The CASA MONO and BAR JAMÓN team combine Mario and Joe's restaurateur expertise and signature style with Andy Nusser's exceptional cooking and Nancy Selzer's supreme operating skills. Together, the team produces great food and vibes everyday.
Andy Nusser's passion for food began in his Spanish hometown on the Costa Brava where he started work as a dishwasher for a restaurant called Casa Nun. In the United States, he spent more than a decade working for General Motors in Santa Barbara before enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating at the top of his class in 1995, he started cooking with Mario Batali in the tiny kitchen at Pó in Greenwich Village, Mario's first restaurant. In 1998, Andy was named Executive Chef at Mario and Joe Bastianich's newly opened Babbo, where he helped the restaurant earn three stars from The New York Times and the title of Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation. In 2003, Andy, Mario and Joe opened CASA MONO and BAR JAMÓN, odes to the food Andy experienced growing up in Spain, where his "idea was to have great ingredients and not mess with them. Our concept is great ingredients, plus heart, soul and artistry." Among his many successes, Andy was an Award Winning Chef at the Copa de Jerez 2007 International Competition. He and his family reside in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Raised in Salem, Virginia, Nancy Selzer left the world of academic publishing for her true-calling and has since spent more than fifteen years in the restaurant industry. She began her long-standing relationship with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich when she was hired as a server in the team that earned Babbo its first three stars from The New York Times. She was promoted to General Manager at Pó, Mario's first restaurant, then returned to Babbo as the Service Director. She went on to help create the bustling CASA MONO and intimate BAR JAMÓN, where her responsibilities included cultivating the acclaimed wine list, noted by the Wine Spectator as one of the best in Manhattan. She was an award winning sommelier at the Copa de Jerez 2007 International Competition. She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, New York.
After graduating from college in New York City, Anthony Sasso made his first of many visits to his family in a small village in Catalunya, the region of Spain known for its gastronomic traditions. Upon returning to the states, he enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education. After completing the program, he staged with famous NYC chefs until he finally slipped into the small corner spot on 17th and Irving that would mark the beginning of his professional cooking career. Anthony started at BAR JAMÓN and a few days later moved to a job as prep cook at CASA MONO. After a little over a year as a cook at CASA MONO, Anthony returned to Spain and landed a job at the renowned marisqueria "El Hogar Gallego". He returned to CASA MONO not only a better cook, but as an ambassador of classic Spanish cuisine and local Catalan specialties. Anthony began taking on whole animal butchery (apprenticing during his days off with a local butcher), preparing cured meats in-house and developing more of a presence for CASA MONO in the farmers' market movement. In 2008 he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine, the position he still holds today. After his first year as chef, CASA MONO earned it first ever Michelin star.
A Seattle-bred, New York-based restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality, Mario Batali is known for his signature style—brazen meets sophisticated, forward meets enduring. He was named Man of the Year in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002, he won the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: New York City award and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario Outstanding Chef of the Year. Mario is also one of the recipients of the 2001 D'Artagnan Cervena Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, a prestigious lifetime achievement award. Most recently, he and Joe Bastianich were awarded the 2008 James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife Susan Cahn of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons.
After studying finance and spending a year on Wall Street, Joe bought a one-way ticket to Italy and explored the country's small corners, keeping food and wine a top priority. He came back to New York and opened Becco with his mother, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and then partnered with Mario to open Babbo, which garnered three coveted stars from The New York Times and the prestigious Best New Restaurant in America award from the James Beard Foundation—indeed, the prophetic beginning of their thriving collection of restaurants. Joe is also a passionate wine-maker and teacher and wrote, with David Lynch, Vino Italiano. In 2005 he was recognized as an Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional by both the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit. Most recently, he and Mario were awarded the 2008 James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award. Joe feels fortunate to be "working within the vernacular of the Italian table."