Carmellini, an American of Italian descent, began his cooking career at age 14 in his hometown of Seven Hills, Ohio. He went on to attend culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America and began cooking professionally in Italian restaurants such as San Domenico in New York City and Valentino Mercatile's two-star Michelin restaurant San Domenico in Emilia–Romagna. While in Italy, Carmellini learned the arts of making pasta, prosciutto, wine, cheese and hunting truffles. After returning to the United States, he worked for three years under Chef Gray Kunz at Lespinasse, then moved back to Europe, living and working in England and France.
In 1996, Carmellini's career shifted from Italian to French cooking when he returned to New York City for good to accept a sous chef job at Le Cirque followed by becoming chef de cuisine under Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud where he would remain for six years winning two James Beard Foundation Awards and a three-star review from the New York Times.
During this time American travel became a focus for Carmellini, taking frequent road trips in search of the best regional road snacks from barbecue to root beer to po' boys.
Returning to Italian cooking, Carmellini opened A Voce as Executive Chef in 2006 in New York City's Madison Square Park neighborhood, where he would earn a Michelin Star. His first cookbook, Urban Italian: True Stories and Simple recipes from a Life In Food, was published in Fall 2008 by Bloomsbury Press. It was co-written by his wife, Gwen Hyman. The pair published their second cookbook together, American Flavor, with Echo/HarperCollins in 2011.
Currently, Carmellini is the chef and partner at Locanda Verde and The Dutch. Locanda Verde, a James Beard Award nominee for Best New Restaurant in 2010, is located inside Robert De Niro's The Greenwich Hotel and serves simple Italian food in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. The Dutch is an American restaurant in SoHo that he opened with his partners Luke Ostrom and Josh Pickard in April 2011.
Opened in April 2013, Lafayette. is a French restaurant in New York City's NoHo neighborhood. The restaurant includes a café with takeout, private dining areas, and an in-house bakery turning out loaves of miche. He spoke to Vogue about it in Fall 2012, with partners Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom.
Bar Primi is a casual pasta shop on the Bowery devoted to ‘primi piatti,’ the pasta course, highlighting an essential in Carmellini's range, fresh pasta traditionally prepared and cooked to order. Bar Primi was awarded two stars by The New York Times and added to the Michelin Guide’s list of Bib Gourmands in 2014.
Little Park, which opened in 2014, is an 85-seat seasonal restaurant that is the culmination of his career-long partnerships with local farmers, anglers, vintners, ranchers and foragers. In the back of the adjoining lobby of Smyth Tribeca, Carmellini hid Evening Bar, his own modern interpretation of a classic hotel bar. In 2016, Andrew opened three food and beverage venues – Westlight, Leuca and Mister Dips – all located within The William Vale, a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Williamsburg. 2017 brought the opening of Sagamore Pendry Baltimore where Carmellini and NoHo Hospitality Group oversee all food and beverage property-wide including Rec Pier Chop House, a prime Italian chop house devoted to time-honored cooking, and The Cannon Room, an intimate American whiskey bar. In partnership with Sagamore Spirit, a rye whiskey distillery, the team will also open an American restaurant in late 2017.
Andrew is also the author of two cookbooks with his wife Gwen Hyman: Urban Italian (Bloomsbury Press, 2008), which climbed to the year’s Top Ten Cookbooks list on Amazon.com, and American Flavor (Ecco: Harper Collins, 2011). The story continues every day at www.andrewcarmellini.com