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Profiles

The Magic Culinary Touch of Chef Marisa Iocco

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“Cooking is an act of love — an ancient primal gesture,” Executive Chef Marissa Iocco opines. “Like all acts of love, it is deeply gratifying and like all ancient primal gestures, it’s good for the soul.” Executive Chef Marisa Iocco is a cook at heart as well as by vocation, but she doesn’t look the part. Slender, tall, sporty and tanned to perfection, as she sits in the sun on a glorious morning at one of the wooden tables in Old North Square, she could pass for a cyclist on a break. She is, in fact, taking a break — ...

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St. Leonard’s Pastor Padre Antonio Nardoianni

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St. Leonard is wrapped in scaffolding to the point of not looking much like a church anymore. Even the sounds (including some of the language used by the workers) are not very church-like. As I wait for Padre Antonio Nardoianni, pastor of what is basically the only fully functional church left in Boston’s historical Italian neighborhood, I find myself thinking, “Maybe they should put extra signs — not for the locals, of course — but certainly for the tourists.” In fact, my refection wasn’t totally off mark. The fact that the Rubenesque Franciscan friar, who has led this parish for ...

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Cumar’s Ivo Cubi: A destiny carved in marble

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Editor’s Note: In our magazine teaser item for this profile, we had Mr. Cubi actually roaming the hills of South America in search of precious metals as a young adult, rather than simply dreaming of it. His life has been adventurous enough without that erroneous excursion, and we apologize to the interviewee and author alike for the inaccuracy. No matter how hard he tried, Ivo Cubi could not have done anything else for a living. His last name, to begin with, in Italian literally means “Cubes.” Plus he was born into a family that, in one capacity or another, has ...

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Professor Flavia Laviosa: Making Italian useful

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Most of her life has been spent in front of an open book, first in college while studying foreign languages and literatures; then during her travels around Europe; then in Buffalo, N.Y.; and finally during a quarter century as an educator.

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Winthrop’s Cafe Rossetti’s: Where People Meet to Eat

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Tucked away in a seaside town, you can find a teeny tiny family owned restaurant that is worth the trek outside of the city.

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Mario Motta’s passion is “written in the stars”

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Apparently, Mario Motta has a successful medical career: Not only is he an established practicing cardiologist but he has also been the president of the Massachusetts Medical Association for many years. Yet he does not talk about it much. Actually, asking him about his job can be a somewhat frustrating Q&A, where the A is usually a brief, telegraphic sentence. The same can be said for questions about his family — although his three grown kids also have successful careers of their own — or any other “earthly” subject, for that matter. But when the conversation turns up — meaning ...

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Bianco and Sons: Concessions maestri

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If you have enjoyed the spicy goodness of a hot Italian sausage before a Red Sox game while strolling down Yawkey Way, you are a faithful Bianco and Sons customer. Opening the retail shop in 1960, Joseph Bianco Sr. started a family business that is now the backbone of New England’s concessions. Boasting the highest quality meats and spices, Bianco’s Italian sausage has stood the test of time. The recipe has not changed a lick in almost 55 years of production. Joseph Jr. would never share their secrets either: “No way, it’s a family recipe.” The smell alone brings me ...

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Silk scientist Fiorenzo Omenetto

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Fiorenzo Omenetto works with silk all day (and apparently a lot of nights, too), but he does not make clothes, not even invisible ones, contrary to rumors triggered by a journalistic exaggeration published a couple of years ago and quickly spread around the world. Yet, thanks to a fascination with this natural material — discovered at the dawn of civilization and used by mankind ever since — the scruffily bearded 46-year-old scientist from Varese, Italy, makes just about everything else. In his hands — or, to be exacted, by the state-of-the-art tools and machinery at Tufts University’s brand new 20-scentist-strong ...

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The North End’s Connah Store

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There is no denying that us New Englanders, and especially us Bostonians, have a language all our own. We have an accent, an attitude, and a way of doing business that is specific to each of our neighborhoods. In the North End, the Connah Store is the place that everyone goes for late night snacks, iced tea and ice cream that speaks to tourists and natives alike. The North End holds a special place in the hearts of Suffolk students and Boston transplants as the place to go for a home-cooked meal when you are lonely, hungry or looking for ...

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Francesca Gino’s “right choices”

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Growing up in her native Tione, a small Alpine town in the Italian province of Trento, Francesca Gino dreamed of becoming an engineer. The idea of building houses fascinated her, and she wanted to do it for a living. “But my then-boyfriend was already enrolled in a college engineering course and according to his mother, having two engineers in the same family was not such a good idea, so I signed up for economics,” recalls the bright-eyed, 35-year-old, full-time Harvard Business School professor, slightly embarrassed in telling such a personal tale. “I was ‘sidetracked,'” she concludes. And that’s when I ...

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Pauli’s North End – Wicked Fresh. Crazy Good.

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In the words of owner Paul Barker, Pauli's North End serves "wicked fresh food that always tastes crazy good."

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The Maione Family of Capitol Coffee House

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Right behind the State House there is a tiny shop called Capitol Coffee House that has just as much culture and history as its neighborhood.

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