Meet Chef Massimo Salatino

Welcome to Carmelina Brands Featured Chef, highlighting top chefs and industry professionals from around the world. We’ll be sharing culinary tips, recipes and anecdotes from featured chefs throughout the year, so check back often!


“Simple food with quality ingredients and thoughtful service make a meal.” Meet Chef Massimo Salatino, the Corporate Chef for the Francesca’s Restaurants Group based in Chicago.

A native Italian, Massimo Salatino’s career has spanned two decades, from kitchens in Italy to New York City, and eventually settling in Chicago. As a youngster, Salatino worked at a friend’s restaurant, where his enthusiasm and thirst for culinary knowledge was rewarded as they encouraged him to become a chef.

In 1999 Salatino took the position of Corporate Chef for the Francesca’s Restaurants Group. Francesca’s has grown from a small, welcoming Italian restaurant on Chicago’s North Clark Street, to a restaurant group of five concepts across 25 locations and three states. Across all concepts, the multi-unit restaurant group maintains its commitment to the original restaurant’s founding philosophy of Italian hospitality—where simple food with quality ingredients and thoughtful service make a meal. At Mangia, Inc. we echo this philosophy, producing clean, quality, consistent ingredients that help make dishes like those of Chef Salatino stand out – a must in his kitchen.

Chef Salatino’s rustic, Northern-influenced Italian cooking focuses on fresh ingredients and simple techniques. When asked what it is about cooking that he enjoys best, Chef Salantino would tell you that he still “learns something new each day.”

Some fun “Get to Know You Facts” about Chef Salatino:

What is your go to dish?  Spaghettini al Pomodoro e Basilico (one of the simplest dishes, but best flavor if executed properly).

Why Carmelina Brands®Great, pure and clean flavor.

What’s the most important topping on a pizza for you?  Sauce, crust or toppings? Well I have to say the crust, then the sauce, and then the toppings. Anyone can make a pizza with great toppings, but not everyone can make a great crust.

Pizza or Pasta? I would say 50/50.  I love to eat my pasta with bread and clean up the bowl with it.  This is what we call the final step, “La Scarpetta,” when you take that last piece of bread and use it to wipe up the bowl of sauce – enjoying to the very last bite…

Featured Recipe

Want to cook like Chef Salatino?  Click on this recipe link for his Spaghetti alla Bella Carmelina.  A snap to make, this dish embodies Carmelina Brands’ message of Healthy. Simple. Good.® And we love that it makes our tomatoes shine.  Mangia bene!

Don’t feel like cooking tonight?  No problem. Head to one of the Francesca’s Restaurant Group’s fine restaurants in a city near you!  Check out – Francesca’s Restaurants Group.