Amalia Scatena was raised in San Francisco, and from an early age she was inspired by the great Bay Area chefs - in particular, the innovative California cuisine of Alice Waters and the elegant European approach of Herbert Keller.
A nod to her Italian heritage, she graduated with Head Chef honors in the Advanced Culinary Arts Professional Program from the Culinary Institute of Florence. Following her first year in Italy, Amalia successfully completed her apprenticeship under Chef Melissa Close at Barboursville Vineyard's Palladio restaurant outside of Charlottesville, VA.
Upon graduation, Chef Scatena returned to Virginia and joined the culinary team at Keswick Hall, an Orient Express hotel. There she worked for five years under Chef Craig Hartman's tutelage in Fossett's, the hotel's fine dining restaurant. During her last year at Keswick the hotel was awarded the #1 Small Resort in America by Conde Nast Traveler and, under her management as Chef de Cuisine, was named #1 Hotel in North America for Food.