Chef Angelo Elia is an award winning, highly acclaimed culinary maestro whose philosophy
of putting his patrons first has served him well. Through an artful combination
of premium ingredients, masterful preparation and superb fine wine selections, his
restaurants are widely considered the best Italian restaurants in South Florida.
The flagship Casa D’Angelo represents the pinnacle of fine Italian dining
in Fort Lauderdale. Its tremendous success has resulted in two additional locations:
one in Boca Raton, Florida and one in the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Chef Angelo’s newest creation, D’Angelo Pizza, Tapas & Wine Bar
is a concept that elevates approachable fine dining to new heights. It is an elegant,
hip South Florida dining destination where crowds line up every night to enjoy fine
traditional Italian-style pizzas, tapas, paninis and a notable wine list.
Every year since September 2000, Chef Elia has been honored with the “Best
of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator. He has also received the “Golden
Spoon Award“ from Florida Trend Magazine for the past 10 consecutive years.
Most recently, he received four stars by food critic M.L. Warren of the South Florida
Mrs. Angelo Elia is one of the beautiful, friendly faces that greets you every time
you visit Casa D’Angelo. Her impact on the dining experience here should not
be understated. She has over 20 years of experience in delivering fine dining experiences and is an integral part in crafting and refining the experience at Casa D’Angelo.
As the director of all front-of-the-house operations, she ensures that every guest
is greeted with a warm smile and that no detail is overlooked during the dining
experience. She also oversees all special event and private party planning.
Denise is active in the South Florida community. She is a member of FAB (Funding
Arts in Broward). She and Chef Angelo are regular contributors to many local foundations
like PACE Broward for Girls, Boys & Girls Club, March of Dimes, Taste of the
Nations, Humane Society, and local schools.
Denise and Chef Angelo have been married for over 18 years and have two beautiful
Born in Peoria, Illinois in 1976, Rickie and his family moved back to their home
in Rome, Italy when Rickie was 8 years old. There he completed his primary and secondary
education. As he was growing up, his love for food and how it is prepared became
evident, as he followed his mother in the kitchen and watched as she prepared the
tradition Italian dishes for the family. He became more and more intrigued when
his family would go out to dine at various restaurants, and decided that he wanted
to make a career of cooking.
After graduating high school, he went on to study at the famous culinary school,
Istituto Alberghiero Torcarbone in Rome. There he was trained by some of the best
Italian Chefs of Italy and graduated with high honors. When he completed his studies,
he immediately found work in top fine dining restaurants throughout Europe, including
Vecchia Pineta in Ostialido, Rome. There he was mentored by famous and well-known
Chef Antonio Chiappini. He went on to work in places such as Di Gennaro in Stuttgart,
Germany, Carpediem in Fiesole, Florence and Bel Paese in Santiago, Chile, to name
Although he loved the country of his family, he always dreamed of returning to the
United States where he was born. At the invitation of Chef Angelo Elia, who knew
Rickie and his family for many years, Rickie came directly to Florida and began
working with Chef Angelo at Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale.
Rickie has been with Chef Angelo for 10 years. He helped Angelo open Casa D’Angelo
at the well-known Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas, and stayed on as
Executive Chef there for 1 year. He then returned to Florida to open another Casa
D’Angelo in Boca Raton, which immediately became a success and is now his
primary base. Most recently, Rickie opened the D’Angelo Pizza, Tapas &
Wine Bar, which is Chef Angelo’s newest concept and venture.
Rickie also teaches culinary classes at the Jean-Pierre Cooking School in Fort Lauderdale
on a regular basis, and represents Casa D’Angelo at several charity events
throughout South Florida.
At a young age, Chef Angelo Massanova spent hours in the kitchen with his mother in his hometown of Salerno, Italy; always experimenting with traditional Italian recipes.
As his passion for the culinary arts grew, Massanova decided to fine tune his skills by attending Southern Italy’s famed Roberto Virtuoso Culinary School, while working as a line cook at Domina Alaska. Under the auspices of renowned Chef Adamo Piermarioli, Massanova’s experience in the kitchen combined with his academic training, prepared the young chef for his future in the culinary industry. From there, Massanova held stints at various critically-acclaimed restaurants, including Michelangelo’s Restaurant in New Castle, England, and Bonet Restaurant and Ristorante la Playa in Italy.
Over the years, culinary maestro Angelo Elia- who also happens to be Massanova’s second cousin- became increasingly impressed with the chef’s vast experience and lured him to move to the United States. Currently, Massanova is the Executive Chef of Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale, and has been a significant part of the D’Angelo team since 2006.
Massanova still enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, continuously honing his craft to create the authentic Tuscan fare that diners come to Casa D’Angelo to enjoy.
Casa D’Angelo, award-winning Italian fine dining destination, has received numerous awards, critical acclaim and rave reviews for culinary maestro Angelo Elia’s authentic Tuscan cuisine since its opening 14 years ago. The restaurant also boasts a spectacular world class wine program that has earned Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” each year, consecutively since 2000, thanks to head sommelier Koen Kersemans.
“We house about 20,000 bottles at Casa D’Angelo and focus on American wines and wines from each region of Italy,” explains Kersemans. “There are so many different grape varietals in Italy that it is sometimes confusing to the consumer, so we take great care in educating our guests so they can explore wines that are unfamiliar but worth the adventure.”
Kersemans also considers how well the wine matches Elia’s authentic Tuscan cuisine, and how many different dishes it complements. He also assesses the value of each wine and whether it is something guests will appreciate and understand. Kersemans and Elia work closely to select menu pairings regularly. “Koen’s knowledge and ability to educate diners in their wine selection has been a valuable asset for our customers,” says Elia.
Kersemans hails from Belgium, where he received a degree in culinary arts from Hotelshcool Ter Duinen. Several stints in the early 80’s in Southern France and London under renowned sommeliers sparked his passion for wines and led him to immerse himself in various programs, soaking up knowledge of regions, styles and vintages. A management position at the St. George’s Club’s well-reputed restaurant, The Margaret Rose, lured Kersemans to Bermuda, where he honed his wine skills for nearly a decade until moving to the United States.
In 2001, Kersemans joined acclaimed culinary maestro Angelo Elia at his flagship restaurant Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale, where he has been head sommelier for well over a decade. In addition to Casa D’Angelo, Kersemans is also responsible for developing the wine programs at Elia’s other culinary outposts including Casa D’Angelo in Boca Raton and Paradise Island, Bahamas; D’Angelo Pizza Wine Bar Tapas in Fort Lauderdale and the newest addition to the roster, D’Angelo Trattoria in Delray Beach.
Each year, Kersemans travels to Vinitaly, the internationally-acclaimed wine event held in Verona. There, he meets with producers and vintners, so he can bring his knowledge back to the restaurants.
At Casa D’Angelo, and the other Elia restaurants, Kersemans also runs monthly programs to focus on wines from a specific area of Italy, so that he can introduce them to his customers. In addition, he and Elia host regular wine dinners, tastings and other grape-oriented events, to continuously provide guests with opportunities to explore the breadth of D’Angelo’s impressive wine collection.