FABRIZIO AIELLI, CHEF OWNER

Fabrizio was born in the heart of the Adriatic coast of Venice, Italy where he began his culinary career.  Growing up in Venice, Chef Aielli nurtured a fascination for cooking at his mother’s stove. After working in Venice, he moved away to gain experience in some of the best restaurants and hotels around the world. He eventually returned home to become executive chef of the renowned Taverna la Fenice next to Venice’s opera house. His years of practice included fine restaurants in Italy, the Caribbean and Washington, DC.

In 1995, Chef Aielli and his wife Ingrid opened the fifirst of their restaurants, Goldoni in 1995 followed by Osteria Goldoni in 1998, and finally Teatro Goldoni in 1999. The latter was acclaimed as one of the best new restaurants in the country by Esquire magazine; and Gourmet magazine named Teatro Goldoni as one of the top twenty restaurants in Washington DC. Teatro Goldoni also was recognized by the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, and Food & Wine Magazine. Teatro Goldoni was a recipient of the prestigious
AAA Five Diamond Award and Diroma Award.

In 2007 Fabrizio and Ingrid moved permanently to Naples seeking a location for their next restaurant. Sea Salt opened in November of 2008 to high praise including Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurant.

In 2012 Chef Aielli launched Barbatella, a Spirited Italian Trattoria just steps away from Sea Salt on picturesque Third Street South. The popular trattoria highlights Chef Fabrizio’s favorite classic Italian  dishes.

After establishing Sea Salt and Barbatella in the culinary landscape of Naples, the Aielli Group decided to open Dorona in 2018. This modern Italian Steakhouse not only features the finest custom cuts of beef available from select farms but also gives the dining experience an Italian touch through signature dishes and ingredients from the Aielli’s homeland. The Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation announced Chef Fabrizio as honoree of the year 2018 for his “Venetian World” cuisine representing an imaginative combination of centuries of tradition coupled with current international influences.

INGRID AIELLI, OWNER/Restauranteur/Philanthropist

Born in Bratislava Slovakia, Ingrid and her husband Chef Fabrizio Aielli (Venice Italy) moved to Washington, D.C. in the 1990s. In Washington they honed their culinary and management skills and established three highly acclaimed restaurants that were known for their fine cuisine. In Washington they worked as a team establishing a stellar reputation and their restaurants were patronized by political, diplomatic and celebrity clients from around the world.
In 2008 after visiting Naples several times they determined that the vibrant and popular community was a prime location for their next career move. The success of their first Naple’s restaurant, Sea Salt, encouraged them to expand and the restaurant group now includes Sea Salt Naples, Sea Salt St. Pete, Barbatella and Dorona.

Ingrid and Fabrizio are partners of this growing enterprise. Ingrid Aiellis management skills and social acumen are one of the major keys to the success of the Aielli Group. Ingrid manages staff and restaurant operations along with her more public role as an active generous member of the Naples philanthropic community.

Her activities include:
Co-chair the Nane Kimijan Memorial Scholarship Fund
(in memory of her late brother)
Board member and Vice Conseiller Culinary of La Chaine des Rotisseurs
(oldest and largest food and wine society in the world)
American Cancer Society
David Lawrence Center
Kitchen Tour benefitting Naples Women’s Club
Make A Wish Foundation South Florida
Naples Botanical Gardens
Naples Wine Festival
PAWS Assistance Dogs
The Shelter for Abused Women and Children Naples
SWFL Wine Festival
Youth Haven
Honors
2001 Women of the Year Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (DC)
2011 Glass Slipper Recipient by Champions of Learning
2016 Leading Lady (Naples Illustrated)
2016 Woman of the Year (Gulfshore Life)

Ingrid and Fabrizio’s partnership and philanthropic endeavors are important to Southwest Florida. The hundreds of jobs they create along with their unwavering support of many charitable organizations demonstrate their economic importance and their commitment to the community. 

People

Meet Our Team

JASON GODDARD

CHEF DE CUISINE

Born in Iowa, Jason lived and grew up on a small sustainable farm, which produced products for both his family’s table, and for sale at local farmers markets. Jason began cooking and working in the culinary industry at age 13, learning the business from the women of the countryside where he lived, and training with local butchers. He fine-tuned his craft working for caterers, high volume restaurants and organic cafes. After years of real world experience Jason has further developed his skills in the kitchen of Sea Salt under the mentorship of Chef Fabrizio Aielli where his creative talents have led to his appointment as executive chef.

TANYA BUCHANAN

GENERAL MANAGER

Tanya has been in the restaurant business since she was 14 years old, and became a restaurateur when she opened her first Italian restaurant, Dolcetto Trattoria, in Washington D.C. at the age of 17. After three successful years, Tanya moved to Las Vegas to help open Chef Jean-Louis Palladin’s new restaurant. “Jean-Louis would always invite me to work events around the world which exposed me to many different personalities in the industry”, and ultimately led her to launch a career in restaurant event marketing and management in 2005. She worked for notable Chefs Roberto Donna and Jean-Louis Palladin before joining Fabrizio Aielli’s team in August of 2012, as general manager. Tanya oversees the day-to-day operations and management responsibilities for Sea Salt Restaurant.

Tanya is also dedicated to our community; she volunteers her to time to Boys & Girls Club; Share Our Strength; Three Square; Meals on Wheels; Opportunity Village; Chefs for Kids and March of Dimes.

LISET ZELAYA

SOMMELIER

It took one sip of Nicolas Joly’s Coulée de Serrant to romance Liset Zelaya into the world of wine.  She brings a passion for sharing the wines of the world and the culture behind them.  Her credentials include Certified Sommelier by the Master Court of Sommeliers and  Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators.   

Liset believes in education through experience.  Books teach us theory, however to drink wine where it was made, with the foods of the region and the people who made it brings an aspect few have the opportunity to experience.  She encourages learning opportunities for Sea Salt’s patrons by organizing wine seminars and pairings with winemakers and winery owners from around the world.  Creating an experience for our guests is what drives her.

She maintains an award-winning wine list that includes high-end and hard-to-find wines along with a focus on mixology and craft spirits.  Her passion for pairing food and wine is complimented by taking the fear out of wine selection for  patrons. Working closely with Chef Fabrizio Aielli, she fashions an ever-changing list that compliments and challenges the intricacies of his menu.

LILI MONTES

PARTNER/OPERATIONS

Chief Operating Officer of Sea Salt, Lili handles the administrative & financials for the company. Born and raised in Naples, Lili received her degree from Florida Atlantic University and settled back in Naples. After a successful career in real estate valuation, she partnered with Fabrizio and Ingrid Aielli to open Sea Salt in 2008. 

Lili has been active in various organizations and charities in the Naples area. Currently she is president of the Training Kids Foundation and co-chair of the Nane Kimijan Scholarship Fund.