Toronto native Massimo De Francesca grew up with a firm appreciation of his Italian heritage. His parents, immigrants from southern Italy, took pride in teaching their children how to prepare the culinary delights of their homeland.
A graduate of the George Brown College Culinary Arts School in Toronto, De Francesca honed his skills on the Adriatic Coast, where he trained with Michelin star Chef Vincenzo Cammerucci at Ristorante Lido Lido in the port town of Cesenatico. He returned to Toronto in 1999 where he was fortunate to work under the tutelage of world-class French chef Jean Pierre Challet before leaving again, this time for warmer climes in the sunny Cayman Islands.
These days De Francesca is the executive chef at Hotel Palomar’s Domaso Trattoria Moderna in Arlington, Va., where patrons savor cuisine that marries his Italian heritage with the flavors of his global experience in a setting that offers a spectacular view of the Georgetown skyline.
Spaghetti carbonara Serves 4
12 ounces spaghetti, fresh or dry
5 ounces Virginia ham, sliced into 1/4-inch matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground
4 egg yolks
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces Parmigiano cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 ounces dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)
4 quail yolks (optional)
Salt, to taste
In a medium pot, bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil.
Combine egg yolks and half the heavy cream (reserve the other half) in a mixing bowl. Mix until smooth with whisk.
In sauté pan, sauté shallots, garlic, peppercorns and ham in olive oil and butter for 5 minutes on medium heat. Do not brown. Add wine and simmer until dry. Add the reserved cream to the shallot mixture and bring to simmer. Reduce by half.
Submerge the spaghetti in the boiling water and stir for a few minutes to ensure the pasta does not stick. Cook to desired doneness, 9 to 11 minutes. When cooked to preference, drain the spaghetti while reserving some of the pasta water. Add the reserved pasta water to the sauté pan. Return to medium heat and bring back to a simmer. Remove sauté pan from heat and stir in egg yolk mixture and grated cheese. Stir rapidly until egg yolks and cream cook and become thick. Adjust thickness with reserved pasta water.
PRESENTATION: Serve in warmed pasta bowls or on a warm platter. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. For added richness, top each serving with a quail yolk (optional). Season with fresh ground pepper.
Scallops carpaccio Serves 1
For the vinaigrette:
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of ¼ lemon
½ ounce extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch pink peppercorns, crushed
Combine the mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking at a steady pace until it is incorporated. Add crushed peppercorns. Set aside.
1½ dry scallops
¼ ounce pancetta, cut into small cubes
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch fennel pollen
½ radish, julienned
Micro celery, for garnish
Place the pancetta cubes in small pan over medium heat to slowly render the fat. Continue cooking until the pancetta is crispy. Set aside. Cutting across the grain, slice the scallops paper thin and layer pieces onto a plate. Sprinkle scallops with sea salt, fennel pollen, radish slices and crispy pancetta. Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with micro celery or micro greens.
Domaso Trattoria Moderna
1121 N. 19th St.
Arlington, VA 22209
tel 703 351 1211
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.