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Executive Chef Massimo De Francesca

Drawing on his broad travels from near and far, Canadian-born chef Massimo De Francesca is constantly experimenting in the kitchen. At Taggia he blends that passion for originality with the traditional flavors you would expect from a first generation Italian chef, creating an exciting adventure on every plate.

Culinary Citizen

De Francesca’s international culinary passions have led him to positions in such places as Toronto; Torino and Cesenatico, Italy; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Arlington, Virginia and most recently in Manhattan, New York. After studying the culinary arts at George Brown College in Toronto, he gained unparalleled work experience at Lido Lido Ristorante under Michelin star Chef Vincenzo Cammerucci as well as at the Windsor Arms Hotel and Bouchon Bistro with Jean Pierre Challet. In 2001, during his apprenticeship with Challet, De Francesca was honored with an invitation to cook alongside his mentor at a special James Beard House dinner event.

Chef De Francesca joined the Kimpton team in 2008 as the executive chef of Domaso Trattoria Moderna in the Washington DC area. He then relocated to New York City as the city-executive chef of NIOS restaurant at Kimpton’s The Muse New York and Silverleaf Tavern at 70 Park Avenue hotel. While in these roles, De Francesca was highlighted at a variety of notable events including the Taste of Time Square and Food Network Food & Wine Festival. He later went on to become the city general manager and chef for both properties, gaining front-of-the-house knowledge that he continues to apply at Taggia.

New Take On Tradition

Classic in his training yet innovative in his approach, Chef De Francesca has created a menu of Italian fare at Taggia that connects tradition with contemporary musings.

Elevating classic cuisine to modern heights, signature dishes find new life with forward thinking touches. Menu favorites include Baccala fritters with hearts of palm; “vitello tonnato” with tuna emulsion, pickled eggs and gherkin pesto; Southern California fresh burrata with local heirloom tomatoes and crystallized basil; house smoked duck carpaccio; and Yukon gold potato gnocchi with Dungeness crab, chorizo and soy-brown butter.

Chef De Francesca also offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes in addition to the daily menus. Beyond the cuisine, diners will delight in Taggia's expanded wine list which includes a vast selection of Italian wines, international vintages as well as regional and local Arizona varieties.