Alameda chef makes dream come true for teen who had 2 wishes
ALAMEDA, Calif. - A popular Bay Area chef granted a teen's wish after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Mia, 18, lives on the other side of the country and had two wishes after she received her diagnosis: to travel to California and to learn how to cook authentic Italian food.
Owner and head chef Giuseppe Naccarelli of Alameda's Trabocco, and Make-A-Wish Bay Area, jumped to the opportunity to make those dreams come true.
Mia made the trip last month with her twin brother, parents, and grandpa for the one-on-one culinary training.
"I asked her if she was up to do real work, so we made the stuffing for the ravioli, and rolled the pasta," said Naccarelli during an interview with KTVU Tuesday. "We made all of the things. It was pretty cool."
Owner and chef Giuseppe Naccarelli of Alameda's Trabocco gave Mia some one-on-one culinary training. Photo credit: Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, Feb. 2023
Naccarelli even gifted her a pasta rolling machine so she could continue cooking at home, the foundation said.
If you have been to Trabocco, chances are you have either seen or met Naccarelli.
He is all over the restaurant, from cooking at the grill, to rolling pasta, to rushing out to sing happy birthday to one of his guests in his prevalent tenor voice.
He greets everyone like they are family, and many in Alameda say they feel like they are home when they eat there.
Naccarelli was born and raised in the Italian mountain village of Palombaro.
Giuseppe Naccarelli, owner and head chef at Trabocco in Alameda. Sketch by Nancy Seamons Crookston
Giuseppe Naccarelli, chef at Alameda's Trabocco. Sketch by Nancy Seamons Crookston
After working in several of Italy's finest restaurants, he made the trek to the United States. He worked for years as the vice president of Kitchen Operations for Il Fornaio in Los Angeles, before he and his wife chose Alameda as their home in 1999.
They opened Trabocco in 2013 at South Shore Center in Alameda, and it has since been recognized on several top Bay Area restaurant lists.
Naccarelli said meeting Mia and her family was a really cool experience and he was grateful for the opportunity.
Sara Sedillo is a reporter for KTVU. Email Sara at email@example.com.
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