormous accolades and exceptional joy. Relocating first to Los Angeles and later to Manhattan, he continues to work in the family restaurants, mastering every skill and working with his father to create menus and restaurant concepts for today’s most sophisticated diners.
After opening nearly 30 restaurants, from concept and location to design and staffing, Raffaele is today CEO of BiCE Group, running the New York restaurants and building teams to empower the international organization. Whether he is moving among tables in the dining room, keeping a close eye on the kitchen, sampling new dishes, or meeting with potential business partners, BiCE continues to be Ruggeri’s personal passion.
“BiCE is my brand and my heart,” Raffaele Ruggeri says. “It’s in my DNA. You come into my restaurant and you come into my home.”