Louis M. Ferretti, age 90, of Humes Avenue, Warwick, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2019, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Providence.
Born in Providence, a son of the late Costantino and Ida (Micheli) Ferretti, he lived in Warwick for most of his life. He was a United States Army veteran of the Korean War and a recipient of a Bronze Star. He was a member of Tri-City Lodge of Elks # 14, and a former member of William Shields Post # 43 American Legion. Louie was a life-long culinary professional. Chef Ferretti began his culinary training in the family’s café in Warwick, Rhode Island. Both of his parents were outstanding cooks and Louie’s love for rich flavors, his passion for northern Italian home cooking, his generous portions and his demand for the best ingredients, all came from spending time with his parents in the restaurant.
Chef Louie’s first job was with a classically trained French chef at Rhode Island’s premier catering company. It was here that Louie became well-versed in the attention to detail, organization and formality that were required to successfully execute complex, high-end events. After a stint in Korea, Louie returned to become chef at Bryant College and then joined ARAMARK in 1966. He eventually rose to the position as ARAMARK Executive Chef where he remained until his retirement in 1996. Chef Louie’s culinary career was filled with spectacular parties for many of the world’s political and entertainment leaders. He worked at the wedding of John F. Kennedy to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. While at ARAMARK, he planned luncheons and dinners for Presidents Ford, Carter, and Clinton. He oversaw the elaborate buffet prepared for the George H.W. Bush and Francois Mitterand Summit in 1989 at Boston University. This event included a 25 foot exact replica of the Statue of Liberty, carved from ice and surrounded by thousands of handmade pastries at the base.
“Entertaining with Chef Louis Ferretti”, a cookbook published in 1988, chronicles many of the high profile events that Louie did over the years and includes many of his favorite recipes. Chef Ferretti was the Executive Chef at the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992 for ARAMARK and the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996. He was responsible for feeding ten thousand athletes from 197 countries around the world in the Olympic Village, no small feat given the multitude of diverse diets, culturally and nutritionally, required to meet the needs of the athletes. After retirement in 1996, Louie established LMF Consulting and remained busy in the industry until just a short time ago.
He is survived by a brother, Robert J. Ferretti and his wife Claire, of Johnston; five nieces and nephews, Robert J. Ferretti of Hillsboro, NJ, Amy T. Ferrretti of Coventry, Constance S. Rush of Centenniel, CO, Peter A. Simonini, Jr. of Winter Garden, FL, Elizabeth S. Riccitelli of Warwick, nine grandnephews and grandnieces; and his devoted friend, Alan R. Leo of Waterville Valley, NH. He was the brother of the late Arlene R. Simonini and Claudia A. Ferretti, and the uncle of the late Maria A. Simonini and Timothy J. Ferretti.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, March 9, at 9 a.m. from the Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Benedict Church, 135 Beach Avenue, Warwick. Relatives and friends are invited, and may visit at the funeral home on Saturday from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Burial with military honors will be in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Louie’s name may be made to the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, 3445 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886 or on their website: trudeaucenter.org/donate.