NIAF Returns to Arizona to Salute Italian Americans at the End of January

Jan 04, 2023 715

BY: Elena Isella

The Arizona Regional Gala will Honor Chef Joey Maggiore and the Maggiore Family at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. The demand is high to support the National Italian American Foundation in the Southwest. Tickets are almost sold out for the Foundation’s Arizona Regional Gala on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.

With so many local events in the Valley of the Sun, the event co-chairs are thrilled that there will be a great attendance, since the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Barrett-Jackson car auction, and the Super Bowl LVII are only weeks apart from the gala.

“Organizing the Arizona Regional Gala is a testament to the importance of representing Italian Americans in the Valley of the Sun and across the region. We are honored to work with NIAF to honor Chef Joey Maggiore and the Maggiore family. It is going to be a great evening,” said Pete Melucci the NIAF Southwest Regional Vice President and Gala Co-Chair.

NIAF President Robert Allegrini added, “The Arizona Regional Gala is the perfect event to unite and celebrate the influences Italian Americans have contributed to the region.”

Chef Joey Maggiore and the Maggiore family will be honored at the Gala for their incredible accomplishments in the restaurant industry. Chef Joey’s passion for food and culinary excellence is evident in all the incredible restaurants he’s created which include The Sicilian Butcher, The Sicilian Baker, Hash Kitchen, and The Mexicano just to name a few. It all began with his father Tomaso and his mother Patricia, and their tradition of excellence has been followed by Joey and his sister Melissa.

The Valley lost one of its legendary chefs and a loving member of the Maggiore family, Tomaso Maggiore in 2021, but his legacy lives on. For the past four decades, Tomaso owned and operated several restaurants across the region. The Maggiore family will make a special announcement to honor Tomaso and keep his legacy alive at the dinner.

NIAF will also honor The Founders with the Al Carfora Italian American Heritage Award that evening. The Founders, a group of Italian American businessmen and friends, are known for supporting the Italian American culture.

Clarissa Burt, an award-winning actress and supermodel, will be the Gala’s master of ceremonies. Guests will enjoy a menu curated by Chef Joey Maggiore and a musical performance by DJ Iceman. The stakes are sure to get high in the ballroom when the live auction takes place during the Gala to benefit Childhelp and NIAF. Perillo Tours will be auctioning off an incredible trip to Italy.  Childhelp is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse. The nonprofit is close to Chef Joey Maggiore’s heart. Kelee Lee Walton will be the auctioneer.

The Arizona Regional Gala will mark the Foundation’s second annual fundraising event in Phoenix following last year’s dinner honoring sports legend Jerry Colangelo. Last year, Ralph Marchetta, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Footprint Center for the Phoenix Suns and Chris Bianco, owner of Pizzeria Bianco both received the Al Carfora Italian Heritage Award. To purchase tickets to attend the gala or to purchase an ad to congratulate the honorees visit


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