Connect with us

Executive Voice

How David Ruggerio fought his destiny of being one of Italy’s most notorious mafia families to pursue his passion for food: Founders Story with David Ruggerio

Born into one of Italy’s most notorious mafia families, David Ruggerio fought to break free of his destiny to pursue his passion for the culinary arts. In doing so, he became a world-renowned celebrity chef, achieving top honors and fame.  Now, Ruggerio returns to his Italian roots with A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn. Ruggerio takes readers back to Brooklyn and introduces them to the Italian American experience and cuisine he knows, grew up with, and adores.  www.davidruggerio.com

Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?

I did not have a “Norman Rockwell” sort of childhood. My father was part of a notorious Cosa Nostra family and was deported back to Sicily and jailed before I was born. I did not meet him till I was thirteen when he was released from jail. I was orphaned when I was five when my mother died. I was raised by my grandmother and great-grandmother in the shadows of Brooklyn’s Vanderveer projects, one of the most dangerous places in Brooklyn during the 1970s. Yet through it all, my grandmother taught me what it was to be Italian. Those two women were extraordinarily resilient and passed on to me our customs, heritage and of course the great foods of Italy.

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

As a teen, I followed in my father’s footsteps. I was arrested half a dozen times by the age of ten. I lived dangerously, spending my teen years in the company of one of my father’s fiercest lieutenants. At the age of seventeen, when that lieutenant murdered my finance, I realized that if I didn’t change my path in life, I would end up dead or in jail. My attention turned to a passion I had for food, passed on by my grandmother. I wanted to be the best, and in those days, that meant working in a French kitchen. With no experience, I chose my target to be one of the best restaurants in America—La Caravelle. I went thirteen times till finally, the chef hired me. It saved my life and provided me with culinary education that was second to none.

What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?

There is no replacement for hard work and dedication. From the first day, I stepped into the kitchen, I was the first to arrive and the last to leave. That carried on through my rise as one of the best chefs in America and right through as the host of my own cooking shows on PBS and Food Network.

Our mission is to Diversify media and impact 100 million people. We highlight incredible entrepreneurs, authors, coaches, and leaders who are impacting the world. If you know someone who deserves to be highlighted email hello@ibhmedia.co

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Meatsmith Team Snowboard Canada Meatsmith Team Snowboard Canada
Press Release23 hours ago

Beijing 2022: Grass-Fed Beef Protein Bar Meatsmith Partners With Team Snowboard Canada

Meatsmith – Official Partner Of Team Snowboard Canada For Beijing Olympics 2022 Toronto, Ontario – Meatsmith is proud to announce...

Disrupt Prime Video3 days ago

Top 3 NFT Projects under 1 ETH | NFT Disruptors Podcast

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger. NFTs can...

NFT1 week ago

Polly Kole, The Beauty With Gifted Hands Tycoon Of NFT Sculptures

In a society full of stereotypes, people clinging to appearance and disregarding one’s achievements is the magnificent Polly Kole stunning...

News4 weeks ago

Spider Man; No Way Home’, Crushes Box Office Estimates Generating A Mammoth $253 Million In North America.

After only 3 days in the cinemas, the latest and last Spidey outing disrupted the international market as the highest-grossing...

Cryptocurrency1 month ago

Nike just bought a virtual shoe company that makes NFTs and sneakers ‘for the metaverse’

Nike, the sportswear mogul, recently stunned the globe as it moved into the realm of the metaverse industry and blockchain...

QR code screenshot QR code screenshot
Diversity in Tech2 months ago

BTC did 62% more in transactions than PayPal this year

MasterCard and Visa have always topped as the runaway leaders; however, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network will soon disrupt this norm. Starting...

high angle photo of person holding turned on smartphone with tall buildings background high angle photo of person holding turned on smartphone with tall buildings background
Social Media2 months ago

How to Organically Grow Your Social Media Following In 2022

Instagram On Instagram, use Reels to reach new audiences and grow – find popular sounds and use them in your...

gold-colored Bitcoin gold-colored Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency2 months ago

Julio Domenech On How Banks Can Engage In Bitcoin in 2022

As cryptocurrency continues to become a popular trend in the US, many people are looking for an opportunity to participate...

Diversity in Tech3 months ago

Microsoft Teams, Incorporating New 3D Avatars And Virtual Meeting Spaces Before Mid 2022

Microsoft Mesh has always led as the future of Microsoft Teams meetings. However, Meta, the newly launched Facebook company, is...

Health + Fitness3 months ago

Stephen Campolo – How A Former Fat Kid Transformed His Body And Is Now Helping Others Do The Same

UPDATE: During a recent interview with Yahoo! News, Stephen revealed that he will be speaking at the next Disrupt Puerto...


Copyright © 2020 Disrupt ™ Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt ™ is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.