Italian expatriate Massimo Capra is the chef and co-owner of Mistura and Sopra Upper Lounge, two well-known restaurants in Toronto offering fine contemporary Italian cuisine and live music respectively.
Born near Cremona, Italy, Massimo studied at the National Culinary Institute in Salsomaggiore, Parma. He began his career by working in some of Italy’s finest restaurants and hotels, including Trattoria dell’ Amelia in Venice, widely considered one of the best restaurants in Italy at the time. He also spent several years in various hotels, such as Hotel Royal, Val d’Aosta, Hotel Savoy, and Drei Tannen. Finally, Massimo worked for Gallia Hotels, owners of the famous Excelsior Gallia Hotel, Cavour Hotel, and Rio Envers Hotel.
Yearning to work overseas, Massimo boarded a plane for Toronto in 1982. He began working at Archer’s, a restaurant owned by one of his relatives. Massimo used his time at Archer’s to master the English language and improve his culinary skills.
In 1989, Massimo met Michael Carlevale of the famed Prego della Piazza. He and was offered the chef position and “Prego” became one of the most well known restaurants in Toronto during his nine-years there. While working with Michael Carlevale, Maassimo developed the concept for Carlevale’s Black & Blue Restaurant and Byzantium.
In 1997, Massimo merged forces with Paolo Paolini, formerly of Splendido. Mistura was opened shortly thereafter in October, 1997. The exclusive SOPRA UPPER LOUNGE is the latest addition to Massimo’s long list of restaurants list. Since 2006, Sopra has been a favorite among Toronto’s live music lovers.
Author of “One Pot Italian” and the newly released, “Three Chefs, The Kitchen Men”, Massimo also writes regularly for “The Globe & Mail.” Currently, Massimo is the brand ambassador for Samsung Home Appliances. He recently completed the opening of “Fraticelli Italian Grill” and is re-branding of the famed “Rainbow Room” in the Crown Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls.
Massimo’s television experience is extensive, appearing on “The Beer Buddies,” “The Movable Feast,” “Buddies of the Vine,” “Christine Cushing Live,” “Three Takes” and many others. He makes regular appearances on City TV’s “Cityline” and is a celebrity chef on the hit series Restaurant Takeover. Finally, he is developing a new series, “Gourmet Escape.”