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Chef Carlo Cavallo began his culinary career in 1991 as a Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at the famed L’Assassino Ristorante in Milano, Italia. He spent three years as an Executive Chef for Giorgio Armani’s restaurants in Beverly Hills, Boston, and Costa Mesa. Chef Carlo developed an ardent following from the Hollywood celebrities who frequently dined there. While with Giorgio Armani, Chef Carlo received numerous accolades and was honored as:


“Best New Chef of the Year” by Los Angeles Magazine."


In 1999, after several years serving as an Executive Chef for top-rated restaurants, Chef Carlo opened his own establishment, Meritage Martini Oyster Bar & Grille, in Sonoma, California. Meritage quickly became extremely popular with locals in Wine Country. It was voted and deemed one of two of the...


        "Best Restaurants for Seafood" in Napa & Sonoma Counties from


14 years in a row

The other winner was Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro.


For Chef Carlo, Meritage offered the perfect venue to blend his European heritage with California’s wine country sophistication. In addition to the restaurant itself, Chef Carlo created a hugely successful catering division, creating unique meals for weddings, private dinners, wineries, and other special events.


Chef Carlo won numerous awards for his food, wine list, and cocktails, including three consecutive, "Best Overall Martini” wins at the famous Martini Madness competition.


In May 2014 Chef Carlo closed the popular Meritage, much to the dismay of his many avid customers. He is known for having a desire to keep things fresh and bring new food concepts to the public. The talented Chef decided to create a new concept, opening the new Bistecca & Vino in the Historic Sonoma Creamery building. B&V's upscale Italian Steakhouse format and the menu was inspired, in part, after Chef Carlo won


"2009’s Best Beef in America Chefs Challenge"-National Cattlemen's Association


The restaurant boasts a larger well-appointed kitchen space, allowing Chef Carlo to focus on creating customized culinary experiences for his many wine industry and catering clients.


In 2018, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the CEIP Review Panel, selected Chef Carlo Cavallo as one of only sixteen chefs in the US to be a member of the Culinary Enrichment and Innovation Program at The Culinary Institute of America’s three campuses in the United States.  

      Recognition and Awards


  • Best New Chef of the Year” (Los Angeles Magazine)

  • “Best Seafood Restaurant” Napa & Sonoma County (2000-2014)

  • "Best Beef in America" 2009 winner of the Chefs Challenge

  • -Best Chefs America- Since 2013

  • “Best Overall Martini” (Sonoma Martini Madness, 2009, 2010, & 2011)

  • -Battle of the Bartenders- Iron Bartender Competition- winner 2014, runner up 2017

  • Winner, Steel Chef Competition (Wine Country Weekend, 2013)

  • Silver Medal of Achievement, Italian Culinary Institute of Rome,  2012 

  • Star Chef (Sonoma Showcase of Food & Wine) 2009

  • He has appeared on several Food Network shows (Guys Grocery Games, Pick of the day), CNN’s On the Menu, NBC “In Wine Country”, PBS and ABC morning news. He has been featured on Japanese and French Television programs.



  • Chef Carlo Cavallo’s recipes and restaurants have been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Gourmet, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, La Cucina Italiana, Chef magazine, Conde Naste, Food and Wine, San Francisco Chronicle, Press Democrat, and Marin Independent Journal as well as several other publications


Partial List of Notable Clients and Customers


  • Silvio Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy

  • Mexican President Felipe Calderón 

  • English Earl of Kent (as well as other European aristocracy)

  • Lieutenant General Joseph Wehrle (and 30 Brigadier Generals from around the world)

  • Catered Events for the Italian, Mexican, Egyptian, and Russian embassies

  • John Lasseter 

  • Angelina Jolie

  • Salma Hayek

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • Joey Pantoleone

  • Courtney Cox

  • Luciano Pavarotti

  • Dana Carvey

  • Sylvester Stallone

  • Priscilla Presley

  • Cynthia Nixon

  • George Lucas

  • Michael Keaton

  • Dustin Hoffman

  • Carlos Santana

  • Sammy Hagar

  • Rod Stewart


As seen on NBC

“Cooking is about preparing great food while using the best possible ingredients that nourish the body and delight the senses."
Carlo in the restaurant.jpg
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