December 3, 2021

South Philadelphia’s Cucina Maria continues legacy of originator, with protégé at the helm

PHILADELPHIA — Chef Maria Forte grew up in Italy, the place her mom had a restaurant for years.

In Philly, she was a fixture on the Italian restaurant scene, opening a couple of famous spots earlier than retiring throughout the pandemic with Cucina Forte in Bella Vista.

At each cease alongside the method, Mexican immigrant Juana Franco was with her, for greater than 20 years – beginning as a dishwasher, then changing into a cook dinner, and ultimately working the kitchen.

When Maria left Cucina Forte, Franco purchased the restaurant from her and altered the identify to Cucina Maria.

As we speak, Franco continues to cook dinner the traditional Italian dishes she realized below the tutelage of Maria, and says she is happy to be shifting into the subsequent part as owner-chef.

Cucina Maria | Fb | Instagram
768 S. eighth Road, Philadelphia, PA 19148
215-408-0020



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