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An Italian Chef, Michele Casadei Massari, Raising the Standards of the New York’s Fine Dining Scene




New York, a land of captivating skyline view, dotted by exquisitely designed skyscrapers, a dynamic metropolis of art, fashion, theatre, and food, serves as the center of entertainment for the world. People from all across the world come to enjoy the richness of its all five boroughs, walk around some of the world’s best museums, and arts, visit the world’s most famous street cuts, Broadway, and the diverse food scene.

New York’s food is a highlight, and one of the top reasons why this part of the United States is one of the most popular traveling destinations. From high-end global food chains to international and experimental food, this place has a lot to offer when it comes to food. Katz’s Delicatessen, Peter Luger, Lombardi’s, Keens Steakhouse, Tavern on the Green, Lucciola restaurant, and Piccolo Café are the eat-out spots that dominate New York’s food scene.

Lucciola restaurant and Piccolo Café are restaurants that were founded by an Italian-born chef, who learned how to cook by working at a wood-burning kitchen. Michele Casadei Massari, a food-enthusiast from Italy, is taking New York’s restaurant sector by a storm. Landed in New York in 2009, this man runs five restaurants today. The fact that he started his culinary profession from a ‘coffee-kiosk’ makes his story worth bringing into the limelight.

The Five-Ingredient Chef, Serving the Food Sector the Right Way

Michele Casadei Massari is an executive chef that uses five ingredients to create his signature dishes at the restaurants. He follows this strict rule, and it has helped him distinguish himself from the hundreds of chefs that are working in New York. He believes that too many ingredients negatively impact the true flavor and feel of a dish. To experience the real taste and enjoy the true flavors, a minimalist approach is what makes Michele, New York’s famous, “Five-Ingredient’s Chef.”

The first of the five Piccolo Cafe Restaurants started serving the food-lovers with an exquisite range of delicious dishes on April 1, 2009. At this time, the young and aspiring chef was unsure about the performance of his restaurant. However, his restaurant performed phenomenally well that within six months, another restaurant was opened in the New York Times Building. Serving its guests with delicious salads, Panini, Pasta, desserts, and coffee, this restaurant expanded further, and the total number of branches reached five. Not only this, but in 2014, Michele’s restaurant started its catering service, which like the restaurants, was a huge success.

Michele, through the Piccolo Cafe Restaurant, has provided catering services to notable companies, including Ferrari North America. Were the four Piccolo Café restaurants enough? No. Michele wanted to dominate the New York food sector with his elite cooking skills as he laid the foundation for another restaurant, Lucciola. It started operating in on December 1, 2017, and is located on 90st Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

As Michele was born in Romagna, Riccione, and raised in Bologna, he was eager to bring the taste of his hometown to New York. Even though he left his homeland for the sake of his dream, he could not let go of his fondness for Italian cuisine. Lucciola started as an Italian restaurant to bring the taste from Michele’s hometown to New York.

A Dreamer and a Doer

While everyone in this world is a dreamer, there are not many doers. While everyone has the power to dream, not everyone has the courage to turn them into reality. Making a dream come true is not a matter of fate or luck. Instead, it takes numerous sacrifices to achieve life goals.

Michele was not just a dreamer; he was a doer. Acquiring exceptional cooking skills from his grandfather, Gigi, by assisting him in his cooking in a wood-burning kitchen, to owning five restaurants, takes much more than just hard work. The cooking enthusiast cooked his first dish for his mother when he was just nine years old since then; the passionate individual has not given up on his dream.

At the time he was enrolled in medical school, he started working at restaurants as a part-time employee. It helped him establish the roots of his culinary career. While working at the local restaurants, he decided his love for food surpassed that of medicine.

In 2009, Michele went to New York after his idea to start a coffee-kiosk was accepted after being rejected once. He started his coffee-kiosk, which gained popularity almost immediately, and he began receiving offers to open a proper restaurant. New York’s food industry is a highlight in the world, and Michele elevated the entire food scene with his powerful culinary skills powered by a strong passion for becoming a top chef in the world.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Why Healing Yourself is the Gateway to Helping Your Clients Heal




In an old play based on Greek mythology, there’s a poignant chorus that talks about how physicians should best know how to heal their own illnesses. It goes like this: 

“You have suffered sorrow and humiliation. You have lost your wits and have gone astray; and, like an unskilled doctor, fallen ill. You lose heart and cannot discover by which remedies to cure your own disease.”

In the olden days, society shared a strong notion that those who are capable of helping others to heal must be capable of healing themselves as well. Today, people might be the same. Not many are so inclined to see a skin specialist whose skin suffers terribly, for example. 

