Chef News

Phoenix Restaurateur and Chef Tomaso Maggiore Has Died

Tomaso Maggiore, a chef who first opened Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant in 1977, is dead at 73.
Tomaso Maggiore, a chef who first opened Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant in 1977, is dead at 73. The Maggiore Group
Tomaso Maggiore, the Sicilian-born chef and restauranteur and a fixture of the Phoenix food world for four decades, has died at 73 from lung cancer.

Maggiore first opened the award-winning Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant in the Camelback Corridor in 1977. He later founded The Maggiore Group, a restaurant group that operates Valley eateries like The Sicilian Butcher, The Sicilian Baker, and Hash Kitchen. Overall, Maggiore launched more than 50 restaurants in Arizona and California. He even created his own Sicilian-sourced wine.

Maggiore is survived by his wife Patricia, his son (and executive chef of The Maggiore Group) Joey Maggiore, and his daughter, restaurateur Melissa Maggiore Meyer, as well as five grandchildren.

Joey and Melissa will continue to operate Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant, with plans to give it a refresh this year. Melissa also plans to soon open her own concept, The Italian Daughter, in north Scottsdale. In addition, the Maggiore family will launch The Tomaso Maggiore Culinary Education Scholarship (more details on that to come).

According to a press release, Maggiore had “stirred up more than 49,000 pots of his famous marinara, something he enjoyed personally making every morning until his last days.”

For more information, see the Tomaso’s or The Maggiore Group websites.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano