Chef Colucci's first experiences in a kitchen was at school as a teen, where his father was friends with the chef. He was encouraged to attend culinary school in Turin, and his first professional cooking experience was at the legendary Del Cambio restaurant, one of the oldest in the world. Eventually, he landed in Venice, where he led the team at the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli at Hotel Danieli.
As Executive Chef at Cielo, Colucci remains true to his roots as he works with the local farmers and producers of America’s heartland. It’s his second move to the U.S., having worked with beloved Italian chef Lidia Bastianich at her flagship restaurant, Felidia, in New York early in his career. It was his first introduction to the American taste for Italian cuisine, providing an important foundation for his subsequent work at Italian restaurants catering to an international clientele.
In addition to weekly menus featuring different regions of Italy, he has also added his own personal touches: “My dishes tell the story of my history as a cook and all the talented chefs and restaurants I have been lucky to work with. The veal cutlet is done in the style of my home region of Piedmont, lightly breaded and served with mizuna salad. The tuna with orange olive caponata is inspired by my time in Capri, whereas the panna cotta with raspberry coulis represents Venice." In addition to establishing strong relationships with local farmers, Colucci is becoming a fast fan of some of the city's favorites - from brews to Cardinals to blues music.
Noting a specialty in French and Latin American cuisines, Michael Fricker studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. Bringing his coastal cooking experience from Portland and Seattle, he joined the culinary team at The Reeds at Shelter Haven, located on Stone Harbor, occupying the southern portion of New Jersey's Seven Mile Island. "I'm excited to be at Cielo in St. Louis," said Fricker. "Discovering all the fresh produce and numerous farmers with locally grown meats has been one of the best aspects for me so far. Cielo's culinary team allows these farmers' best produce to dictate what we serve to our guests." Hailing from Philadelphia, Fricker enjoys hiking or touring on his motorcycle on his days off.
Saul Juarez feels he was destined to become a pastry chef. As a boy growing up in Mexico, he obtained a part-time job in a bakery. There, he learned the art of baking bread and quickly became interested in baking desserts. “My mother and grandmother are my inspiration,” said Saul, Pastry Sous Chef at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. “They are the best cooks I know and fostered my love for being in the kitchen. Now, I’m able to share my love for baking with St. Louis, Four Seasons and Cielo.”
In 2004, Saul’s dreams became a reality when he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. He has worked at four Four Seasons properties, beginning his career at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley East Palo Alto, moving on to Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village and then most recently Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Saul currently oversees the production of in-house pastries, desserts, wedding cakes and all hotel and Cielo special amenities.