All About Emilio Vitolo, Katie Holmes’ Chef Ex-Boyfriend

Katie Holmes moved on after her split in August 2019 from Jamie Foxx with New York City chef Emilio Vitolo Jr. The two’s romance lasted eight months, and they were spotted on numerous public date nights in the city throughout their relationship.

The pair was first captured by TMZ in August grabbing dinner at the Mediterranean restaurant Antique Garage in Manhattan. That was followed by a makeout session in the outdoor dining area of Peasant Restaurant, as reported by the Daily Mail. They also pulled their masks down for a kiss while grabbing coffee days later.

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“They adore each other and can’t get enough of one another,” a source told Entertainment Tonight last month. A second insider said, “In the past it seemed like Katie would sort of mold to her partners’ lifestyle. But with Emilio, Katie is so authentically herself.”

The two ultimately ended their relationship in late April. Her rep told Us Weekly, “the pair have parted ways amicably but remain friends.”

Ahead, here’s what we know about Vitolo, including his celebrity hotspot restaurant and rumors he ended his engagement for a relationship with Holmes.

Holmes and Vitolo broke up after eight months of dating but remain friends.

Sources spoke to People and Us Weekly on May 13 about what happened between the two. “Their relationship fizzled,” Us‘s source said. “They figured out they’re better off as friends. There’s no drama that went down with the breakup and in fact, they’re still friends. Katie and Emilio really enjoyed their time together—it just simply didn’t work out. She’s focusing on being a mom and her upcoming projects.”

People was told by a source, They split several weeks ago. There was no drama. It was amazing while it lasted, but they are at very different places in life. Emilio has no hard feelings. His life is in NYC. Katie can’t wait to get back to work and to travel again.”

He’s a chef at a celebrity favorite Italian spot.

Vitolo and Holmes’ dinner dates were no doubt delicious, considering his post as chef at Emilio’s Ballato in Soho. According to an InStyle profile, his father, Emilio Vitolo Sr., opened the Italian restaurant in the early ’90s. The business is a family affair for the Vitolos, as both his parents and two brothers work alongside him.

“It’s a seven-day-a-week commitment,” he told the outlet. “If you’re going to do a restaurant the right way, you always have to be there.” The one exception: Sundays, when Vitolo says his father takes the day off and his Peruvian mother cooks.

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The restaurant is quite the celebrity hotspot and has hosted high-profile guests like Whoopi Goldberg, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Bradley Cooper, Lenny Kravitz, and even former President Barack Obama. According to its Facebook, Emilio’s Ballato doesn’t take reservations, but does have an outdoor dining area in compliance with NYC’s COVID-19 safety restrictions.

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On November 10, photographers spotted Holmes and Vitolo outside of the restaurant with his father.

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He’s an actor.

When he’s not serving A-listers pasta, Vitolo also has an acting career. He’s appeared in several movies and TV shows, including a six-episode arc of Royal Pains, a guest spot on Inside Amy Schumer, and a role in the 2019 indie film Tapestry.

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He and Holmes were reportedly “serious” early in their relationship.

Only two months after the couple’s first outing, Us Weekly reported that Holmes and Vitolo were getting “serious.” A source explained, “Katie has been on cloud nine ever since Emilio came into her life. She doesn’t care what people may say about rushing into the romance. In her mind, this is the real deal, they’re riding a beautiful wave together, and she’s already decided it’s got the potential to go all the way.”

As for Emilio, a source said he “doesn’t seem to have a negative bone in his body and he treats her like a total princess. For the first time in longer than she can remember, there’s a guy by her side whom she knows has her back no matter what, and that counts for so much.”

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However smoothly things were going, Us Weekly reported that those close to Holmes have “some concern” about the fast-paced relationship. A source maintained that Holmes can decide for herself: “Nobody deprives her of that [freedom], and if she wants to make things official with Emilio, then the common view is good for her,” the source told Us Weekly. “She’s got some seriously protective friends and family though, so he’d better carry on treating her this well if he knows what’s good for him!”

He has a lot of celebrity friends.

During his downtime, Vitolo hangs out with several high-profile friends. Everyone from Danny DeVito to Omar Epps to Cuba Gooding Jr. has graced his Instagram feed. Most notably, Vitolo has close ties to Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. In 2018, they spent New Year’s Eve together and he was on hand to celebrate Jonas’s 30th birthday in August 2019. Vitolo has also made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon alongside Jonas and referred to him as “my brotha from Anotha motha” on IG.

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He and Holmes follow each other on Instagram.

Holmes and Vitolo still follow each other on Instagram post-breakup. Back in July 2020, he commented two dancing women emojis on a photo Holmes posted on set for her movie The Secret. Holmes commented on Vitolo’s post at the time, sharing an oil painting emoji and several star emojis.

Vitolo went Instagram official with Holmes in December 2020 for her birthday. “The most amazing ,kindest, beautiful person ❤️. Every time I see your face it makes me smile . Happy Birthday !!! I love you !!” he wrote.

emilio vitolo jr's tribute to katie holmes

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Prior to their new relationship, Holmes quietly dated Jamie Foxx on-and-off for years before their August 2019 split. A source told People at the time that their six-year romance “ran its course.” The insider added, “This industry is very tough on relationships. Jamie thinks Katie is an incredible human being. They had a very, very deep connection. They brought each other a lot of joy and laughter.”

the 2019 met gala celebrating camp notes on fashion cocktails

Holmes and Foxx in May 2019.

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His dog has an Instagram.

While Holmes and Vitolo’s romance is no more, you can still enjoy the online presence of Vitolo’s Rottweiler, Lil Franky. He’s got his own Instagram account, with a bio that describes him as “Nolita’s Finest Rottie 🇮🇹.” The dog frequently sports a blue bandana and poses with Vitolo on the page.

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He was engaged to someone else weeks before dating Holmes.

When news of Vitolo’s romance with Holmes broke, several reports emerged claiming he was engaged to another woman mere weeks ago. Prior to the first sighting of Holmes with Vitolo in early September, a source told People he was set to marry designer Rachel Emmons.

“In mid-August, Emilio and Rachel were still engaged and living together,” the source claimed. “He broke off the engagement abruptly the second Katie showed some interested. Rachel is shocked. They were planning a wedding and their future together. It’s like she never knew Emilio. They haven’t had any contact since he broke up with her.”

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Further proof of Vitolo’s closeness with Emmons in recent months could be seen on her Instagram. (Several posts that People cites have since been deleted from Emmons’ page.) A July 27 photo reportedly shows the couple on a sunset boat ride. That same month, she apparently shared pictures of herself at a Monique Lhuillier Bride store and wearing a jean jacket that said “Mrs. Vitolo” on the back. An August 12 post shows Emmons still wearing her engagement ring:

According to People, Emmons shared news of her and Vitolo’s engagement in February 2019. “The most celebratory, generous, honest, genuine person I’ve ever met. You always have my back and make every day a new adventure. You walk into a room and people gravitate to you. I couldn’t feel more lucky to spend the rest of my life with you,” she reportedly captioned the selfie.

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Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.

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