creating healthier places in which to learn

WITS Featured Chef Partner

Chef Ivan Beacco


Ivan Beacco, Executive Chef at Acqua restaurant, was raised in the coastal northern Italian city of Trieste, a stone throw of distance from Venice. He was exposed to a style of cooking that fused classic Italian fares with "Mittel European" traditions. From early on, Beacco knew he enjoyed creating food to please his friends and family.


After years of working in classic Italian restaurants, and then in a small Viennese restaurant adjacent to the famous Naschmarkt market, Ivan's desire of expanding his culinary horizons brought him to the mecca of restaurant world: New York City. He got his Big Apple beginnings working the starters station at Borgo Antico Restaurant, a Tuscan Emilian inspired restaurant near the vibrant Union Square. By 2009 he'd worked at restaurants across the city, achieved the status of Executive Chef, been featured in the New York Times four times and made his first appearance within the Michelin guide. In 2012 Ivan joined the crew Acqua as their Executive Chef, where he creates masterful Italian cuisine to this day.


As a student and apprentice Ivan looked up to more experienced chefs to teach him about the magic of food and health. When he became a professional chef himself, and then eventually a father, he realized he was ready to impart his wisdom and experience as well. "Every time I showed my son something new with food I could see the synapses firing in his young brain. I thought, 'Why stop with just one kid'?"


When Ivan learned about WITS he was excited to discover a way to reach out to even more kids to teach them his "magic". As a WITS Chef Partner Ivan leads exciting and interactive WITS Café Days, demoing special dishes for students, and he routinely goes above and beyond by helping with the WITS Labs and creating new school events. "Kids nowadays are very used to going out with their families for meals," says Ivan, "Being able to meet a Chef is exciting for many of them and inspires them to cook and eat well themselves. For them it's a special interaction, like being able to look up the magician's sleeve."



Click here for Chef Beacco's Square Spaghetti recipe