This article was first published in the May 2018 edition of The Art of Living Beautifully magazine, Italian Edition
If you have yet to hear about TX Cucina Italiana, you are in for an Italian-style treat! Lauren and I had the pleasure of chatting with Michela and Sascia Marchesi to learn more about the gem of a service they have created right here in McKinney! As we sat in their comfortable home office enjoying European charm and hospitality and an amazing cup of espresso, we felt privileged to hear the journey that led the Marchesi’s to open TX Cucina Italiana.
Born in Bergamo, North Italy, Sascia grew up in his mother’s kitchen: it was here that his training and love for cooking originated. By age 14, he began working at La Taverna, the restaurant his family owned and operated for over 35 years in Bergamo, Italy. During Sascia’s time as Chef, the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars – a very rare and prestigious distinction. The rigorous process for earning Michelin stars includes several anonymous visits to the restaurant by highly trained critics. These anonymous critics evaluate food quality, consistency, and mastery of technique. La Taverna earned its first Michelin star in 1988 and a second Michelin star in 1993. Sascia’s achievement of two Michelin stars brought forth new opportunities.
In 1994, the Owner of L’ Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante at Disney Epcot Center came to La Taverna. (Traveling to Milan was an annual occurrence as part of Disney’s recruitment of new employees for Epcot Center.) During this visit, Sascia was offered a job with Disney. He accepted and spent 3 years as Executive Sous-Chef at Alfredo’s. Following his employment at Alfredo’s, he spent 4 years as Executive Chef at Donatoni’s Italian fine dining restaurant at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii. While there, he received awards not only for his skills as a Chef, but also for providing quality customer service and an excellent guest dining experience.
Sascia’s work philosophy involves creating an atmosphere where each guest is 100% satisfied and each staff member feels they are part of the winning team working to achieve those results. The experience he gained while working in the high-end service environments of Disney and the Hilton Waikoloa Village enabled him to master the skills necessary to establish and maintain a high standard of excellence in both food quality and customer satisfaction.
A return as Executive Chef at Alfredo’s in Epcot led to Sascia’s meeting of Michela, who arrived at Alfredo’s through the same Disney recruitment program that first brought Sascia there. (From their playful, lighthearted banter during our conversation, it was obvious they must have immediately connected during their time working together at Epcot.) In May 2003, they were married. Sascia’s career once more brought him back to the Hilton Waikoloa Village (this time with his wife) before moving to Texas where Sascia spent time as Executive/Concept Chef at Nicola’s Ristorante in Plano and Director of Operations/Executive Chef at Zeppole at the Gaylord Texan resort.
One hot summer day – with the beginning of another busy school year approaching – Michela had the vision for what would become TX Cucina Italiana. As someone who enjoys cooking, Michela was lamenting the difficulty of meal preparation during the hectic school year when after-school activities have families rushing about. However, realizing she was not the only one facing this struggle, Michela decided this was an opportunity for her to do something she loves while providing a service that fills a need for other busy moms. She shared the idea with Sascia that evening and the next day he came home announcing, “We have a Facebook page and we are in business!”
In October of 2016, TX Cucina Italiana began as a Facebook group of 80 people – mostly neighbors and friends. The first week, they posted 3 meals available for purchase, received a few orders, and began cooking and delivering all on their own. Friends loved it and shared their great reviews, inviting others to join the Facebook group. The group grew by 600 members in one week; today, the Facebook group has almost 4,700 members!
The creation of TX Cucina Italiana is the perfect blend of Sascia’s and Michela’s gifts, talents, and personalities. Michela believes it is important to have a personal connection with her customers, so while she posts the menu and heating instructions each week to the Facebook group, all her order tracking is done old school – with paper and pencil. Sascia’s restaurant management background has allowed them to fine tune their process to an extremely efficient and nearly waste-free operation.
Ready for the convenience of Italian cuisine – prepared by Michelin Star Chef Sascia – delivered right to your doorstep? Here’s what you need to know:
A menu consisting of 4-5 entrees with pricing is posted to the Facebook Group at 10 a.m. each Saturday and closes at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Orders are placed through Facebook messenger and payment can be made through PayPal. There is a $5 add-on delivery fee. In the North Dallas area, delivery can be scheduled 2-6 p.m. on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Southlake and surrounding areas have Friday delivery. Items can be kept refrigerated up to 5 days or placed in the freezer for 90 days. This is a great meal solution for busy families! If you won’t be home for delivery, that’s no problem: simply leave a cooler by the front door and your items will be placed inside.
Michela and Sascia are amazed by the growth of TX Cucina Italiana and the opportunities they’ve had to participate in community events. Sascia conducted a cooking class at Kitchenwares on the Square and has also partnered with local restaurants for special wine dinner offerings. We know we’ll be enjoying more from this dynamic couple and are so grateful for this gem of Italian cooking they offer right here in McKinney. I invite you to taste for yourself!
Buon Appetito !
TX Cucina Italiana proudly makes all their dishes in a commercial kitchen located in McKinney, Texas, For more information about the McKinney Copper Kitchen, please visit their website.
To read more about McKinney, head over to our Visit McKinney page.