Piero Selvaggio is a textbook example of the American Dream gone right. Arriving from Sicily at age 18, he worked his way up from busboy to manager, attending college and earning a bachelor's degree in Romance languages. At 26, in 1972, he joined with a partner to open Valentino, an Italian restaurant in Santa Monica; two years later, he bought the partner out and molded Valentino into a critical and commercial success. He developed two casual concepts, Primi and Posto, and ...

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