Photography by Vanessa Rogers
Shot on location at Burn by Rocky Patel, Mercato, Naples
Ingrid Aielli radiates generosity and warmth. She has a knack for making everyone who meets her feel welcome, from A-list celebrities, to underprivileged kids at the annual Christmas Eve lunch she and her husband, chef Fabrizio Aielli, host at Sea Salt, to everyone in between. The Czechoslovakian-born Aielli’s caring nature is evident in myriad charitable undertakings, including her recent participation on the committee for the American Cancer Society Bucket List Bash, and serving on the board of Angels Undercover, a charity that provides clothing to Collier County schoolchildren in need. She was named the Woman of the Year in 2001 by the nationwide Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and locally, she received the Champions for Learning’s Glass Slipper Award in 2011 for her dedication and service to the children of Collier County. Through Sea Salt, she and her husband support a long list of charities, including both the Naples Winter Wine Festival and Southwest Florida Food & Wine Fest, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Youth Haven, Champions for Learning, and Naples Botanical Garden. Ask what she prizes most, and Aielli says she treasures experiences—like meeting for drinks with friends, taking in a Broadway show, or walking on the beach with her husband. When the Aiellis have free time, they enjoy cooking with others, either at home or at their friends’ homes, although Ingrid reveals her cooking skills “are below zero. I just pretend I am chopping and helping.”
“I always believed that a person’s professional life is judged on what they have done for others.”
Secret talent: I like to connect others, putting people together who may be able to help each other in a personal or professional matter.
Current musical favorites: My 6-year-old son Adrian seems to dictate my favorites. Last year it was the Frozen sound track. This year it’s “The Eye of the Tiger.”
Perfect Naples weekend: Fishing with my husband in the Gulf of Mexico, then cooking the fresh catch with friends.
Guilty pleasure: Cranking up Abba until Fabrizio gets home. Of course I sing along. Fabrizio likes Pink Floyd, so you can just imagine. What a difference.
Favorite restaurants: Outside of our restaurants, I frequent Food & Thought and enjoy the terrace at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort.
Go-to fashion item: My Ray-Ban sunglasses.
What to bring to a desert island: A sun umbrella and a great bottle of French rosé.
Bucket-list topper: I would love to see my favorite opera, La Bohème, at the Sydney Opera House.
Styling and wardrobe by Rachel Galante and Colette Wetzel, Saks Fifth Avenue
Hair and makeup by Philip Douglas