Photo by Christopher Testani

05/30/2014—Like his fellow Lexus Culinary Master team members, Chef Carlo Mirarchi had already earned master status before the words “Lexus” and “Culinary” were added this week to make it an actual title.

After all, Mirarchi’s two Brooklyn restaurants, the not-your-typical-pizzeria Roberta’s and the Michelin-starred Blanca, have earned the 30-something chef plenty of accolades and the kind of respect that requires serious planning before dining at his establishments. (A reservation at Blanca, an intimate, 12-seat dining experience, must be made 30 days in advance.)

In other words, Mirarchi’s talents are right up there with those of his fellow Lexus Culinary Master team members—the likes of which include top guns such as Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon, and Michelle Bernstein—plus his team connections make him a natural fit.

Case in point: Mirarchi is used to sharing a kitchen with team member Christopher Kostow at the latter’s annual holiday Restaurant at Meadowood charity event, and he’s cooked plenty with last year’s team additions (who also happen to be Mirarchi’s pals), Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of L.A.’s Animal and Son of a Gun restaurants.

It’s fitting, then, that Mirarchi’s recent Lexus Culinary Master announcement took place at the latest installation of Shook and Dotolo’s “Cooking with Friends: Lexus Culinary Masters,” a dinner series where an esteemed chef cooks for noteworthy food-aficionado crowds and the proceeds go to charity.

The particular event’s format: an urban garden party at Roberta’s for about 200 guests, which makes sense, since it was Mirarchi who became an early adopter of the NYC urban-farming movement with the launch of Roberta’s rooftop garden.


(Roberta’s, by the way, may be the only pizzeria in the world that also offers a wagyu flank steak and “coffee-roasted beets,” as well as creative pizzas like “The Bee Sting,” which adds chili and honey to a traditional mozzarella, tomato, and soppressata topping.)

Clearly this sets the potential stage for some entertaining cooking demos at future Lexus-sponsored culinary events, but Mirarchi says that while he’s looking forward to cooking for Lexus fans, he’s also in it for another potential opportunity—getting “some time on the racetrack” in a Lexus performance vehicle.

Which all goes to show that Mirarchi, like many Lexus owners, also understands a fundamental truth—premium dining experiences and premium automobiles complement each other nicely.