Chef Teddy Diggs, Executive Chef
Il Palio, Chapel Hill, N.C.
From the culinary spotlight of D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard to the burgeoning dining scene of Chapel Hill, N.C., Chef Teddy Diggs has embarked on a life-long quest to craft menus that unveil the stories of exceptional ingredients.
Chef Teddy discovered his fervor for cooking at an early age, piqued by the bold approach and Italian sensibilities of the culinary mogul Emeril Lagasse. Teddy’s fertile passion for regional cooking led him to pursue his education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Upon graduation, Teddy embraced opportunities in our nation’s capital under the tutelage of Maestro’s star chef, Fabio Trabocchi, and Barton Seaver, renowned sustainable seafood authority.
Soon thereafter, Teddy became the opening executive chef at the distinguished Ripple restaurant in D.C. where he served Italian-inspired casual comforts. In 2010, he was lured to Martha’s Vineyard to preside over Homeport Restaurant, The Beach Plum Inn and Art Cliff Dinner, a frequent dining spot for President Obama and the First Lady. Chef Teddy’s elegant yet honest cooking garnered accolades such as Star Chef’s Top 10 Cravable Dishes and earned him recognition one of 16 Chefs to Watch in 2016 by Restaurant Hospitality and one of New England’s rising star chefs.
Chef Teddy’s rich experience and honed talent manifest in full at Il Palio, Chapel Hill’s premiere dining spot at The Siena Hotel and North Carolina’s only AAA-rated Four Diamond Italian restaurant. Under Chef’s guidance, Il Palio launched its first renovation in three decades, debuting a re-imagined menu that explores all of Italy’s 20 regions. Chef’s cooking showcases the quintessential Italian concept of balance, while interweaving subtle, rustic flavors from his custom wood-fired grill. Backed by extensive personal research, Chef Teddy provides a platform—a time and a place—to unveil the story of each ingredient through respectful and simple preparation.
Chef Teddy stands as a passionate champion of sustainable food systems, but his commitment surpasses the standard “farm-to-fork” approach. In Teddy’s vision, effective sustainability explores how the product is harvested, who harvests the product and ultimately, how well the product feeds the community. Teddy forges personal relationships with farmers and fisherman to help them utilize undiscovered resources and secure new revenue streams. He’s been known to source his kitchen from local bumper crops or invite farmers with neglected forests to provide Il Palio’s wood supply. Through these vested partnerships, Teddy uncovers new inroads to resource management that bolster the long-term viability of local foods.
A storyteller, a guide, an artisan–Chef Teddy Diggs touches each moment of the ingredient’s journey, and his cooking celebrates the culinary narrative that he so carefully shepherds from soil and water to plate and palate.