Our Loyal Staff
Our Loyal and Dedicated Staff
Chef Jonathan Vlasic
Ever since I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a Chef. I knew at an early age that an office setting career was definitely not for me, plus I enjoy working with my hands. I wanted to be a Chef in the classic sense since this was before the cooking show era boom. A few guys in a hot kitchen, working over a range, plancha, or grill. Creating masterful cuisine, leading up to that ever gratifying trip to the table, to receive our accolades of our guests loving every bite you served them. I went to Culinary school just out of High School, graduated with honors, only because I enjoyed every minute of learning the specifics of classic technique. After working and Chefing at various clubs, and resorts here and south, I purchased Alla Famiglia in 2005, and my biggest dream came true. Cooking for just 8 tables in an open kitchen setting, being able to entertain, converse, and see my guests as I dazzled them with my creativity. I have since, with the assistance of my long tenured and dedicated staff, grown the Alla Famiglia brand into a lovely company to work for and raise a family on. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you so very much for the continued support and patronage for nearly 2 decades. 100 Years!
Chef Gary Klinefelter
CEC, WCEC, CE, CCA, AAC
Gary R. Klinefelter, started his culinary career at the age of 14 by working in the kitchen of a small privately owned restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After completing his formal apprenticeship and graduating at the top of his class earning the “Apprentice Chef of the Year” designation, Chef Gary accepted his first Executive Chef position and began his lifelong career path as a leader, coach, and mentor.
Throughout the years, Klinefelter has gone on to accept other appointments in Country Inns and Country Clubs as well as Beach Resorts and Hotels throughout the United States and the Caribbean, most notably The Buccaneer Resort on St Croix, US Virgin Islands as Executive Chef/Director of Food and Beverage and the AAA Four Star Four Diamond 998 room Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida where he was Executive Chef of Outlets.
Chef Gary describes his cooking style as “Eclectic World Cuisine” with an emphasis on Caribbean flavors and fresh, local sustainable food products with regionally inspired cooking techniques.
Klinefelter who serves as the Vice President of the American Culinary Federation, Pittsburgh Chapter is a Certified Executive Chef, World Certified Executive Chef through World Chefs, Certification Evaluator, Certified Culinary Administrator and a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs.
Chef Klinefelter has done continuing education studies at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, The Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman Island. Chef Gary has led many community fundraising projects including the American Liver Foundation Flavors of Pittsburgh, Community Liver Alliance Cuisine Cost to Coast, Chef’s Helping the Homeless, and the Givin’ the Dream Foundation. As a fierce competitor, Klinefelter has received countless awards for his work including the LJ Minor’s Chef’s Professionalism Award and most recently the American Culinary Federation Pittsburgh Chapter Chef of the Year Award.
Chef Mark McManus
Chef Mark McManus came with the building back in 2005. He was 19 years old, incredible raw talent with no formal training. Chef Jonathan worked with Mark for years which pretty much turned into an apprentice program with Mr. Vlasic teaching him everything he knows. Chef Mark has been a tremendous asset to Alla Famiglia from the very beginning. Creative, loyal, hardworking and incredibly reliable. He has and still remains a pillar for the restaurant’s overall success.
Meet Mara Beck, Alla Famiglia / Arlecchino Pastry Chef. Mara is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and has been the Pastry Chef here for 2 years. Mara comes from a family who loves to cook and bake, and this passion is clearly displayed through her pastry creations.
Prior to joining the Alla Famiglia family, Mara has spent time in several notable Pittsburgh restaurants including the Inn on Negri, Park Brugge, Willow and Siempre Algo.
In her spare time, Mara enjoys spending time outdoors with her Niece and Nephew, kayaking, gardening and hiking with her Pug named Dexter.
Meet Robert Piatek, Alla Famiglia’s Wine Director.
Rob is a graduate of Penn State Main Campus with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a second bachelor’s degree in marketing. With nearly ten years of experience in fine dining venues from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Denver Colorado to Capital Grille here in Pittsburgh, Rob has been with Alla Famiglia for the past 8 years. Through his hard work and dedication to his craft, Alla Famiglia under Robert’s direction has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 7 consecutive years. In his spare time, Rob enjoys playing ice hockey and tasting great wines from all over the world.
Bar Director/Chief Mixologist
Meet Tony Romano, Alla Famiglia’s Bar Director/Chief Mixologist. Tony has lived in Pittsburgh and been with us for a little over two years. Prior to his tenure here at Alla Famiglia, Tony worked in nightlife for MGM Resorts in Springfield, Massachusetts. “Since I have joined the team here at Alla Famiglia, my life has changed. I have gained a whole new group of friends and family. The dynamic we strive to create here at Alla Famiglia is what really won me over. Both the front of house and back of house staff have taught me so much in my time here. Getting an opportunity to work under and learn from Chef Jonathan Vlasic, Chef Gary Klinefelter and the remainder of my management team has been so beneficial for my professional career.” In his free time Tony likes to golf, travel and try different dining experiences throughout the city. Make sure to ask for Tony when you make your next bar reservation!
Halie Frisbee is our Event Manager at Alla Famiglia.
Halie started in the restaurant industry at a very young age, as her parents owned a local pizza shop and catering business where she started helping out at the age of 5 standing on milk crates to assist in making pizzas.
After receiving a degree in Exercise Science and Business from the University of Pittsburgh, Halie was drawn back to the hospitality industry. Throughout her tenure in the industry, she has held multiple roles including hosting, serving / bartending, and bar management. Halie joined the Alla Famiglia team 2 years ago where she has been able to continue in her passion with planning and operating all things events.