After 20 years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience, Pietro Elia’s dream of owning his own restaurant came true in 1980 with the opening of Ristorante Parma in San Francisco, CA. Born in Calabria, Italy, Pietro’s culinary influence came mainly from his grandmother who raised him for most of his childhood.
Memories of her homemade sausages and cheeses, her tomato sauce and of course, her famous meatballs, formed in Pietro a motivation to cook. Self-taught with no formal training, Pietro created culinary dishes through inspiration, practice, and talent.
As Ristorante Parma began to grow as a business, his family also grew starting with daughter Angela, then daughter Jolie and finally his third daughter, Ariella. Pietro worked very hard to keep both his restaurant and his family together and well-cared for.
Naturally Angela, as the first born, was the first to join her father working at the restaurant. She quickly realized that she enjoyed the fast pace and hard but rewarding work. Next came second daughter Jolie. Possessed with her father’s Italian attitude, Jolie was adept at handling the unique challenges of working at the restaurant.
Finally, there was youngest daughter Ariella who, like her sisters, grew up around the restaurant. She soon discovered an appetite for the business and a passion for the culinary arts.
The experiences of Angela, Jolie and Ariella at their father’s restaurant showed them that family is the most important thing in life. And that tradition of love and pride in the family comes through in the comforting Italian cuisine lovingly prepared at Parma. When you eat at Parma, you become part of the family.