Working closely with James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schlow for nearly a decade, Leo Asaro takes on his newest role as the executive chef at Tico in Boston. Named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire magazine, Tico is a fun, sexy restaurant in Back Bay, serving small plates kissed by the spices and influences of Spain, Mexico, and Latin America.
A Midwesterner who spent summers on Cape Cod, Asaro has a unique perspective on food that pulls from both St. Louis BBQ and New England clambakes. With Italian roots in St. Louis, Asaro grew up in the kitchen cooking for big family holidays and backyard pool parties. Every summer, he would dig for clams with his brother on the beaches of Cape Cod, where his extended family made their home. Eventually, his interest in food and cooking became a career path, and Asaro graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. After a defining externship with Daniel Boulud in New York City where he learned the importance of attention to detail via French technique, Asaro road-tripped to back to Massachusetts to expand his knowledge and experience at Radius in Boston under chef/owner Michael Schlow.
After four years at Radius, Asaro moved to Chef Schlow’s Via Matta kitchen to explore the rustic Italian cuisines of the Piedmont, Tuscany, and Emilia Romagna regions, where he rose through the ranks to executive chef within three years.
Excited by the freedom to blend different flavors from Spain, Mexico, and Latin America, Asaro relaunches Tico in the late winter/early spring of 2014 with a new menu that pushes traditional boundaries while highlighting local farmers and purveyors.