It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our Isabella’s Chef, Nick Danellis, who passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, January 19, 2016. Nick was 39 years old, son of Mary Danellis, husband to Antoinette Bibis, father to Alexander (19 months),  stepfather to Alina Marie Peña (19 years old),  as well as a brother, uncle, cousin, godfather, chef, and friend.

Nick’s fear-inducing passion was the driving force in executing his vision of perfection. Nick never cut corners and stubbornly ensured that others did the same.  Nick consistently pushed you to do better because you knew that he was always at his best. He would never tell you what to do, but would always show you how to do it.  He led by example and gained enormous respect by everyone that was lucky enough to work with him.

He knew that a successful restaurant was not just created by the food in the kitchen, but by the success of the restaurant as a whole. He understood the importance of a cohesive relationship between the front and heart of the house.  The knowledge that he gained in his younger years as a Wine Steward and Floor Captain at the James Beard House provided him with the valuable skills that he utilized daily as a dynamic leader as a Line Cook at the Soho House New York, Sous Chef at Ammos Esthiatorio and eventually as the Executive Chef at Isabella’s on the Upper West Side.

The only thing that could distract Nick from his kitchen was a picture of his son.  You could feel the pride radiating from Nick whenever he would share a picture, video or story about Alexander with others. He loved and adored Antoinette and was so excited to continue growing their family together.

As the family patriarch, Nick selflessly led his life for the betterment of others. We are raising money for Alexander and Antoinette because this father, husband, son, uncle, chef, and friend was taken from this world too soon.  Nick had a vision of the future that he was creating for his family and sadly will not be able to complete this vision himself.  Please help us in raising our goal to support Antoinette and Alexander to give them the life that Nick would want them to have.

To donate, please click here to access the Chef Nick Danellis Memorial Fund. Cash donations are accepted at all BR Guest restaurants. Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, will be personally matching all employee donations up to $10k.
Please see below for wake & funeral arrangement details for Chef Nick Danellis.


Sunday, January 24

4:00 – 8:00pm

Farenga Funeral Home

3808 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105 (Steinway and 38th)


Monday, January 25


St. Catherine & St. George Church – (Behind Key Foods on 33rd Street between Ditmars and 23rd Ave)

22-30 33rd St, New York, NY 11105