HOW IT ALL STARTED
Lisa DiFebo was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where her father owned a restaurant. Watching his red sauce, experiencing the sights, smells, and sounds of the kitchen, greatly influenced her. Her Uncle Philip also owns a fish market & restaurant. Before she was old enough, she was working there… learning and absorbing all things seafood. Lisa relocated to the Bethany/Rehoboth area in 1987. After working in various local restaurants, her love of cooking and entertaining influenced Lisa to open up a place of her own. She bought an old beach house in Bethany and turned it into a small deli. Serving the best breakfast in town (Big Bob’s Specialty). Finally, Lisa convinced her parents to make the permanent move down to the beach from Wilmington and began serving her family’s traditional Italian repertoire…thusly DiFebo’s Café & Deli was born and became an immediate success.
Always immersed in food, Lisa, with the help of her dad (Bob Difebo) and eventually her whole family (Mom: Charlotte, sister: Michelle, brother: Bobbie, Grandmother: Lucy along with Great Aunts, Cousins, Aunts & Uncles) came to the beach and helped with the success of Difebo’s. After two short years, Lisa yearned to broaden her horizons. She applied and was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She left the business in the capable hands of her sister Michelle. Lisa headed off to culinary school where she excelled and became the first female invited to do a fellowship at the award winning American Bounty restaurant, on campus at the Culinary Institute. She also met her future husband at the Culinary Institute, Jeffrey Osias, who followed her back to Bethany Beach. After her graduation and fellowship that followed, Lisa returned to Bethany, with Jeff, and a wealth of new ideas and flavors to infuse into DiFebo’s Café and Deli.
Jeff Osias was born & raised in New York. He went to college in Boston where he was introduced to the restaurant business. After years working literally around the country in places like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Florida; Jeff then traveled and did stints in Japan, Southeast Asia & Europe. These experiences all influenced his cooking and broadened his pool of ingredients. After his travels, Jeff ventured back to New York and was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America. He brought his considerable experience to Delaware in 1991 and helped infuse it into DiFebo’s Café & Deli.
Charlotte and Bob DiFebo are the backbone of the restaurant. Bob’s prowess as a chef, his flavors and classic techniques are handed down to him from his Mother and ancestors. Charlotte’s keen eye and savvy business sense has kept things fresh, organized, and always moving in the right direction.