The evolution of epicurean expression that is Massimo Navarretta has taken many beautiful forms along the more than 30 year journey. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to express myself with restaurants like Enoteca, Scampi, and now Onotria. Growing up on a farm in the vibrant agricultural Italian town of Caserta I stay true to my roots and it is expressed in every dish, as I share glimpses of the first flavors introduced to me as a boy. Starting from my travels in culinary school, I came to understand how through food I could clearly express the essence of each regional cuisine.

Forging relationships with what were, at that time unknown artisanal wine producers (who would later become known as the great producers of their respective regions), I isolated the pronounced flavors inherent in the soil and paired them with local ingredients and intensifying the flavors of each hand crafted dish. This creative and calculated gamble has lead to one of the finest and most sought after cellars in Orange County, coupled with a menu offering dishes whose flavors are complimentary down to your last bite. I am pleased and honored to have you as my guest.

Mangia bene, vivi felice

Thursday, January 12, 2017

 In this moment in our history,it good for all of us  to take a pose and re calibrate our feelings and expectations.We have many problems and a multitude of difficulty,but we live in the most amazing land on the planet,abundant resources,incredible human capital and a constitution that marvels anything in our history.To many  snake oil salesman in the public square ,telling people what they want to hear.If we really care for our fellows man and woman, than let remember what makes us a great nation,Ideas,industries,personal risk and capital large and small,education about the real world and history.
I went to school in Italy, we got a fantastic education until the middle of the 70th and than the political climate  changed for the worst,socialism,communism, social unrest.
We as a country never recuperated.Angry mob,social experiment gone very bed,the pride of our land is reduced in daily arguments about who fault is it.I have the answer ,it all of us .Instead of looking for solution to our many legitimate issues,we got blinded by political parties.Now you know what I am getting at.            
If we want make a difference, let get involve,not in the street but among our self ,in our neighborhoods,in our families,in our schools.With the full respect of our laws,start talking to people that don't share your political tendencies, You  will find, we have more in commune than not.We just go about the different way. Drop the attitude.It like the social media,just because they report doesn't mean it right.In my restaurant experience i find now a days everybody is a expert.I went to school, was born and race in Italy,and yet i find a small number of peoples pretend to know more about food,wine and Italian tradition than me.When i see the comment on Facebook or other Venus I can't stop laughing,it comical how little ,pretentious and misinformed they really are and yet what people Should think  about, are the  working man and women ,there family the hundred of  related business we are promoting just from my little love and passion for making great food everyday.   Where is the social grace the good will to man kind, why the angry tone, why  not communicate your like or  dislike   without the insult the pompous,after all it only food and we are just humans.I never cook because the fame or the awards i don't care about superficial postures ,I love peoples and i love what i do and yes if you open your hart and mind you will Love ,Learn and Enjoy.My recipes for happy life.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A farmer, a chef and a winemaker.: Convivium to be togheter

A farmer, a chef and a winemaker.: Convivium to be togheter: L'idea e' semplice , cercare con accurata conoscenza il prodotto e la provenienza,dopo di che con oculata professionalita' tra...

A farmer, a chef and a winemaker.: Convivium to be togheter

A farmer, a chef and a winemaker.: Convivium to be togheter: L'idea e' semplice , cercare con accurata conoscenza il prodotto e la provenienza,dopo di che con auculata professionalita' tr...

Convivium to be togheter

L'idea e' semplice , cercare con accurata conoscenza il prodotto e la provenienza,dopo di che con oculata professionalita' trasmomare la materia prima in un piatto appariscente e gustosissimo al palato.Fatto questo tutta l'attenzione va' riversata su i conviviali.
Sembra faciele ma il piu' delle volte non lo e'.
Oggi si vive in un mondo competitivo all'eccesso,ed esasperato dalla informazione mediatica assillante ,restingono i tempi e conseguentemente i rapporti,dando cosi' aperture all'incomprensione e all' arroganze culturali.
 Il punto di incontro e' sempre piu' importante ,puo facilitare la comunicazione e puo dare i tempi necessari per evolversi in conversazioni e conoscenza piu' umana dei convitati.Il punto chiave e' nel cercare locali con poche distrazioni :televisioni da pertutto,musiche assordanti,menu che hanno  di fresco e stagionale molto poco,dove tutto e' fatto per incoraggiare il consumo sproporzionato di alcolici senza nessuna ragione specifica, tranne il profitto dell'operatore.
La  nostra e' una professione meravigliosa,ci da la possibilita' giornaliera di vivere momenti bellissimi ed intimi con i nostri fratelli umani,in rapporti non ottenibili in altri mestieri.Convivium essere insieme,una lezione di umanita' unica ,ascoltare, condividere,sentirsi parte di questo progetto che noi chiamiamo democrazia ,rappresentata tutti i giorni in tutti i momenti,con diverse espessioni,diverse necessita'.E' difficile immaginarsi una storia diversa.America, un paese ricco di storia umana,di gente, che qui trova una dimensione diversa e una liberta' che e' difficile immagginare altrove.La liberta' di vivere una vita secondo le proprie esegenze e modi di credere ,liberta' di non fare di piu' di quello che senti,di credere o non credere,la liberta' fondamentale che e' inscritta' nella costituzione .tutti gl'esseri umani sono stati creati  con la stessa eguaglianza senza nessuna eccezione.Un'idea che sfugge in molti paesi del mondo ancora oggi.Ecco perche' trovo che in questo momento della nostra storia e' importante ricordare che il nostro processo democratico anche se a volte disgustoso,non civico ma pur sempre nel contesto constituzionale del convivium.Questo e' il nostro paese,la nostra famiglia,i nostri problemi non democratici o republicani ,indipendenti e disinteressati,e' il nostro Paese la nostra gente .Domani tutti continueremo ha vivere la nostra vita con la stessa allegria, lo stesso ottimismo di sempre ,perche' vivere in America e' un convivium unico al mondo,un progetto umano riuscito ,un esempio da copiare e celebrare con tutte le sue imperfezioni,errar umanum est! non essere perfetti e' umano.We are not perfect but we are fee.Vote!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

OC Register Praises Chef Massimo & His Delicious Broths!

      A great thank you to Cathy Thomas at the OC Register for the wonderful article. To enhance your culinary adventures at home, the Mediterranean and Aromatic broths featured in this article are now for sale at Onotria. Come pick up these delicious broths in two sizes; 32 oz. ($12) and 64 oz ($24).

To read the article in its entirety, click the link!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Orange County Farmers Market

Healthy, fun morning out at the Orange County Farmers Market. As is documented, I am a big supporter of farmers markets...for many reasons! They are fun for families, you can exercise all of your senses, and they are a great way to support your local economies. I was invited to celebrate the Orange County Farmers Markets 20th Anniversary, and participate in a chef cook-off.

Here is an example of fresh Branzino and red chili peppers from the farmers market, accompanied by spices from Onotria Boutique.

Simple preparations.

Behind the scenes..backstage pass!

Yes, I have that effect on people.

 My favorite crowd; young people that are enthusiastic about cooking fresh, amazing food.

Of course...a selfie! I couldn't resist.

Don't forget to pick up a copy of my new cookbook, "Ingredients For Life," when you come to dine at Onotria!