No matter where you go or turn, you will always end up at home! Pasta Amore e Fantasia is the lifework of Chef Calgero Lillo 'Leo' Fascianella. Born in San Cataldo, Sicily in 1956, he emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1972. A family portrait commemorating their Italian heritage is on the wall near the bar, Leo in the red tie and his mom in the red scarf. Leo worked in New York, Las Vegas and Chicago prior to becoming a chef at Omaha's famed restaurant 'The Golden Apple.' In 1986, Leo opened Pasta Amore, one year before he married his wife Patricia.
Leo lovingly called his Pasta Amore dishes "edible paintings" for the artworks that they are, and he presented them on white plates on a white tablecloth as a canvas, a tradition which we continue in his honor. He is a recipient of the Golden Toque, the highest honor awarded to chefs in the United States - indicative of a lifetime of dedication. He was also inducted into the Omaha Restaurant Association's Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2009.
Leo never took a sick day. The secret to staying healthy, he said, was "good food and happiness." Leo epitomizes the American Dream. He had a dream, he worked for it, he earned it, and made it come true. As he would say, 'Viva Omaha! Viva Nebraska! God bless America!'
Leo will never be truly gone - we, his friends, are happily picking up the baton so that he and his wife Patricia can enjoy a well-deserved retirement. Leo's dream was Pasta Amore, which he loved with a passion for 36 years. By carrying it into the future, we honor him, his culinary legacy, his beloved family and loyal customers.