Chef Andrea Volpi returns to the local dining scene

It's time for Taggia, round two.

Firesky Resort's in-house Italian restaurant lost chef Claudio Urciuoli -- who's currently at Different Pointe of View -- late last year, but now another well-known chef is taking his place.

As of next Monday, chef Andrea Volpi will head up the kitchen there, and he's already working on a new menu.

Volpi made his name locally back in 1994, at North Scottsdale's La Locanda. He later opened Il Palazetto at America West Arena, as well as Brio, another Scottsdale eatery. Then Volpi left town to work in California for a couple years, and most recently was executive chef at Taverna in Austin, Texas.

"I love Scottsdale and I am very happy to return and serve all of you again," he told me.

And he was kind enough to share his "idea menu" with me -- which is subject to change, of course. The latest draft includes risotto ai gamberi (Carnaroli rice, rock shrimp, and roasted sweet red peppers, topped with pan-seared Hawaiian Blue Spot prawns, finished with basil pesto), paccheri al ragu di maiale (paccheri, a pasta that resembles large rigatoni, with pork ragu and shaved ricotta salata, a hard sheep's milk cheese), and bocconcini di pollo al mascarpone (rolled chicken breast with mascarpone, caramelized onions, mushrooms and apple, Madera wine reduction, and smoked pancetta-Yukon mashed potatoes).

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