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WHEN I AM COOKING, IT JUST HAPPENS

AUTHOR: CHIARA KOLL

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Massimo Capra’s insignia is his great mustache. However, he didn’t reach his fame thanks to this notable feature. Massimo Capra is one of the most celebrated chefs in Canada, where he has been working and living since 1982. His renowned restaurant Capra’s kitchen in Mississauga, Ontario, opened in 2016 and offers innovative Italian cuisine with recipes created by Massimo himself. Besides having his own restaurant, Massimo has spent the last ten years building up licensed restaurants in places like Niagara Falls or Doha in Qatar and trained their chefs.

Cooking Chef

Born in Soresina, Italy, his mother had high food quality standards, trained his palate, and planted his love for cooking. One might know the saying: “Eat to live,” while in Massimo’s opinion, Italians, and his family in particular, “live to eat.” After finishing school, Massimo studied at a trade school for three years and started his career in the kitchens of some of the finest hotels and restaurants in Italy.

Eager to look for new horizons, Massimo moved to Canada at the beginning of the ‘80s and opened several authentic Italian restaurants in Toronto.

WHEN I AM COOKING, IT JUST HAPPENS 1

Soon he became one of the most acclaimed chefs in Toronto. Following, one opportunity after another arose, having a significant influence on Massimo and his life. He was a host of his show Gourmet Escapes and the hit series Restaurant Makeover on the Food Network together with British chef Gordon Ramsey.

He also participated as a judge in several TV shows in Canada and the United States, such as Chopped Canada, City TV Cityline, and the newly started series Wall of Chefs.

Amazingly versatile, Massimo wrote two books with his best recipes; one of them received the gold award from Canadian Culinary Book Award. "When I cook, it just happens," he says. We think it is not that simple; he definitely is a food scientist, knowing how to enhance food by working with only the best ingredients. Massimo's requisites when he is cooking are uncomplicated yet challenging to achieve. His meals are cooked with simple ingredients and minimal spices to enhance the food and preserve the product's natural flavor. 

John and Janet Chantry, owners of the Alma Hotel & Bamboo Room in Ojochal, finally convinced Massimo and his wife Rosa to visit Costa Rica and meet up with their old friends and neighbors from Toronto. Together they are working on some new culinary ideas.

We had a pleasant interview with Massimo at the Bamboo Room. Asking him what especially drew his attention in Ojochal, Massimo answered, "the surrounding Farmers Markets. And anytime I saw something unfamiliar, I bought it anyway.  I'll sure find out about the way of preparation, and when I cook, it just happens."

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Posted in Discover South Pacific.