Glenside native building olive oil bridge from Philadelphia to Italy

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- At the new Patchwork at the Hyatt Centric in Center City, Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden makes a burrata toast grilled and topped with long hot pesto and finished with Bellecento olive oil.

He uses the Bellecento on the white pizza too, and he makes an olive oil carrot cake.

The restaurant is serving an olive oil gin cocktail too, the Bellecento fizz.

The cocktail and menu items are the result of a partnership, launched during women's history month, between Patchwork and Alexa Dombkoski, the founder of Bellecento, an extra virgin olive oil from olives grown and pressed in Tuscany then bottled and brought to the United States.

Alexa grew up in Glenside, did a study abroad in Italy during college, fell in love with the food culture and didn't want to leave.

So she finished her degree and moved to Florence, working in food tourism.

It was, she jokes, a tough life, taking people around Tuscany, drinking wine with them all day and eating pasta.

But her career screeched to a halt in early 2020 and Italy went into full COVID lockdown.

So she decided to start her own company, bringing one of her favorite Italian flavors back to her hometown.

She works with a single-family estate located just outside Florence, in an area known for its olive oil.

This is her first harvest season, but Alexa has big plans to grow Bellecento into a whole line of sleekly designed Italian products.

The name, Bellecento, is a tribute to the beautiful Italian life, using the feminine plural to honor the Italian women that Alexa says have been the ones to pass the culture down through the generations.


Bellecento Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Instagram
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Patchwork Restaurant at Hyatt Centric Center City | Website
1620 Chancellor Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103
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