We are proud to have industry-leading talent comprising the Fiola Mare team. With diverse, award-winning expertise, each member is committed to the exceptional, best-in-class service that Fabio Trabocchi customers are accustom to. If you are interested in being a part of this dynamic team, please visit our careers page.
Fabio & Maria Font Trabocchi
Fabio Trabocchi and Maria Font Trabocchi are a dynamic duo in Washington DC’s restaurant scene, driven by hospitality, quality, and authenticity. They founded Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants in 2011, which today includes Del Mar, Fiola DC, Fiola Mare, Sfoglina Pasta House (two locations, soon to be three), and their newest, Fiola Miami.
Their deeply-rooted respect for hard work and family tradition forms the moral and cultural foundation of their lives and work. Restaurants have been their way of life since they met in Washington in the '90s. Fabio’s expertise and pursuit of perfection paired with Maria’s natural style, beauty, and grace is a winning combination.
Anton Bolling, Executive Chef
Chef Anton's culinary career started right after high school when he attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis/St. Paul. After graduating, he moved back home to Philadelphia and began his career with Starr Restaurants. Over course of seven years Chef Anton worked at three of Starr's top restaurants in the city, including Washington Square, Alma de Cuba — and after a year in New York City — The Dandelion. It was at The Dandelion where he had his first sous chef role. He was asked to be part of the opening team at Le Diplomate in Washington, DC, where he stayed for several years before joining the Fiola Mare team as sous chef.
christian capo, corporate Pastry Chef
Chef Christian Capo graduated with honors at the top of his class at Johnson and Wales University, obtaining degrees in both Culinary Arts & Baking/Pastry Arts. He began working in the industry at the age of 17, working for renowned Chef Pascal Oudin for 3 years, then continued his training and experience in the pastry kitchens of some of the most prestigious hotels in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton areas. He served as the baking and pastry supervisor at the Ritz Carlton Naples Beach and Golf Resorts, where he served for six years. Before Christian began working for Chef Fabio Trabocchi in January 2017 as pastry chef-tournant, he was sous chef for James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year Chef Dominique Ansel from 2014 to 2016, focusing on lamination and pastry production for both New York locations. While continuing to learn and develop his craft relentlessly with his teams, Christian also collaborated in the development of signature pastries for DA Bakery locations in Tokyo and London. Chef Christian was promoted to Corporate Pastry Chef at Fabio Trabocchi restaurants in February 2018, overseeing pastry production and development at all six restaurants.
Jason Wiles, executive General Manager
Jason Wiles joined the leadership team at Fiola Mare from Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup, where he was most recently General Manager at Oyamel. Prior to TFG, Wiles was Area Food and Beverage Manager for Notti Bianche and Circle Bistro where he managed food service operations for both locations. He also served as bar supervisor of Poste Moderne Brasserie located in the Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton property.
Sharif Abdullaev, Assistant General Manager
Sharif's passion for hospitality started with helping his parents and relatives hosting many large traditional family events since he was 10, growing up in the small Central Asian country of Tajikistan. For Sharif, it was always a great honor to have a guest at home.
His career path in hospitality service started in the U.S., at Spanish Las Tapas of Alexandria, Virginia. After 3 years he continued to develop his experience working as a Captain in the Italian power houses of Galileo and Teatro Goldoni. Even though Sharif always loved working as a Captain, he always knew he could contribute more as a front of house manager. Nothing gives Sharif greater pleasure than recognizing a repeat guest, making a first time diner a regular, learning guests' preferences, making guests feel at home and ensuring their return. After two years as Captain at Fiola, and a few more years as Restaurant Manager, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager.
Jaleesa Lucas, Restaurant Manager
Jaleesa earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and worked as a lab assistant and cytology processor before discovering her passion for the hospitality industry. She entered the industry as a bartender at Blue Coast Grille and Bar in Knoxville, Tennessee and has since continued to flourish and grow within restaurants, working with Michelin-starred chef José Andres before joining the team at Fiola Mare as Restaurant Manager in August 2018. Jaleesa is certified by the WSET, passing with distinction in Level II and passing with merit in Level III.
Canver Saltikalp, Restaurant Manager
Canver joined the Fiola Mare team from Istanbul,Turkey, where he began his international hospitality career as a waiter at the City Center Hotel and worked his way up the ranks to captain at Poisson Restaurant and Butcha Steakhouse. In his role as manager, he promotes teamwork and builds positive guest relations, but he is also known for his masterful tableside fish carving skills.
Elizabeth Zelaya, Maitre d’/guest relations manager
Elizabeth was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her hospitality career began immediately after high school at age 18, when she began as a host at the Darlington House. She began working at Fiola in January 2012, and Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants has been her home ever since. Elizabeth was inspired by the vision and culture at the group, which she describes as motivating and contagious. She was promoted to lead host, and later became an assistant manager while also taking the responsibility to train the host team. She was promoted to Guest Relations Manager at Fiola Mare in 2014 and was an instrumental member of the opening teams at Fiola Mare, Casa Luca (now Sfoglina Downtown), and Del Mar.
Megumi Awaya, Sommelier
Born and raised in Japan, Megumi has always enjoyed seafood, sake and wine. While working at law firms and international trade consulting firms as a Business Manager, she started to discover the joys of wine and decided to pursue a career in enology. Under the guidance of Jay Youmans, Master of Wine, Megumi became Sommelier and Assistant Manager at Tabard Inn. Now at Fiola Mare, she wants to unravel the mysteries of the wine world to our guests. Megumi is a Certified Sommelier (Level 2) from Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wine from Society of Wine Educators, Advanced Level (Level 3) from Wine & Spirit Education Trust from London, and French Wine Scholar from the French Wine Society. Her wine journey continues.
CW Kelley, Sommelier
CW has been in the hospitality sector for 30 years, the past 20 years in the Washington, DC market. He earned a Hospitality Managment certificate from Cornell University. Working with passionate sommeliers during the course of his career, CW found his affinity for wine and pursued his Certification by the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has been accepted into the advanced sommelier program, and plans to sit for the test in 2020. CW graduated with an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Viticulture in May 2018 from Missouri State University West Plains through Vesta-USA, which is a National Science Foundation funded program to promote education in viticulture, enology, and wine business.
PAWAN NEGI, SOMMELIER
Pawan has been working in hotels and restaurants for the past 10 years. He started his career in hospitality as a server at the Hyatt hotels in New Delhi and then worked at Le Cirque New Delhi as a supervisor. Pawan transferred to the Cayman Islands to join Luca Restaurant as a sommelier and was later promoted to wine director. He then moved to Agua Restaurant as an assistant restaurant manager, also overseeing the wine program. Pawan is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and also holds the advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
Lauren O’Leary, Private Events Manager
Lauren is from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It was on that beautiful 12-mile long island boasting more than 250 restaurants that she first realized her passion for the hospitality industry. While working for one of the largest restaurant groups on the island, Lauren honed her skills as a host manager as well as a server. She attended the College of Charleston, where she majored in International Business and Spanish. She worked her way through college at the 4-diamond Market Pavilion Hotel as a cocktail server and was promoted to bartender a short time later and knew that she was doing what she loved. In 2012, Lauren was offered a position with a tech startup in Washington, D.C., and she jumped at the opportunity to take on the next venture. Yet she found herself with a desire to return to her first love: hospitality. She joined the bar team at Fiola, where she helped to run and grow the bar program. Her passion for Italian food and spirits grew, along with her love for developing strong relationships with guests. Lauren's past experiences culminate perfectly into her exciting role managing private events for Fiola Mare.