In 2009, Marion Carbone and Rich Torrisi opened a deli on Mulberry Street called Torrisi Italian Specialties, where the duo served their own take on classic Italian-American sandwiches. The deli quickly evolved and began serving an innovative prix fixe dinner in the evenings.
In 2010, Mario and Rich teamed up with Jeff Zalaznick, a fellow restaurant visionary who shared their passion. Together, the trio formed Major Food Group (MFG), a new breed of restaurant group seeking to operate restaurants that are respectful of the past, exciting for the present, and sustainable for the future. MFG's restaurants are conceptualized to uphold the highest level of food quality and fine dining service in a fun and inviting atmosphere for the guest.
Mario was born and raised in Queens, New York. After years of working weekends and summers in local eateries, Mario attended The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. He worked as an apprentice at Babbo, and following his graduation from CIA, Mario returned to Batali & Bastianich to join the opening team at Lupa Osteria Romana in Greenwich Village. Following Lupa, Mario went on to work at a small family-run restaurant on the western coast of Tuscany called La Dogana.
Upon returning home, Mario worked for two masters with very different approaches. First came an opportunity to learn from Daniel Boulud, who taught precise, classic French cuisine at the highest level. Mario then went on to work for Chef Wylie Dufresne, and again with his mentor Mark Ladner to open Del Posto. Feeling the urge to spawn off on his own, Mario left the restaurant after two and a half years to pursue his dream of being an Executive Chef.
Rich Torrisi grew up in Westchester, New York. From a very early age he took to cooking. After years of making his way through local kitchens near his native Hudson River, Rich took the next step in his culinary career by attending the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. After a successful externship at Aquavit, Rich continued to hone his skills under Marcus Samuelsson for the next two years while completing his bachelor's degree at the CIA. Following his graduation, Rich began to work under Chef Andrew Carmellini at Café Boulud, who would became a mentor over the course of his career. Rich spent over four years at Café Boulud. At the end of his tenure at Café Boulud, he knew it was time for him to travel to France and cook in as many Michelin starred restaurants as possible. Upon returning home, Chef Carmellini called upon Rich to once again team up on a new project called A Voce.