The Scene In And Around Boston...

By Hilda M. Morrill

March 02, 2012

Top of the Hub Toasts The Amalfi Coast

Mark Porcaro, Executive Chef at Top of the Hub, Boston (Photo courtesy of R.J. Donovan)Mark Porcaro, Executive Chef at Top of the Hub, Boston (Photo courtesy of R.J. Donovan)

Mark Porcaro, Executive Chef at Top of the Hub, will welcome Vincenzo Esposito, Executive Chef from Hotel Villa Franca in Positano, Italy, to the sky-high restaurant on the 52nd floor of The Prudential Tower in Boston for a special partnership of their talents and cuisines entitled "Top of the Hub Toasts The Amalfi Coast."

Villa Franca is an award-winning resort hotel perched high on a hill in Positano, Italy, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Cooking Vacations is the leader in culinary tours, hands-on cooking classes and food market visits to Italy.

In a culinary exchange program combining the best of American and Italian cuisines, the two Chefs will host a "Regional Wine & Hors d'oeuvres Pairing Evening" at Top of the Hub on Friday, March 16.

A special four-course "Regional Wine Dinner" will follow on Saturday, March 17, also hosted by the Chefs. Select menu items marking the American-Italian collaboration will be added to Top of the Hub's traditional dinner menu in April.

The Chefs will offer their personal insight into their menu selections during each event. They will also comment on the selected wines from Monte Faliesi of Campania and explain why each was chosen to be paired with its respective dish.

In addition, Lauren Birmingham, owner of Cooking Vacations Italy, will present their extra virgin first-cold pressed olive oil in a tasting during the March 16 event.

To complete the international exchange program, Chef Porcaro has been invited to Villa Franca in Italy to create a similar series of events with Chef Esposito. Additionally, one lucky guest at Top of the Hub will win a luxurious Cooking Vacations 5 day-4 night Culinary Getaway for Two at Villa Franca in Positano, Italy (airfare not included; entries accepted through the month of April).

Top of the Hub General Manager Raphael Oliver commented, "Working with the staff at Villa Franca has afforded us all the opportunity to create a really special culinary treat for guests to enjoy. It's also an appropriate coincidence that guests at Top of the Hub enjoy spectacular views of Boston while Villa Franca offers its guests sweeping views high above the Amalfi Coast."

Advance reservations, required for both events, may be made at 617-536-1775. All events are presented in partnership with Top of the Hub, Hotel Villa Franca, The Lenox Hotel, Horizon Beverages and Cooking Vacations Italy.

For additional information, be sure to visit and


Flavors of the Neponset Valley

On Thursday, March 22, the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce will sponsor "Flavors of the Neponset Valley" at Christina's in Foxboro from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

The culinary soiree will showcase fabulous offerings from more than 60 of the area's finest restaurants, caterers, confectioners, vineyards, boutique brews, spirits, and other taste sensations.

The evening will include live music from the White Heat Swing Orchestra.

The night will also feature a silent auction including gift baskets, wine, gift certificates, and more.

For a list of participants, to register, or for more information, call 781-769-1126 or visit


Change of Venue for ACS's "Key Gala"

The American Cancer Society announced this week that due to an overwhelming response, its "7th Annual Key Gala" will now be held at a larger venue, the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre in Boston.

The event takes place on Thursday, March 29, beginning at 6 p.m., and proceeds will benefit the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston, a program of the Society.

A "Late Night Party" beginning at 9 p.m. for a special price, is perfect for Boston-area young professionals interested in supporting the cause and enjoying an evening of live entertainment.

American Cancer Society Daffodil Days Honorary Chair, Joyce Kulhawik, a three-time cancer survivor and a popular Arts and Entertainment critic will emcee.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, contact Melanie Barton at 508-270-4651, or visit