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

Friday, May 17, 2013

Recipes For Life: Part 1

Eating and drinking sometimes becomes much more complicated than it needs to be.

       We tap into so much bs and it is very difficult to distinguish between facts and fantasy. As a chef we always try to make foods that are interesting, exciting and somehow eloquent the visual and the palate. But sometimes that requires items that are not necessary good for you , but when we are talking about people's health and well being, the conversation should be more intelligent and more thoughtful.  when we make dishes for everyday eating, health,and quality become more than words; it's the selection of ingredients that are well suited for a better metabolism and more exciting for the palate because it is important for food to stay attractive and desirable. It's the reason why we generally come to the table, and the reason why we eat everyday is to bring some intelligent and amazing nutrition to our bodies.

        We eat, we drink: because the body needs the right nutrients and also the right hydration. We can achieve those goals with very simple steps. Nature provides a lot more than we give credit to. Unfortunately we have become a world where the supermarket and grocery store are giant compounds where you can buy industrial sized packages. They have taken away the beautiful relationship that we have had in the past with our food and our food suppliers.

     So, its become really a fight of the boxes. What is in the boxes? What kind of ingredients? How many different preservatives and harmful ingredients are in there? What is the nutritional value? Sometimes its very easy to blame the other person. Sometimes honestly, its very difficult to keep up with whats going on in the marketplace. There are a lot of camouflaging flavors and tastes and textures that we like and enjoy, things we have been accustomed to all our lives. However they do not have the same nutritional quality that they used to or even the same ingredients that they used to. In this context, our recipes for life are about making choices that are in line with exciting dining experience as well as choosing foods that are very appealing, nutritious, and delicious to the the palate.

      In reality the tables and the conversation turned to another level altogether. As a chef, I bring the experience and the expertise to the table because is very important to be able to educate in a way that is fun, practical, easy to achieve, and sustainable. People's success will determine the reasons why they stay on. Nobody likes to feel incompetent, nobody enjoys the feeling of not being able to make something. Yet, food is simple. You can make something very delicious. Sometimes all you need is a little guidance. Sometimes it is just a few tips- how to, where to-  how to make it, and where to buy it. More importantly, two or three steps that are required to achieve your super results.I'm always excited to see how much people really can do for themselves. With that in mind I created Recipes for Life, a cooking program that requires simple steps for people to achieve their desired results.