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CHIARA ASSI

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Recent Work

  • Feeling that island vibe at Tommy Bahama's Published 03/02/2010 at 11:33 p.m.

    There are those who love Tommy Bahama and those who love to hate it and call it a tourist trap. The reasons both groups have for harboring such strong feelings, incidentally, are the same: the place is always packed, out-of-towners ...

  • PHOTOS: Local chef creates multiple versions of hamantaschen, Purim’s traditional cookies Published 02/23/2010 at 9:27 p.m.

    At sunset on Saturday, the Jewish holiday of Purim will begin. The two-day festivities commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to annihilate them by order of Haman, the royal vizier, during the rule of King Ahasuerus ...

  • Lindburger's a juicy burger bonanza Published 02/16/2010 at 10:21 p.m.

    Fifty burgers. Sounds like a lot, but that’s what you’ll see on the menu at Lindburger’s. Located merely a block north of the glitz of Fifth Avenue, this small, casual establishment is easy to pass by, yet it has a ...

  • Here are five books to get your children in the kitchen and loving it Published 02/16/2010 at 9:34 p.m.

    As a child, I never had a cookbook. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t into cooking — on the contrary, I spent countless hours helping my grandma making gnocchi or watching my mom prepare our dinner. It was a time when ...

  • Love and marriage generate plenty of superstitions Published 02/12/2010 at 9:07 p.m.

    When it comes to love, most people — especially the female gender — believe they need a little luck, whether it’s Valentine day or any other day of the year. The superstitions created around dating, love and marriage are plenty ...

  • Music made to win: Naples resident a composer to the Olympic stars Published 02/11/2010 at 8:39 p.m.

    Alex Goldstein was never an athlete, but sports has certainly shaped his life. The Naples resident, 61, has been writing and composing tunes for nearly 40 years that have accompanied figure skaters, gymnasts and synchronized swimmers to the podium during ...

  • Valentine's Day: Go for jazz, beach nuptials or live fruit trees Published 02/11/2010 at 8:30 p.m.

    Tired of the usual Valentine’s day drill of overcrowded restaurants, expensive flowers and candy? The good news is that there are alternatives for those who want to celebrate with their loved one in an original way. From special-edition love CDs ...

  • Review: Home Thai Sushi Bar offers great food, great prices Published 02/09/2010 at 11:01 p.m.

    Home Thai Sushi bar’s location isn’t a lucky one — Alberto’s Trevi and Memories Deli are just two of the businesses that didn’t make it at the same Bonita Beach Road address. However, the new owners have done a great ...

  • Meatloaf? Readers share everything from turkey to diet loaves Published 02/09/2010 at 9:01 p.m.

    After learning how chef Tony Ridgway makes the meatloaf he serves at his restaurant, Ridgway Bar and Grill, we asked our readers to share their special recipes with us. We received everything from diet loaves to turkey loaves to stuffed ...

  • Dining Out: 'The Boathouse' looks better than it is Published 01/28/2010 at 9:33 p.m.

    When I walked into The Boathouse for the first time I thought it looked like a wonderful spot to have a casual dinner by the water. Unfortunately, both my visits to the establishment were less than satisfactory. If I only ...

  • VIDEO: The last supper: Emeril bids farewell to Wine Festival Updated 01/28/2010 at 6:38 p.m.

    “Get a good picture of me, though, because this is it for me,” said celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse before starting his cooking demonstration at Coastland Center mall on Thursday morning.

  • Dining Review: St. George, an old Naples classic Published 01/20/2010 at 12:52 a.m.

    By Naples’ standards, St. George and the Dragon has been open forever. Offering continental cuisine since 1969, this large steakhouse has a large following of old-timers, and it prides itself in staying true to its origins and to its original ...

  • Ah-some: Meat loaf’s many variations make it a versatile comfort food Published 01/19/2010 at 5:02 p.m.

    ‘Ask a hundred people for a recipe to make meat loaf and you’ll get a hundred different answers,” says Tony Ridgway, chef owner of Ridgeway Bar & Grill. And we all know it’s true. There are those who insist that ...

  • Revisited Italian fare at Bravo! Published 01/12/2010 at 11:43 p.m.

    Bravo! Cucina Italiana is not a traditional Italian restaurant — it’s more a of an American restaurant with strong Italian influences.And there’s nothing wrong with that. The results — the fusion between the two cuisines — are good and the ...

  • Raw ambition: Freshest foods changing diets and kitchens Published 01/12/2010 at 8:35 p.m.