And while this ideology might seem a little unforgiving, it persists. 

Doctors and those who specialize in helping others heal are at a high risk of ignoring their own struggles in favor of their work. This can be due to their personalities or the public’s expectation that they’re meant to have everything together as professionals who provide aid for others. 

This also applies to those who help others heal emotionally or spiritually.

And no one knows this better than Robin Rivera.

Channeling One’s Life Experiences to Guide Others to Exponential Healing

Spiritual healer Robin Rivera believes in embracing one’s past hurts and taking the difficult — but important — journey towards healing. She founded Robin Rivera Global to help people heal through holistic and shamanic techniques. 

Today, she also helps fellow spiritual coaches to reach others. 

“It’s all about liberation… I want to liberate as many people as I can to greater and greater states of love and freedom. And this really comes from a place in me that is driven by freedom and liberation,” she said. 

As someone who deals so frequently with the art of helping people heal emotionally and spiritually, one might expect her to be someone who’s always had it together from the start.

But this is far from the reality. 

Robin Rivera didn’t have a peaceful childhood. Her family was well-versed with child abuse for generations. And although Robin recognizes that her parents brought her up as well as they could, she still knew what violence was from a tender age.

“At 5 years old, I had decided that all I had was myself,” she recalled. 

Robin got into the habit of alcohol and substance abuse at the age of eleven. It was not long after when she became suicidal. It got to a point where Child Protective Services had to step in. 

After that, Rivera frequented the system. And it wasn’t smooth sailing from there, either. She underwent more abuse, collected more experiences to add to her traumatic past. Her parents eventually sent her to a boarding school in Mexico, where they hoped she would get the help she needed. But in that school, the students were locked in for over a year. 

Rivera recounted her experience in that school. It was shut down for child abuse shortly after she left. However, she realized that this difficult experience taught her how to survive, how to persist even when the odds were stacked against her.

Robin Rivera’s Rocky Journey in Search of Healing

Rivera eventually survived the ordeals of her childhood. But when she matured as an adult, she still struggled to find her way. 

Her past experiences taught her to survive, sure. But all the support, safety, and guidance she lacked growing up came back to haunt her. She found herself treading precariously over the edge, searching for a way to find her balance. 

“All I had was emotional baggage and trauma that I began to unlock and look at powerfully,” Robin explained about her past. 

Having been kicked out of her home at 17, she needed to support herself. She delved into the world of exotic dancing and more substance and alcohol abuse. She was also employed as an escort. 

The trigger that got her out of that lifestyle came in the form of a terrifying experience. 

Rivera somehow found herself under the grips of a human trafficker. She eventually began to sense that something was off about the way they operated. 

“I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “But I knew I was very confused and that these were dangerous people.”

She did the only thing she could do: she ran. She was only 23 when she accepted help from her ex-boyfriend. After some time, when she decided to leave him to return to her parents, she found out she was pregnant. 

Love and the Pivotal Role it Plays in Healing

For someone who went through so much at such a young age, Robin’s pregnancy might have seemed like an impossible situation.

But Rivera recognizes her pregnancy as the pivotal turning point in her life. 

As Robin described in an interview: “I wanted to be a good woman for this innocent child, and that gave me the power to do things I thought were nearly impossible.”

She decided that she needed to change her life if she wanted to make a home for her child. She got herself a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and went on to obtain a Master’s in consciousness and transformative studies. Rivera also spent her time and energy volunteering with the anti-human trafficking movement.

Rivera’s current specialization in spiritual healing stems from her training with the Chicana Latina Foundation. There, she met a shamanic therapist who made her realize her worth. She was told that she wasn’t broken; instead, she was spiritually gifted.

“Those words shook me to the core, and that was when I got to see with my eyes and feel with my heart what was possible,” Rivera said. “I delved into a lot of research on shamanic and holistic healing. And not long after, I created a business out of it.”

Flawed, or Relatable and Human?

Today, Rivera dedicates her time to aid others who struggle with their own trauma. Her journey down the path of healing has brought her eventual success; Robin Rivera Global now rakes in multiple six figures. 

And while Rivera is a spiritual healer, this lesson possibly applies to everyone whose job it is to uplift, cure, or support others in their physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual infirmities.

“At the core of what I do is I’m trying to create beauty out of my suffering,” Rivera explained. 

And perhaps, that is the best anybody can do. To help others is a noble thing, but we often forget that we cannot do so if we ourselves are burnt out. It’s like pouring water out of an empty kettle: it just won’t work, no matter how hard you try. 

Rivera turned her flaws into something her clients can relate to, something that makes her human. Maybe those who make a career out of the art of healing are called to do the same. 

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