Jason Nole (left) & Dean Nole (right)
After nearly two decades in the culinary business, brothers Jason and Dean Nole have become one of Central New York’s most talked about and critically acclaimed Chefs. Their creations, through Café CaNole Inc. have been recognized by the Life & Times of Utica, The Post-Standard, The Utica Observer-Dispatch, Pulse and Entree magazine due to their fantastic menu of delicious one-of-a-kind creations. They have even been featured as legendary locals in a book published in 2013. The delectable delights the Nole brothers conjure up daily has been branded a dining miracle by locals.
Born and raised in Whitesboro, New York, the Nole brothers developed a passion for fine cuisine that took them around the world. The elder of the two, Dean Nole attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and the prestigious Gruppo Ristorante Italianne School in Torino, Italy. Fluent in Italian, Dean cooked in two restaurants in Italy before returning to the States. Upon his return, he was a chef at the former Scamardo's Seneca Inn in New Hartford and cooked and specialized in cakes and pastries at the former Donna Marie's Restaurant in Frankfort. He also cooked in Manhattan’s Water club with Head Chef and seafood maestro Rick Moonen.
Jason Nole is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Jason grew up in the restaurant business, working in the kitchens of several local restaurants including the former Trackside and Donna Marie's Restaurants. Most notably, Jason worked with acclaimed Chef Todd English at the world-famous Olives Restaurant in Boston before returning to Utica, NY.
When the Nole brothers reunited State-side, they began talks of opening their own café. After months of planning, research and creation, Café CaNole (pronounced Cannoli) was born in 1996. Their first business venture together as brothers, independent chefs and business owners, the Nole brothers transcended expectations. The Italian Pastry shop, located in East Utica, served a variety of gelatos, pastries, cakes and Mediterranean cuisine which kept customers coming back for more.
Having capped on the pastry division of the culinary arts, the Nole Brothers expanded their creations into developing a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant featuring a select Tapas menu, among other savory cuisine. With the expansion and growing appreciation of the arts in downtown Utica, it was perfect timing. On February 9th 2006, Ancora! (located adjacent to the historical Stanley Theatre on Genesee Street) opened its’ doors to diners.
The first of many downtown renovations, Ancora! was credited with helping to restore life back to the heart of Utica. Walking into Ancora! diners entered a metropolitan, rustic and romantic dining area with dim lighting. Open for lunch and dinner, Ancora! was the dining jewel of Utica.
In 2014 the two brothers sold Ancora! to accommodate their growing popularity and demand and to focus on developing even more business partnerships and creations through Cafe CaNole Inc. The public response to the Nole's once again being reunited under one building has been overwhelming. Featuring a side-by-side restaurant and bakery, it's the best of both worlds! Café CaNole has become a household name for locals in Central New York.
Accolades: Dean and Jason have been awarded the Accent on Excellence Award by the Observer Dispatch and have donated their time and talents to various not-for-profits throughout our region. Dean also auditioned for and landed the lead role in the film ‘Come Away with Me’, which was produced by Italian scriptwriter/director Carlo Ventura. The film opened in the winter of 2004 in Utica and Manhattan.