Carla Pellegrino, once Carla Madeira, was born in Rio de Janeiro to a Portuguese father and a second-generation Italian mother. As early as age 10, Pellegrino was cooking daily for her family and helping run her mother’s catering business, which educated her in the preparation of traditional Brazilian, Italian and Portuguese cuisine. At age 16, chef moved to Liguria, Italy, where she owned a small store where her passion for cooking inspired her to conduct cooking demonstrations daily. In 1997, travels brought her to the United States, where she attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC and in 2000, graduated with honors. In May 2000, she and Frank Pellegrino Jr opened and successfully established Baldoria Restaurant on 8th Avenue and Broadway at the heart of NYC’s theater district. At the end of 2006, a dream became a reality and Pellegrino led the culinary team as the executive chef to open Rao’s Las Vegas. She took 10 of the original recipes from the legendary East Harlem’s Italian restaurant, added her own traditional North Italian cuisine and built a high volume menu concept keeping in mind quality of ingredients and consistency and at the same time translating the family style operated by Rao’s family at its ten table restaurant since 1886.

Pellegrino has been featured on Top Chef, Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Fox News National, Throwdown with Bobby Flay (which she won), Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and multiple other national and local news outlets.


Touche Rooftop Restaurant - Miami, FL

Executive Chef
November 1st, 2013 to Present

Bratalian - Henderson, NV

Executive Chef/Owner
January 2nd, 2011 to Present

Meatball Spot - Las Vegas, NV

Executive Chef/Owner
October 25th, 2012

Bacio by Carla Pellegrino - Las Vegas, NV

Executive Chef
March 21st, 2011 to October, 2012

RAO's Las Vegas, Carsars Palace - Las Vegas, NV

Executive Chef/Owner
September 2006 to November 2010

Baldoria Restaurant - New York, NY

Executive Chef/Owner
January 2000 to September 2006
Education / Languages / Affiliations


French Culinary Institute - New York, NY

The ‘Grand Diplome’ in French Culinary Arts – 2000


  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Spanish


VIP member of James Beard Foundation

New York City

  • “Carla is one of those rare people that are just as happy chopping garlic as she is discussing marketing strategies. I am haunted by her Orecchiette with Broccoli Raba and Sausage…. one day I will get it right. Carla is a warm caring person and a pleasure to work with. I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again someday.”

    Salvatore Rizzo, Owner/Director, De Gustibus Cooking School @ Macy’s Herald Square
  • “Carla’s personality and her skills in the kitchen are qualities rarely found in the same person. Carla – thanks for all that you do for our customers!”

    Jordan D. Clark, VP of Sales, Harrah’s Entertainment

    Jordan D. Clark, VP of Sales, Harrah’s Entertainment
  • “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Carla for several years. In addition to her exceptional skills in the kitchen, Carla is a strong manager and leader. I would welcome the opportunity to work with her again.”

    John Unwin, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Caesars Palace

    John Unwin, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Caesars Palace
  • “Astonishing is just one of the buzz words I would use to describe Carla, since the day she stepped foot at Caesars Palace to open Rao’s she continuously impressed each and every one of us. Her commitment to quality, completed simplistically and her desire to achieve perfection is incredible. It was an honor to work with her, I cherished every meal she prepared and looked forward to her calling and saying you have to try this. You wouldn’t find a more seasoned professional who truly loves what she does.”


    Greg Waldron, Former V.P. Food & Beverage, Caesars Palace
  • “Carla Pellegrino is one of the finest chefs to appear on the De Gustibus stage. Her unparalleled culinary skills and vivacious energy made her one of the most beloved host chefs at De Gustibus Cooking School at Macy’s Herald Square, and we’d have her back in an instant!”

    Salvatore Rizzo, Owner/Director, De Gustibus Cooking School @ Macy’s Herald Square

  • “Meatball Spot was voted one of the Top Newcomers of 2012”
  • “Meatball Spot was voted to be one of the Top 10 New restaurants in Las Vegas”
  • “Crowd-pleasers include Chef Carla Pellegrino’s spicy tomato sauce and mac and cheese, popular with in-the-know locals.”

