The roots of the Grisanti culinary tradition date back to 1505 in the village of Valdottavo, a Northern Italian village from which Rinaldo Grisanti emigrated in 1909 in pursuit of the American Dream.
Arriving at Ellis Island with little more than a couple hundred dollars, Rinaldo made his way to Memphis, carrying with him something more precious than gold. His treasure was the Grisanti famiglia art form, Cucina Tuscanno.
Memphis was good to Rinaldo. He went to work in the food industry and met Miss Mary, the woman who would become his wife. Eventually, he opened his own restaurant, and in 1929 his eldest son, Elfo, joined him in the kitchen. Elfo’s culinary talent blossomed. When the movie star Vincent Price and his wife published the cookbook A Treasury of Great Recipes, they included two of Elfo’s creations – Elfo’s Special and Spinach Uova. With this, the culinary world became aware of the Grisanti-style of Northern Italian Cuisine.
Through the years, each Grisanti chef – Rinaldo, Elfo, John, Alex, Judd, Frank, and myself – has brought his singular touch to our famiglias legacy. Our menu includes favorites that go back generations, including handmade ravioli, lasagna al forno, mezzo-mezzo, and Miss Mary’s salad. Now that I have become Chef di Cucina of a 106-year culinary tradition, I have made it my mission to maintain the art of fine Italian dining while bringing my signature contributions to the Grisanti culinary heritage.
The flavors in our recipes, gravies, and sauces are blended with simplicity, elegance, and love. I pledge to you – our friends and guests – that Chef Rinaldo “Ronnie” Grisanti will protect the famiglia legacy of Cucina Tuscanno while continuing to refine the art form. This is my gift to our community, which allowed the original Rinaldo Grisanti and his descendants to thrive and raise our families in the greatest place in the world, our home, Memphis, Tennessee.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to protect and bless you and your loved ones forever.
Peace and Love,
Chef Rinaldo Grisanti, CWC, Sommelier