Michael Gallina

Michael Gallina

St. Louis, MO

“Idaho® potatoes can be super crispy, tender, creamy, fluffy ... let's have some fun with that.”

A Perfect Potato-Crusted Pizza

Being in the kitchen alongside my grandfather and parents while I was growing up was a cherished experience. Recognizing that I’d always enjoyed cooking and impressed with the sights and sounds of San Francisco, I enrolled in the city's California Culinary Academy. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, I share close and meaningful relationships with farmers, forage for wild ingredients and extract incredible results from a wood fired grill. I also embrace the flavors and textures of vegetables and, while celebrating animal proteins, believe a great dish doesn’t require a big chunk of meat in the center of the plate.

I believe it's important for chefs to fully understand potatoes, taking time to conduct tests and appreciate their nuance so that, when developing recipes, the perfect potato is selected to generate the perfect outcome. When I think about potatoes, I’m constantly evaluating and thinking outside the box, looking for ways to create something fun. For our Potato Pizza, I've found Idaho® Yukon Golds provide a wonderfully smooth texture, pale yellow color and a flavor that provides an excellent foundation for the creamy ricotta and pickled vegetables.

I attribute my success to the fact that I’m always reading, learning, testing boundaries and finding ways to evolve. It's also due to hard work, maintaining a great working environment in the back and front of the house, and the incredible support I get from my wife and our team at Vicia.

Vicia was named Best New Restaurant in America by Eater in 2017 and nominated for the James Beard Best New Restaurant award in 2018. Michael Gallina was named Best New Chef in America in 2018 by Food & Wine and nominated for a James Beard Best Chef: Midwest award in 2019 and 2020.