The Singing Chef

Francesco Milana, The Singing Chef
Francesco transporting wine with his Nonno

Meet Francesco

In the warm soil of Alcamo, Sicily the seeds of Francesco's culinary talent first took root. The family farm was a bustling place and during the harvest Francesco could hear his father and the other workers singing in the fields.

Meanwhile, Francesco watched intently as his mother and grandmother prepared simple meals, including seafood fresh from the Mediterranean.

Giuseppe, his father, an artist whose medium happened to be pasta and his Mama, Margherita, keeper of generations of family recipes, further cultivated his lifelong love affair with food. The Milanas immigrated to the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, Canada during Francesco's teenage years, exposing him to many new culinary treasures.

Francesco Milana, The Singing Chef
Papa and Francesco
Trained primarily by his extended family, Francesco relishes return treks to his homeland to visit relatives and further his cooking skills. During these cherished trips to Italy, he has studied at the Lorenzo d'Medici Culinary Institute, and apprenticed with Chef Stefano Innocenti of Aqua Al Due, and Chef Daniele Pescatore of L'Amorosa Visione in Florence.

Francesco worked in family restaurants and catering at various times during his life, but found his niche in private parties. His personal mission is "to make other people smile", a mission accomplished each day through his cooking and his singing.

Clients agree: Francesco does everything "dal coure" which translates in English to "from the heart." Bringing true passion to his work, he has a rare ability to make any gathering a warm and joyous Italian style family experience.

Dining with Francesco, business teams work more positively, family squabbles are discarded, and friends discover a new level of joy in one another. Everyone returns home with a song in their heart.

Most recently Francesco was honored with an invitation to serve as guest chef with executive chef Kathryn Kelly in the Bon Appétit Culinary Center aboard Oceania's Riviera. It was a dream trip that allowed him to indulge his passion for cooking, teaching and singing while sailing through the waters of Turkey, Greece, Spain, France and of course, Italy. Leading guests through cobbled market squares, and haggling for the best of the days catch to the delight of all. Together they returned to the ship for hands-on lessons in preparing the day's delectable market finds.

Bon Appétit Culinary Center aboard Oceania's Riviera.

The overwhelmingly positive response of his fellow travelers and students aboard Riviera is shared by those who experience his cooking classes with family and friends in the comfort of their home kitchen.