Born in Bolzano, Italy, just south of Innsbruck, Austria, Bonelli’s passion for sweets was sparked at an early age, having spent much of his childhood experimenting in the kitchen of his family’s pastry shop in Fassa Valley. His father Sergio, a skilled pastry chef himself, taught Bonelli traditional family recipes and secrets while also encouraging him to develop his individual style, and ultimately to pursue a culinary career.
In 1994, Bonelli enrolled in Centro di Formazione Professionale in Tesero, Italy, where he studied the culinary arts. Bonelli complemented his academic pursuits with real-world experience, serving as Assistant Pastry Chef at Pasticceria Andreatta & Pasticceria Faloria in the town of Pozza di Fassa for three years. Upon his graduation in 1998, Bonelli had earned certification as Chef du Cuisine at Tesero, and Baker and Pastry Chef at Cividale del Friuli Insititute.
In 2003, Bonelli crossed another career milestone as he accepted the position of head Pastry Chef at the exclusive Italian restaurant Casa Tua in Miami Beach, Fla. He became acquainted with Sergio Sigala, then Executive Chef of Casa Tua and current colleague at Cecconi’s Miami Beach. Together, Bonelli and Sigala formed a close friendship as they worked side by side for seven years, leading the restaurant to critical acclaim for its traditional Italian fare and deserts.
Bonelli’s profound experience made him a viable candidate for the role of Pastry Chef at Cecconi’s at Soho House’s Miami Beach location, which debuted in fall 2010. Bonelli touched upon his heritage while curating the classic Italian deserts menu, which features a combination of family recipes and individual creations, including his father’s Almond Chocolate Torta and Cholocate Delizia and Passion Fruit Sorbet, as well as the Tiramisu, which was handed down by chef Sergio Sigala’s mother.