Vivace Has a New Executive Chef

Venezuela native Rodrigo Velazco joined the kitchen earlier this month
Photo Credit: Poprock Photography
Chef Rodrigo Velazco

Vivace has a new executive chef. Rodrigo Velazco has joined the midtown Italian restaurant, replacing Mike Suppa, who left Vivace earlier this summer to work with HMSHost at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. 

Velazco most recently held the position of chef de cuisine at The Local Craft Food and Drink in Coral Gables, Florida, just outside of Miami. There, he worked under James Beard-nominated chef Phil Bryant. He’s previously worked as chef de partie at 1826 Restaurant + Lounge in Miami, working under two Michelin-star Chef Danny Grant. Velazco has also been a sous chef for Jeff McInnis, who Top Chef fans may recognize. McInnis’s restaurant, Root + Bone, also hosted the Biscuit Battle between New York chefs and a group of Charlotte chefs who recently traveled to the James Beard House.

Velazco, who is bilingual, grew up in Venezuela and moved to Florida in 2005, meaning his culinary style has been influenced by many global cuisines. Expect to see that influence on his menu, which will still make use of locally grown and sourced ingredients.

“We will be blending local fare with international techniques to produce an authentic Italian experience,” Velazco says in a statement.

Velazco started at Vivace on August 15. Welcome to town!

Kristen Wile

Kristen Wile is senior editor of Charlotte magazine and editor of Charlotte Home + Garden. Reach her at​ or follow her on Twitter: @kristenwile.

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Categories: Food + Drink