Pasquale Cozzolino is the executive chef and co-owner of Ribalta restaurants (ribaltapizzarestaurant.com) in Manhattan and Atlanta.
Born in Naples, Italy, he attended six years of culinary school, where he learned 200-year-old recipes and perfected the art of making Neapolitan Pizza Margherita. After graduation, Pasquale worked for 10 years as a private executive chef in concert tours throughout Europe and South America serving such bands as U2, Madonna, Muse, and Coldplay. In 2011, he moved to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a pizza chef and owning a restaurant. In the U.S., Pasquale packed on the pounds by eating American-style fast food. He became dangerously overweight and realized he had to change his lifestyle or risk a heart attack. The answer was pizza, but not just any pizza. Pasquale used top-quality ingredients and his talent for mixing tradition with innovation to develop healthy recipes for pizza so he could lose weight and transform his health while still enjoying Neapolitan cuisine. His creations earned Ribalta New York magazine's best pizza of NYC award. While eating this pizza every day for lunch, Pasquale lost more than 100 pounds in 7 months--and The Pizza Diet was born. Now leaner, healthier, and happier, Pasquale is eager to share his strategies and recipes to help others achieve a healthier lifestyle. Pasquale lives in Queens, NY, with his wife and two sons.