Ciao Bella! SSP Canada and Chef Massimo Capra, celebrate the grand opening of Boccone at Toronto Pearson

Two stunning new Italian concepts created with top celebrity chef opens at Canada's leading airport

TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The authentic taste of modern Italy, created by Toronto's most favorite mustachioed Italian chef, has landed at Toronto Pearson's Terminal 1.

SSP Canada, the Canadian division of SSP, the leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, in partnership with famed local chef, Massimo Capra, celebrated the grand opening of their two Italian concept restaurants today.  Boccone Trattoria Veloce - a 3,291 sq ft full service, trattoria-style restaurant, and, Boccone Pronto - its 3,304 sq ft quick serve counterpart are now officially open and ready for the 33 million annual passengers at Toronto Pearson.

The event was held at the Boccone Trattoria Veloce location where guests dined on samples of its delicious menu and Chef Capra was on hand for an official book signing.

Commenting at today's grand opening, Chef Capra's smile grew wide under his trademark mustache that is now emblazoned on the Boccone logo and enthused, "There are many good restaurants at airports such as New York's JFK or Heathrow in London.  And now, travelers at Toronto Pearson can also enjoy the very best food before they fly. Our menus have been designed so that passengers only have to wait ten minutes from the time they sit down to the time they are served and can be on their way in half an hour.  That's guaranteed.  We serve the same food prepared with the same high standards as we do at our restaurants in town, which is an amazing achievement.  I'm extremely proud of what we are doing here and am very excited to be sharing what I consider to be great Italian food with the passengers of Toronto Pearson."

Pat Murray, senior vice president of SSP Canada, commented, "Today is undoubtedly a cause for celebration.  Joining forces with Massimo Capra in bringing two exceptional Italian concept restaurants to Toronto Pearson has been a wonderful foodie journey.  To work with a chef with such abundant energy and creative genius, and to be able to share his vision, his brilliance, and, most importantly, his food with passengers here in Toronto is what we at SSP are all about.  We find the local legends and showcase them at the airport - giving passengers a sense-of-place from the moment they land.  Massimo Capra is undeniably a Canadian local legend, and we are proud to be opening his restaurants here today."

"We are so excited to have Chef Massimo bring his expertise and love of food to Toronto Pearson," said Pamela Griffith-Jones, Vice President of Guest and Terminal Services for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.  "We are committed to significantly raising the bar in terms of the dining options at Toronto Pearson and in ensuring we are showcasing the best that Toronto and the region have to offer. Chef Massimo's two restaurants are proof positive of that commitment."

Gioia di vivere meets joy de vivre.  Travelers will be instantly drawn to the full service Boccone's with its ample seating wrapped in panels of warm wood and bold, whimsical black and white culinary graphics, clearly marking its space in the large open concourse.  Sleek red stools sit at high top tables; curved red leather booths create cozy intimate comfort, and additional bar and banquette seating proffer plenty of room for even the largest Italian family.  Contemporary pendant lighting hangs suspended from stand-alone metal frames, and glossy red, black and white subway tiles sing modern Italian style.  An open, European styled kitchen showcases the culinary genius of Massimo and his team and a full service bar, with a notably extensive wine list, anchors the center of the restaurant.  The "Mercato" market area of the main restaurant offers a range of quick-serve items to go for travelers on the run.

La dolce vita.  Chef Capra's carefully created full service menu brings passengers on a pre-boarding voyage through Italy's finest culinary combinations:  bar snacks such as Crispy Mozzarella Skewers with Tomato Coulis and Portobello Fries with Fresh Herb Aioli; pasta courses of Tagliatelle in a classic Meat Ragú or Penne with Eggplant Ragú & Salted Ricotta; and main course choices of Breaded Veal Cutlet with Arugula and Parmigiano Salad or, Grilled Chicken Breast with Sautéed Mushroom & Fresh Herbs.   All items are steeped in the culinary heritage of Italy - even the eggs served at breakfast are crafted the Italian way with tomato sauce, onion and candied salmon. The menu will change regularly, highlighting seasonal ingredients.

Quick service Boccone Pronto offers authentic, gourmet Italian food - pronto, fast!  With ample space to admire the selections, the broad assortment of fine Italian fare and freshly brewed coffee creates an authentic delicatessen experience.  Offers include a rustic Scaccia made with mozzarella, prosciutto ham and mushrooms or, a slice of Margherita Pizza made with fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil.  Hand pressed Paninis are filled with premium meats and cheese, cakes and pastries are baked fresh daily and a wide selection of cold drinks, juices and the compulsory cup of Illy coffee will keep passengers fueled for take-off.

Known and loved by Canadians for the past 30 years, Massimo Capra is an Italian transplant bar none.  Born near Cremona, Italy, Massimo trained at the famed National Culinary Institute in Salsomaggiore, Parma, and then climbed the culinary ladder by working in Italy's finest restaurants and hotels before moving to Toronto in 1982.

Today, Chef Massimo is the chef and co-owner of two Toronto mainstays - the Zagat-rated Mistura and the highly-regarded Sopra Upper Lounge. He is also known for his appearances on television shows CityLine and the Food Network program Restaurant Makeover, which is seen in over sixteen countries.

Boccone Trattoria Veloce can be found in Terminal 1's domestic departures area, while Boccone Pronto is located Terminal 1's US-Transborder departures area.

About SSP
SSP is the leading dedicated operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations, operating restaurants, bars, cafes, food courts, lounges and convenience stores in airports, train stations, motorway service stations, shopping malls, conference centers and other leisure locations. With a heritage stretching back over 60 years, today SSP has 30,000 employees, serving millions of customers every week. It has business at over 140 airports and over 250 rail stations, and operates more than 2,100 units in 30 countries around the world.

SSP operates an extensive portfolio of over 200 international, national, local and specialty brands. These include Upper Crust, Starbucks, Caffè Ritazza, M&S Simply Food, Bonne Journée, Caviar House & Prunier, and leading Japanese noodle brand Ajisen Ramen as well as stunning bespoke concepts such as the Montreux Jazz Café in Geneva and Sydney and the Bambini Wine Room in Sydney. Its brand portfolio is tailored for each specific location, depending on variables such as passenger profile, consumer need states, location type, size and design.

About SSP America/SSP Canada
SSP America operates in more than 40 airports across North America bringing a variety of local, regional and national brands to the traveling consumer at a vast array of price ranges.  Third party brands in the company's broad portfolio include The Palm Restaurant, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Gordon Biersch, Panda Express, Tigín, Peet's Coffee & Tea, T.G.I. Friday's, Tim Hortons, The Great American Bagel and Buffalo Wild Wings.  SSP America's brand portfolio also includes strong, local award-winning icons such as Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, Harry & Izzy's, Nonna Bartolotta's, and Mill Street Brewery Pub.

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority
The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's biggest airport and one of the largest airports in North America in terms of passenger and air cargo traffic. In 2011, Toronto Pearson handled 33.4 million passengers and is ranked 4th largest in international passenger traffic in North America. The focus of the GTAA continues to be on competitiveness, growing the airport's status as an international gateway, meeting the needs of our guests and ensuring the long-term success of the organization, our airline customers and the regional economy. Join Toronto Pearson on Facebook and Twitter (@torontopearson).

SOURCE: Toronto Pearson

For further information:

Contact:  

Darleen Nascimento 
SSP Canada
(703) 723-5418 
(703) 462-4699 (c)
darleen.nascimento@foodtravelexperts.com

Toronto Pearson
Media Office
(416) 776-3709