Ralph Mazzocchi is the architect of a series of successful restaurants that have transformed the restaurant scene in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His latest venture is Gusto (pronounced goo-stow, as in "taste" in Italian) – an eclectic eatery known for its warm décor and menu accented with touches of Spain and the Mediterranean. "I have always been inspired by the the Mediterranean. Right now I am enjoying Spanish cooking techniques where tweaking the combination of even a few simple components can give a dish its own distinctive flavor."
He came by his success the old-fashioned way, working his way from the ground up. His first job. . .washing dishes at a small upscale restaurant. After spending one day in the kitchen the course of his life was changed and his future seemed preordained. He saw cooking as the ultimate art form, because it incorporates all of the senses – smell, touch, taste, sight and sound.
Ralph moved to New York City to expand his knowledge and happily began his education under the tutelage of Master Chef Patrick Clark at the Odeon. One year later he moved on to the Rainbow Room, owned at the time by restaurant guru Tony May. Before leaving the Big Apple he also honed his skills at the Century Café and the Saloon.
Moving back to Lancaster, Ralph was determined to develop and polish his own cooing style, creating and honing an "infusion" method of cooking by bringing together eclectic flavors that springboard from traditional and classic cooking styles. His unique approach evolved over 24 years in the kitchen. It has been an extraordinary journey where he has worked as executive chef, has created and opened the bistro-style restaurants Galla Rosso and Mazzi Designed Dining, and performed as guest chef and presenter at numerous regional benefits and food festivals.