Star Chef Michael Mina Dishes On Opening His Latest Venture – Cal Mare At MGM Springfield

Celebrity chef Michael Mina became a near overnight cooking sensation for taking Middle Eastern cuisine to a new level. Since then, the James Beard award-winning chef has perfected his craft offering restaurant concepts ranging from steakhouses and French fare to sushi and inventive Japanese cuisine from San Francisco to Dubai.

Next month, here in Boston, we are preparing for the debut of his latest venture – Cal Mare at MGM Springfield – with Chef Adam Sobel. Here, he will pair New England seafood with the flavors of Italy’s Amalfi Coast (think handmade pastas, a crudo raw bar, brick-oven pizzas and whole grilled fish).

Michael MinaPhoto Credit: Mina Group

We caught up recently with Mina to chat about what we can expect to find at his latest venture and what’s left on his own personal bucket list.

Why did you decide to become involved with MGM Springfield?

We’ve had an incredible working relationship with MGM Resorts International over the years, as I have several restaurants in their Las Vegas Strip properties, so the idea of bringing one of our restaurants to this new market was a great opportunity for us. The North Atlantic has renowned seafood and is the epicenter of fishing in the United States; thus it made sense for us to introduce an Italian seafood concept there. Coastal Italian cuisine is a passion of Adam’s, so to have access to amazing shellfish, oysters, clams and fish is exciting for him.

We know you will be pairing New England seafood with flavors from Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Tell us a little about some of your signature dishes diners can expect to find on Cal Mare’s menu.

Guests can expect to find some of the finest seafood, hand-made pastas and brick oven pizzas at Cal Mare, all prepared with Coastal Italian-style cooking methods. Signature dishes will include Salted “Pasta-Baked” Branzino; Egg Yolk Bucatini; 20 Day Dry-Aged Flannery’s NY Strip; Brick Pressed Chicken and much more. We’ll also have a variety of antipasti small plates and a crudo raw bar to add additional flavors to any dining experience.

What do you want diners to take away from this experience?

We want Springfield locals and visitors alike to know that they can come to Cal Mare for any type of dining experience or occasion. Whether it’s having pizza at the bar, celebrating a special event, catching up with friends over drinks or enjoying a family-style meal, there will be something for everyone. We can’t wait for western Massachusetts to experience Cal Mare when it opens in August!

You have written cookbooks, made numerous TV appearances, cooked for US Presidents and received numerous awards. Do you have anything remaining on your bucket list?

I want the Mina Group to become a premier hospitality brand that is relevant and innovative for many generations to come.