2014 49¢ Felipe Rojas-Lombardi
This stamp is part of a set of five that features men and women who introduced America to regional and international cooking. The other stamps picture James Beard, Julia Child, Joyce Chen, and Edna Lewis.
Peruvian-born chef Felipe Rojas-Lombardi (1945-1991) arrived in New York City in 1967. Having apprenticed in his native South America, Rojas-Lombardi was already an accomplished chef. In New York, he worked as an assistant under the famous James Beard for several years.
In 1981, Rojas-Lombardi joined forces with club proprietor Greg Dawson to reopen famed supper club and cabaret, The Ballroom. Previously located in SoHo, Manhattan, The Ballroom was relocated to Chelsea and took on a new plan. As the new co-owner and executive chef, Rojas-Lombardi introduced a food phenomenon that would become synonymous with the club itself. He served Spanish snacks known as tapas to diners, adding a whole new dimension to The Ballroom.
Tapas are an array of Spanish-style bar snacks. In the United States, they are often combined to make a full dinner. When people are snacking rather than dining, their attention is not on their meal. This complemented the cabaret setting, allowing diners to focus on the show while still enjoying the food.
The Ballroom was touted the “Oldest Tapas Bar in America.” Today, entire restaurants are designed around tapas menus. Rojas-Lombardi truly revolutionized hors d’oeuvres in the Unites States.
Jason Seiler created the digital illustrations for the Celebrity Chefs stamps. The images were made to look like oil paintings.
49¢ Celebrity Chefs, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: September 26, 2014
City: Chicago, IL, as part of the Chicago Gourmet food and wine celebration
Printed By: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed printing in sheets of 180 with nine panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 X 10 ¾