Terrazza executive chef Stefano Riccioletti was struck and killed yesterday morning by a motorist in an apparent DUI hit-and-run just steps from the restaurant he helmed at the Shore Club Hotel in South Beach. Riccioletti was thrown about 30 feet onto the driveway of the Shelborne South Beach on Collins Avenue at 18th Street.
The driver was 20-year-old Karlie Tomica, a former student at Florida International University. Tomica, a self-professed "party princess," fled the scene of the accident and raced to her apartment on the 5600 block of Collins.
Good Samaritan Jairo Fuentes witnessed the accident and followed Tomica to her apartment while calling 911. He later told WPLG Local 10 that he was "screaming at her" to stop and that "she had been drinking."
Tomica was arrested and released on $10,000 bond after being charged with "leaving the scene of a crash, resulting in death."
Riccioletti was raised in Rome and moved to New York City, where he made a name for himself at some of the best restaurants, including the famed San Domenico on Central Park South, Cipriani at Rockefeller Center, and Michael White's Vento in the Meatpacking District.
Terrazza was Chef Riccioletti's first foray into the South Beach restaurant scene, having been top toque at the restaurant since it opened in November 2011.
The Shore Club's general manager, Lucy Martin, has simply said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He was a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed."
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Updated: Short Order just received an email from Florida International University stating that "Karlie Tomica is not currently enrolled at Florida International University". We have updated this blog post to reflect that.