Gianluca “Luca” Paris
Luca’s Mediterranean Café ~ The Market at Luca’s ~ Culinary Journey Productions
Gianluca Paris is the chef and owner of Luca’s Mediterranean Café, a fine dining restaurant and The Market at Luca’s, offering light bistro style fare and catering services in Keene, New Hampshire where he lives with his wife Lindy and his two children. He is the recipient of many accolades, including “Excellence in Dining” and “Best Service/Wait staff” every year since 2002 from Market Surveys of America, along with “Best Mediterranean Restaurant”, “Best Fine Dining Restaurant”, “Best Caterer in New Hampshire”, and, for four years, “Best Restaurant in the Monadnock Region” from New Hampshire Magazine.
Luca, as he is known to everyone, had a dream of opening his own restaurant since starting as a busboy at a family style Irish pub inNew Yorkat the age of 14. Having been born inItaly, of course it would have to be a Mediterranean style restaurant. He never lost sight of his dream. He graduated fromJohnson & WalesUniversity, where he met his wife of almost 20 years, Lindy.
He began his professional career at Doral Arrowwood, a hotel & conference center in Westchester County, New York, but his first experience with his own culinary business began at the age of 22 opening a gourmet store in New York City called Gianluca’s Salumeria. This business flourished and spun off a very successful catering business. While owning his own businesses, he honed his restaurant skills as a manager of a fine dining Italian restaurant in Westchester County, New York before moving to Keene, New Hampshire, in the heart of New England where his wife Lindy grew up, to pursue his dream of a Mediterranean style restaurant.
Luca designed his restaurant to exude a sense of welcome and warmth, creating the atmosphere of a second home for his guests while focusing his attention on every detail in fine dining. His cuisine reflects flavors from around the Mediterranean, includingItaly,FranceandSpainas well asGreece,TurkeyandNorth Africa. The people ofKeeneand the surrounding area have embraced his specialty dishes and his philosophy, making Luca’s Mediterranean Café one of the most popular restaurants inCentral New England. Luca is famous for his incredible nightly chef recommendations, which he creates, often incorporating his award winning homemade mozzarella. Most recently, Luca has opened “Luca’s PASTA PASTA” inside The Market at Luca’s every weekend.Keene’s only pasta house, PASTA PASTA offers a pick your pasta, pick your sauce philosophy, while also offering traditional homemade Italian specialties.
Luca and Lindy created Culinary Journey Productions when they began diversifying into various media outlets. He has his own weekly talk radio show, “What’s Cooking with Luca Paris” and has had such notable guests as Mary Ann Esposito, host of Ciao Italia and will be a featured chef on an upcoming episode of Ciao Italia. Luca has been a featured chef in the national culinary magazine Culinary Trends. He is a monthly guest on ABC’s “Cook’s Corner” segment on WMUR Channel 9 inNew England. Luca is also the host of his own cooking show, also titled “A Culinary Journey with Luca Paris”, locally produced for Cheshire TV, the local cable access station forKeene and surrounding towns and can be seen in theManchester,New Hampshire area and around the country on cable access stations. Luca has created his own Culinary Journey You Tube Channel, where all the episodes from his TV show can be seen. Luca was also a featured chef on the Resort Network in 2008 and 2009 and is a spokesman for Roland Foods, doing cooking demonstrations and cooking features on the Roland Foods You Tube channel. Luca loves to entertain while teaching about culinary arts. He can be quite a ham in front of the camera, which is why everyone loves him! His philosophy is that food should be fun and entertaining and some of the best dishes come from the mistakes! He has been lucky enough to host Paul Newman at his restaurant and to plan menus for and serve Stevie Wonder and his family.
In addition to his culinary accomplishments, Luca is a serious community supporter and an advocate for charitable organizations. He was on the board of directors of the Keene Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in promoting several local restaurants in a special weeklong television segments on the local ABC affiliate. He is a founder of “Keene Restaurant Week” , the “Keene Snow and Ice Festival” and the reinvented “Taste of Keene” event which supports Meals on Wheels for the elderly. Luca also teaches adult culinary courses and has been a guest lecturer at Keene State College. He supports a culinary scholarship that he created, “The Culinary Journey Scholarship Fund”, to help a local high school student going to hospitality or culinary school.
Luca feels he has just begun his culinary journey and enjoys sharing it with guests everywhere and is looking forward to his next adventure!