Chef de Cuisine, Taqueria Feliz
Chef de Cuisine Lucio Palazzo was born in Trieste, Italy, and spent his early years in Gorizia, close to the Slovenian border. The rich farms and vineyards of the Collio Goriziano, as well as memorable early meals aboard his father’s ship, inspired Lucio to pursue a culinary career.
As a teenager, Lucio moved to Philadelphia, and opted to forego culinary school to earn a steady paycheck. His first kitchen job was at Brasserie Perrier as a pastry assistant, followed by pastry chef at the upstart BYOB Pumpkin, where he moonlighted as a line cook. Full time savory gigs followed at Washington Square and James, which he helped open to critical acclaim under Chefs Jim Burke and Andrew Wood. Lucio then joined the opening team at renowned Zahav, under Chef Michael Solomonov, and opened Percy Street Barbecue with Chef Erin O’Shea. Perhaps motivated by some legendary brisket taco staff meals at Zahav, Solomonov and co-owner Steve Cook invited Lucio to helm Xochitl, their long time Mexican venture. The newly remodeled, lively cantina in Headhouse Square sparked a love affair with Mexican cuisine.
In January 2012, he teamed up with Tim Spinner and Brian Syrhal to open La Calaca Feliz, which flourished in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. Lucio left the Calaca kitchen in April 2013 to oversee the opening of the newest member to the Spinner-Syrhal empire, Taqueria Feliz, slated to open in Fall 2013.