    There’s been a lot of talk about raw foods lately. Vegetarians. Vegans. And now raw foodists. They insist that everything you eat should be eaten, you guessed it, raw or “living.”

  • Celebrate 2010 with these diet-conscious cookbooks Published 01/05/2010 at 9:10 p.m.

    It happens every year. As soon as the last drop of champagne is drunk and the smoke from the fireworks has dissipated, we all start discussing about our New Year’s resolutions. You know the drill. Smokers are swearing that that ...

  • High-energy Groovaloo came from rooftop dances for pure love of movement Published 12/31/2009 at 5:06 p.m.

    Forget everything you think you know about hiphop music and dancing. Suspend your judgment, sit back — for as long as you can — and get ready to see a performance that will revolutionize the way you think about dance, ...

  • Luna Rossa offers classic Italian fare Published 12/15/2009 at 11:21 p.m.

    Because I was raised in Italy, when it comes to Italian restaurants I tend to expect more from them. That’s why I found Luna Rossa of Naples to be a solid provider of tasty, authentic Italian fare. Traditional dishes are ...

  • Falafel Grill: Middle Eastern made easy Published 12/09/2009 at 12:11 a.m.

    Tucked in the corner of an L-shaped strip mall, hidden behind a Hess Mart gas station on Pine Ridge Road, Falafel Grill has been open for a couple of months now, and on any given day, around lunch time, the ...

  • A cook's Christmas list: Smiles all around for these ... Published 12/08/2009 at 7:43 p.m.

    Remember three months ago, when the humidity was high and it felt like Christmas would never come? All of the sudden, December is here and soon we’ll be sitting around the tree, exchanging presents, hoping our gifts will make our ...

  • Dining: Crab is king at Truluck’s Published 12/02/2009 at 4:50 p.m.

    There are restaurants where one can dine every day and others that fall into the category of special occasion restaurants, both because of their atmosphere and their prices. Truluck’s definitely isn’t your everyday restaurant.

  • Book it for the holidays: Any feast will benefit from these 5 cookbooks Published 12/01/2009 at 9:13 p.m.

    When it comes to holiday cooking most families have traditional heirloom recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s grandma’s special creamed potatoes, your aunt’s freshly baked bread, that special dessert your sister always prepares.

  • Review: Truluck’s deserves its ‘special occasion’ status Published 11/24/2009 at 10:02 p.m.

    Part of a national chain of 10 Truluck’s restaurants, the Naples location boasts a pretty setting on the back of the Inn on Fifth, with an intimate, dark dining room and a large porch. The menu is tailored to please ...

  • Feeding our inner Irish Published 11/24/2009 at 8:37 p.m.

    Colman Andrews, cofounder and editor of great food’s best friend, Saveur magazine, isn’t Irish. But his love for the people and cuisine of Ireland is contagious. Andrews will present and sign his new book, “The Country Cooking of Ireland” (Chronicle ...

  • Dining: Joe's Crab Shack oozes beach ambience Published 11/19/2009 at 3:41 p.m.

    When people are visiting Naples from out of town they all seem to ask for the same thing: They want to go to a restaurant that’s on the water, serves seafood and isn’t too expensive. They are looking for that ...

  • Food fight? Not if you plan your Thanksgiving the right way Published 11/17/2009 at 9:07 p.m.

    My relationship with Thanksgiving didn’t start off with the right foot. One day in early November of 2006 I announced that I would host the turkey dinner, invited my parents and friends over and flipped through the holiday issues of ...

  • Starting with nothing, Salomon Montezinos made life a feast Published 11/14/2009 at 5:04 p.m.

    On Sept. 29, Salomon Montezinos received a most peculiar e-mail from Arlene Dujmovich, a resident of Houston, Texas. On Aug. 4, 1979, Dujmovich and her now-husband, Tom, had their first date at a restaurant in Philadelphia, Deja Vu. Montezinos was ...

  • Dining: Cote D'Azur offers authentic flavors, sophisticated atmosphere Published 11/12/2009 at 5:19 p.m.

    I don’t eat French food very often, but when I do I tend to gravitate more toward Southern French dishes, rich in taste but not as heavy as their Northern counterparts. It might have a lot to do with the ...

  • 6 Books Essential for Every Kitchen Published 11/03/2009 at 8:26 p.m.

    My name is Chiara Assi and I’m a cookbook addict. Although “addiction” might sound like a pretty strong term, I don’t have a better word to describe my relationship with cookbooks. See, I own 143 of them — they come ...

