Chef Geno Bernardo was born in New York to a northern Italian mother and Sicilian father. His rich Italian heritage has always been an inspiration to him, and his fondest childhood memories are of cooking with “Nana” as a young boy. Those early Sundays with Nana were the humble beginnings of his lifelong journey through the culinary world.
Bernardo began his professional career at just 16, cooking at Massimo’s, an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. The aspiring chef attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University, in Providence, R.I., graduating at the top of his class. He was recruited by Boston’s Fellini’s Italian Restaurant, where he worked two years before moving to Restaurant Associates in New York, where he was received by a loyal clientele and critical acclaim. The hallmarks of Bernardo’s style are the thoughtful use of the freshest fish and finest seasonal produce.
His affinity for seafood led him to San Diego to learn the craft of a sushi chef. At Sushi on the Rock, his efforts were rewarded as the restaurant was voted “Best Sushi in San Diego.” Armed with an appreciation for Japanese discipline and aesthetics, he returned to Western cooking. For Bernardo’s first Executive Chef position, he returned to Rhode Island to run the kitchen at the Providence Oyster Bar. When the Oyster Bar owners debuted a steakhouse, Providence Prime, they tapped Bernardo to serve as their Executive Chef.
Bernardo joined the N9NE Group to develop Nove Italiano. Nove Italiano redefines Italian dining. Bernardo collaborated with Chef Michael Kornick, N9NE Group's James Beard-nominated consulting chef and partner, and N9NE Group Executive Chef Barry Dakake to create the menu for the restaurant located on the 51st floor of the Fantasy Tower at the Palms
Casino Resort. Together, these chefs create Las Vegas’ most memorable contemporary dining experiences.