Our History


Our History

Basilico Ristorante was originally opened by the Campello Family: Arlindo, Silvia, and Persio (also known as Sid), in collaboration with Samuele Lucchese. Lucchese brought his passion and expertise in preparing handmade pasta, and Arlindo and Silvia brought their touch of elegance and customer service that helped make Basilico known for its authenticity and fine dining experience.

The restaurant opened in 2005, and over the next 10 years Arlindo, Sid and Silvia refined and expanded their business, bringing fine European wines, an authentic Northern Italian Menu, and began a tradition of special events and wine dinners that brought them into connection with Giampaolo Falchetti.

Giampaolo began acting as the resident Sommelier for the Basilico Wine Dinners in 2011 and developed a partnership and friendship with the Campello family.   As Arlindo, Silvia and Sid began thinking forward to their next adventures, Giampaolo bought into partnership with them in 2014. In March of 2015, Giampaolo fully purchased the restaurant, and has been working to bring new energy while maintaining the warmth and elegance that Basilico has been known for.

In April of 2015, Basilico began sharing our fresh, hand-made pastas and sauces at the Olympia Farmer’s Market. That has expanded to include various biscotti, breads, and sweets (like Torrone). In May of 2016 we added the Tacoma Farmer’s Market on Broadway.



Our Company

Giampaolo Falchetti-Owner, Sommelier, Italian Food Consultant

Giampaolo was born in San Terenziano, in the region of Umbria, but has lived and worked in Rome, Venice, Milan, Tokyo and now makes his home in Tacoma, WA. His parents were farmers, and he grew up with a culture of food that moved with the seasons; with most of the family’s diet coming from their garden and livestock. Giampaolo’s career has been varied: he studied Tourism and Hospitality in Secondary School, Japanese Translation at University, and studied to be a Sommelier through AIS in Italy. While he has worked in tourism, restaurants, hotels, and wine distribution, his dream has always been to have his own restaurant. Giampaolo loves blending tradition and modernity and finding new ways to bring his memories of classic dishes from his childhood to the Pacific Northwest with the ingredients available here.

Jennifer Nelson-Head Chef

An Olympia native, Jennifer received a scholarship from her Culinary Arts Program in high school, and went on to San Francisco to attend the California Culinary Academy. She graduated in 2005 with honors. Jennifer did her internship at Jean Pierre’s in Olympia and was subsequently hired as the Sous Chef. She then was hired as the Head Chef at Travaglioni’s in Shelton and worked there for two years. For the past nine years, Jen has been the Head Chef at Basilico Ristorante, preparing the authentic Italian dishes you enjoy today.

Jessica Vandevander-Sous Chef

Jessica joined the Basilico crew in the spring of 2010 after moving to the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2008. Prior to working here, she worked at various restaurants in the Shenandoah Valley, putting herself through school and diving into the industry at the early age of14 with a Workers Permit. She’s always had a deep love of food, going back to being in the kitchen with her grandfather, who served as a mess hall sergeant in the U.S. Army, when she was a child. Being diagnosed with Celiac disease has presented challenges in the food service industry as she works to accomplish making delicious gluten-free food.

Kathryn Philbrook-Office Manager/Human Resources

Kathryn studied English Literature and Theater at the University of Puget Sound. She met Giampaolo Falchetti while working as a receptionist at the Dublin International Youth Hostel in 2002, but waited three whole years before marrying him. Her career, like Giampaolo’s has been varied, but her most recent positions have been as the Executive Assistant (and later Volunteer Coordinator) at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, and also the Audience Services Manager at the Seattle Repertory Theater. Her favorite role at Basilico, however, is as quality control (taste-tester) for Giampaolo’s experiments and new dishes.

Andrea Sofia Falchetti – Official BiLingual Mascot

Andrea Sofia was born in 2011 in Tacoma, Washington, and has been busy charming people in English and Italian ever since. She can be found at the restaurant cleaning windows, pestering the kitchen for snacks, or at the Olympia Farmer’s Market offering samples. She is a born marketer, and will happily tell you exactly which kind of biscotti to buy at the Market, or which pasta dishes to order at her favorite restaurant.