Ted Fazioli, the winner of the Carnival Magic’s Cucina del Capitano's Name that Dish Contest, recently took some time to answer some questions about himself and why he decided to participate in the contest.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am originally from Providence, RI. I grew up next to an area called “Federal Hill,” which is the Italian section of Providence.
Q: On what ship and when was your first Carnival cruise?
A: I took my first cruise ever in June of 2010 on the Carnival Dream. It was awesome – beyond my expectations.
Q: How did you hear about the contest?
A: I received an e-mail with the contest description.
Q: Why did you decide to participate?
A: The name felt like a winner. I love to cook, especially Italian, and it just felt right. This contest was also one that was not based on “luck,” so I knew I had a chance. I never win contests based on luck!
Q: How did you come up with the name?
A: I don’t know much Italian, but I do know some words, including the word for “kiss” – bacio. As I read the description of the dish and the ingredients, I saw the connection to seafood, of course, but it was not an overbearing seafood dish. It was as if the sea was touching you gently, as it would with a kiss. So, naturally, it became the “Kiss of the Sea,” or “Il Bacio del Mare.”
Q: Were you surprised when you saw that your entry had the most votes?
A: Yes, especially because it had the most votes even before I told my family and friends about the contest. That was nice to see.
Q: Are you excited about the name being on the menu?
A: I am honestly thrilled. I would love to see the name on an actual menu when it is available, and someday I hope to see it live and in person on the Carnival Magic itself.
Q: With a last name like Fazioli, you must like to eat pasta?
A: Yes, I definitely love pasta and all Italian food. But, my family never referred to it as “pasta” – we’ve always called it macaroni or spaghetti. That’s old-school Rhode Island, I guess. It’s also “gravy,” not “sauce!”
Q: What’s your favorite pasta dish?
A: When I was young, my favorite dish was a simple bowl of spaghetti that my grandmother made for me when I would go to my grandparent’s house to mow their lawn. She ground her own tomatoes to make the gravy, and she would preserve dozens of jars of it each year. There is nothing like the flavor of pure, home-grown tomatoes. She and my mother are the best cooks ever.
Q: Do you cook?
A: Yes, I love to cook. I get so much satisfaction by making delicious creations for my family. I’m glad that I was able to give my wife and children great home cooking over the years. Cooking is never a chore – it is always a pleasure for me.
Q: What do you like to cook?
A: I grew up learning to cook Italian, but over the years I have taught myself how to cook Indian and Thai, as well as lots of other types of food. Sometimes I just like to experiment and be creative, without a particular style in mind.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: I am so honored to win this contest! It was exciting to see the voting tallies each day, and I thank all of my family and friends for their support. If you need me to be on the Magic’s maiden voyage to represent the dish, just let me know, and I’ll be there!