CRAIG CUPANI Executive Chef From a very young age, Craig Cupani ‘s fondest memories were of dinners in the family kitchen. Raised in an Italian American home, the kitchen was the gathering place for family, neighbors and friends. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1988, Craig worked his way through the ranks to become Executive Sous Chef at the world famous “21” Club on E. 52nd Street. He was recruited away from ‘21’ to become the Executive Chef of Butterfield 81, restaurateur Ken Aretsky’s neighborhood restaurant on the Upper East Side. To round out his experience, Cupani left Butterfield 81 to work with the Union Square Hospitality Group and Restaurant Associates to assist in the openings of Tabla and Brasserie. In 1999, Cupani reunited with Ken Aretsky and became the Executive Chef of Patroon in Midtown. Five years later, Cupani opened his own restaurant, a casual Italian trattoria in his hometown of Hartsdale, New York. Lia’s, named after his daughter, gained popularity quickly and a three-star review from The New York Times.