Chef Michele Maza Shares His Favorite Childhood Holiday Recipe

Chef Michele Mazza

Sure Chef Michele Mazza is the world-famous Executive Chef for the Il Mulino brand now, overseeing the culinary brigade in all eight restaurant locations, but Chef Mazza was once, like the rest of us, just a child who loved the holiday season.

His childhood takes him back to Sorrento, Italy and when we asked him about his favorite holiday recipe growing up, Chef Mazza was quick to respond that the holiday season would not be the same without his mother and grandmother’s famous Pulpo Insalata recipe, proclaiming that it was “Absolutely Fantastico!” and that just bringing it up brought back wonderful memories.

Pulpo Insalata recipe


– 1 ½ – 2 lb Octopus from the Mediterranean Waters (Near Greece and / or Portugal)
– Boil Water
– 1 pc Bay leaf
– ½ Vidalia Onions
– 1 pc Celery cut in two
– Punch Parsley
– 3 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Once the water is boiled, you must grabbed the octopus from the head and dip it in fully two times before letting it settle in the water so the tentacles can curl up. Leave the octopus for an estimate time of 45-50 minutes.

Once the time is up, make sure the octopus is soft, best way to know is if you try a little bit.

If it’s soft, let it cool off for about 20 minutes then you must rinse it with COLD water amd cut ¼ inch cube.

On a separate bowl, prepare you sauce, which goes as follow…

– 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper
– Chopped Parsley not too fine
– Two Chopped Garlic
– One Lemon Squeezed

When it is all in the bowl, you would then whip it really fast for 2 minutes, then you pour it over the octopus and let it sit there for 3-4 hours in room temperature before serving it.