    New York Post
  • “Have a ball with the likes of a talented, passionate chef— Chef Carla Pellegrino. The pizzas are sensational and the dessert, in terms of calories per dollar, is a deal and a half.”

    Vegas Seven
  • “The restaurant is turning out to be a celebrity magnet.”

    “A true meat-lover’s paradise also boasts a fab white-grape sangria and some of the best milkshakes in Vegas.”

    WHERE Las Vegas

James Beard Award – Women in Food – honored Chef Guest – April 2009


Beard Bites September 2009 issue – featured as “The Best Pasta Recipe of the winter 2009”


Honored as “The executive chef in charge and hostess of the outstanding and ancient annual culinary event” promoted by the legendary Massonaire Organization “Chaine des Rotisseurs”


Featured in Vegas Magazine – My Style food issue – 2 full pages – October 2009


Featured in Vegas Magazine – Chef’s Talk – 1/2 page – May 2009


Featured at Media Coverage – Hello! Magazine (Canada) – 3 full pages – September 2009


Among the best chefs in the country at the Bon Appetit event – Chefs in the Sky 2009


Featured at the FOOD NETWORK throughout the month of December 2009, as Bobby Flay challenger and winner of the annual Christmas special “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”


Featured in marketing materials posted nationally including billboards, full-page advertisements in Bon Appettit and The New York Times, together with colleagues Francois Payard, Guy Savoy, Bradley Ogden and Bobby Flay


Among the 5 chosen spoken female chefs for the LA premier of movie “Julie & Julia” in 2009, about the legendary culinary icon Julia Child

The Heart Chef Chair for the “American Heart Association”, Chair Chef of their annual culinary event “Flavors of the Heart’ 2012


Winner of Annual The Best of Vegas award from the Review Journal on Best new restaurant category (Bratalian) for 2011, 2012, 2013


Winner of the Best Italian restaurant in Henderson – NV – with Bratalian for US Commerce Association 2011 and 2012, 2013, 2014


Winner of The Best of Vegas from critics and people for the Review Journal with Bacio by Carla Pellegrino for Best Italian in Las Vegas in 2011


Honored by James Beard Foundation once again, hosted a “Spring in Italy” at the James Beard House in New York City on March 15, 2012


Bacio by Carla Pellegrino received an honorable mention by GAYOT.COM as one of the Top Ten Best New restaurants in US for 2011


National Chair Chef for the Flavors of the Heart at 2012 (National Heart Association)


Participating as a contestant at the Bravo channel’s culinary series Top Chef season 10 – Seattle – 21 Chefs around the country were selected from 70,000 auditioning Chefs from around the world. It premieres on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

Carla Pellegrino featured as Most Beautiful in Vegas Rated, January 2013


Featured on the cover of Syck Magazine, January 2013


Stage Chef and Featured Restaurant at the Food Village at LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL premiere at 2013, in Downtown Las Vegas


BRATALIAN wins The Best of Vegas 2013 – The Best Italian Restaurant Category – By the Las Vegas Review Journal – The Editor’s award


BRATALIAN mention in USA TODAY April 2013 edition as one of the Top Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Las Vegas


February 07, 2014 – Opened the kitchen to serve 24 hours food to E11EVEN Night Club in Downtown Miami


April 3rd – Grand opening of TOUCHE RESTAURANT & ROOFTOP LOUNGE in Downtown Miami; beautiful and fun concept in the heart of blooming Miami’s downtown – Fine Italian, sushi bar, Pizzeria and Lounge food – Touché has gotten 3 stars from Miami Herald and The Best Italian restaurant in Miami by Open Table’s customers poll


June 11th, Hosted with great success for the 6th time my Fine Italian concept dinner at the James beard House in Manhattan, NY


February 19th to 22nd, Participated actively of the 14th SOBE WFF, Ronzoni’s Al Fresco event and host a sold out dinner at my Touche Miami with acclaimed Food Network star, Chef Robert Irvine