Assaggio chef Michael Weiss grew up in East Brunswick. In 1991, he moved to Atlantic County to attend the Academy of Culinary Arts and solidified his conviction to becoming a chef. In a career that spans almost 30 years, Michael has worked in venues that include casinos, corporate environments in both casual and fine dining, all the while having strong support from his wife and children.
Michael now finds himself at home as the executive chef at Assaggio Italian Restaurant. This was a natural progression since he previously worked for Tre Figlio Italian Restaurant, the predecessor in the same building, for 10 years. Being that the menu is very similar, returning was a “piece of cake” (pun intended). His love of cooking and his passion for creating new and tasty dishes is what drives Michael to pay attention to every detail. At Assaggio, Michael uses only the freshest ingredients, seasonal vegetables, the finest cuts of meats then layers the flavors and textures. One of his favorite creations is stuffed zucchini blossoms with cream cheese and spices, fried to perfection.
“I love creating the weekend specials. It gives me an opportunity to play with flavors and get feedback from customers because the best meal is the one that is thoroughly enjoyed.”
Michael says he tends to make hardier meals in the fall and winter, such as braised short ribs, but Assaggio is known for its freshly made pasta and meatballs year round. Come spring he plays with lighter fare. “I make a deconstructed seafood pot pie. It uses scallops, shrimp, salmon and calamari with vegetables in puff pastry with a light cream sauce.”