  • Dining: Empanadas star at Latin Family Bakery Published 10/29/2009 at 1:02 p.m.

    The keyword here is simplicity, delicious simplicity. The Latin Family Bakery won’t impress you with its digs — a small, square room with virtually no decor or wall art to speak of — but the good news is that this ...

  • Thriller, home edition: Create a hauntingly great party with mozzarella ‘eyes’ and candy corn cordials Published 10/27/2009 at 4:53 p.m.

    Monsters. Jack-o-lanterns. Candy. It’s easy to see why kids love Halloween, but the truth is many adults can’t wait to celebrate the spookiest night of year themselves. While the little ones are running around the neighborhood collecting candy, why not ...

  • Stars in Her Eyes: Naples woman rehearses for the dance of her life, on national television Published 10/24/2009 at 5:03 p.m.

    It’s hard to believe that ballroom dancing wasn’t Debra Stevens’ first love. She stumbled upon it nine years ago, when she begrudgingly accepted taking lessons in the same way some people go on a blind date not expecting to meet ...

  • Cocktail: Flatbread and wine – the new chi-chi cuisine Published 10/21/2009 at 5:02 p.m.

    Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar takes the wine bar concept to a new level, creating not only a pleasant, warm environment but dishing out flatbreads, pizzas and panini that go well beyond the usual wine bar fare.

  • Dining: Randy's Fishmarket: A seafood lover’s paradise's Published 10/21/2009 at 12:30 a.m.

    Locally owned, Randy’s is a typical Florida restaurant — colorful, cheery, family oriented — and it serves fresh seafood and Southern classics at prices that won’t break the bank

  • Lessons in Life: Anna Jacobson says life's too short not to be happy Published 10/16/2009 at 7 p.m.

    At almost 84, Anna Jacobson doesn’t let the small stuff _or the big for that matter _ worry her. “I had a friend. When you went to visit her she always fussed around the couch and straightened it up every ...

  • Dining: Cibao Grill has a flawless Caribbean flourish Published 10/15/2009 at 3:42 p.m.

    The first time I drove to Cibao Grill, I almost missed it. As with many other restaurants in Naples, this family-owned establishment suffers from lack of exposure, tucked inside a strip mall on the corner of U.S. 41 and Neapolitan ...

  • Blossoming affair: Tender zucchini bloooms, fried with melting mozzarella, are certain to be love at first bite Published 10/13/2009 at 5:49 p.m.

    Zucchini blossoms are a popular delicacy throughout Italy, but they are relatively unknown in this area. Most farmers discard them without giving it a second thought — or did discard them, until chef owner Gianfranco Loreti of Ristorante Ciao decided ...

  • Dining: Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar ... catering to a variety of good tastes Published 10/08/2009 at 1:33 p.m.

    I have always liked wine bars. The idea of sitting casually around a table, trying new wines and nibbling on cheese, is one that I like more than, say, munching on popcorn at the movies or eating at a stuffy ...

  • Piola: Famous for pizza for a reason Published 09/17/2009 at 6:47 p.m.

    “Famosi per la pizza” reads the slogan on Piola’s menu. Famous for pizza. And they should be, since this swanky-looking pizzeria at the Mercato offers more than sixty varieties. Having so many pizzas to choose from can prove challenging, but ...

  • Sweet Start: Honey, a Jewish New Year favorite, is a Florida-flavor treat all year long Published 09/16/2009 at 5:47 a.m.

    In two days the Jewish New Year will start, and in Jewish households across the globe families will celebrate Rosh Hashanah and wish each other "a good and sweet new year." To symbolize their hopes of a sweet new year, ...

  • VIDEO/POLL: Where are your favorite places to eat in Southwest Florida? Published 08/07/2009 at 12:11 p.m.

    Everyone has that restaurant they just have to go to every so often. It’s a place that for whatever reason calls to you. Maybe it’s the food, perhaps the ambiance or some lovely combination of the two. It’s your favorite ...

  • Add some flavor to your olive oil Published 07/02/2009 at 8:48 p.m.

    Every year, come spring, I get uncharacteristically excited about gardening and — filled with optimism and good intentions — I buy all the herbs the local garden center carries, ranging from basil to cilantro and from oregano to thyme.

  • Table set for new Bonita restaurant Published 01/06/2009 at 10:10 a.m.

    "A Table Apart" stays true to its name by serving a balanced mix of French tradition and Hawaiian innovation.

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