GI has successfully fostered the appreciation of Italian Cuisine in the United States since its inception in 1979


The Gruppo Italiano (GI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering genuine Italian products and the culinary culture through education; promoting a constant flow of information among member restaurants, producers, importers, and distributors of authentic Italian products, with the press, culinary schools, and the general public with a serious passion for authentic Italian food and wine.


Gruppo Italiano (GI) was officially formed in 2017, as an evolution from the original Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani (GRI), a non-profit association founded in 1979 to increase the awareness of authentic Italian cuisine and to promote Italian cuisine’s image through member restaurants, culinary scholarships and events.

Throughout it’s history, GRI made great strides in enhancing the perception of and passion for Italian food and wine throughout the hospitality industry in the United States, and now, Gruppo Italiano begins a new era in developing a stronger presence of authentic Italian culinary products and services in the United States.

The GI membership body consists of two segments reflective of the Italian restaurant industry itself: Trade/Journalists(influential Italian restaurateurs, distributors, importers, and other prominent business and cultural leaders), and enthusiastic and passionate members of the General Public, and continues to be one of the most respected culinary and cultural organizations in the country!

Gianfranco Sorrentino, Chairman  President (Owner, Il Gattopardo Group) Originally from Naples, Italy, owner Gianfranco Sorrentino carries over 30 years of experience in restaurant management, some of these include Quisitana Hotel in Capri, Dorchester Hotel in London, Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo, Bice Restaurant in New York, Sette MoMA Restaurant at The Museum of Modern Art of New York, Union Bar and Grill in Great Barrington, MA, Mozzarella & Vino, and The Leopard at des Artistes, located in the New York landmark Hotel des Artistes.

Emiliano Poggi, Vice President (Owner, Enotria Wine) After receiving a Masters in Management & Marketing in Wine from Florence University, followed by jobs at at wineries in Tuscany, Emiliano became the Marketing Director at one of them, and the Director of the the Consorzio di Tutela del Candia dei Colli Apuani, the wine of his motherland and his youth. In New York, he he started a new professional career as a freelancer and sales rep. When asked to join Enotria as a partner, he he felt very proud – once again he found himself in management, but this time for a company he owned. American Dream? No. American opportunities for passionate, hard workers!”

Salvino Nasello, Vice President (Partner, Tradizione Imports)Salvino Nasello founded Tradizione Imports in 2010 with Marco Irato – his friend also of Sicilian origin. The two share the same passion for Italian wines, and Tradizione Imports’ goal is to introduce high quality Italian wines in the American market.”

Gennaro D’alessio, Vice President (President, C&D Food Imports) Gennaro D’Alessio was born and raised in Naples, Italy. He graduated from Federico II with a a Doctorate in Civil Engineering. After over 20 years in the construction and commercial real estate estate businesses, Gennaro was ready for a something new and different. He turned his love of food food and fascination with the United States into a new venture. In 1998 he founded C & D Food Food Imports Inc. Gennaro represents varied Italian food products with the majority of them amongst amongst the finest available in the United States. He sells his top quality brands to many of the best best restaurants and specialty food markets in the New York metro area.

Luca di Pietro, Treasurer (Founder, Tarallucci e Vino)Luca Di Pietro hails from the Central Italian region of Abruzzo. He founded Tarallucci e Vino in 2001, while running the US subsidiary of an Italian coffee company. Italy’s dining culture was something he missed and wanted to recreate in New York. That simple idea soon grew into a group of restaurants both European expats and New Yorkers appreciate for their authentic Italian appeal and warmth!”

Reid A. Rosen, Esq., Secretary ” Solo practitioner since 1992 and formerly partner in the law firm Zimmer, Victor & Bernstein, P.C. Almost 40 years of experience counseling a wide variety of businesses businesses (including public and private entities as well as individuals) with an emphasis on restaurants, real estate and and real estate leases, structuring of transactions (including buy-sell agreements, limited liability liability companies, partnerships and corporations) as well as general business and tax matters. matter. Experience includes negotiating and structuring transactions in Tokyo, Japan, Sydney, Australia and and Glasgow, Scotland and many locations throughout the United States.”

Iacopo di Teodoro, Vice President (Partner, Artisanal Cellars)”Iacopo’s first step into the wine business was a Slow Food course in wine tasting followed by a Sommelier Degree in Tuscany: a perfect excuse to start to follow journalists and wander with them in the Italian countryside. He then did production cost analysis for a Tuscan winery while he was studying Economics at the University of Pisa, which easily turned into an excuse to work in the vineyards and in the cellar. After a quick experience in California, he returned to Italy where he managed the sales of a group of wineries (Poggio Gagliardo and its sister wineries), and wrote articles on corrieredelvino.it. In January 2006 he joined Vignaioli Selection in NYC, where he spent almost 10 years as Sales Manager, and then as Vice President. It’s during his time at Vignaioli that he became friends with Rafael and Winthrop of Artisanal Cellars, and after spending a summer scouting Artisanal-minded wineries in every corner of the Italian peninsula, he joined the Artisanal team, becoming a partner in 2015.”