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Tomaso Maggiore, Phoenix restaurant icon, has died

(The Maggiore Group Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona restaurant legend Tomaso Maggiore, a fixture on the Valley culinary scene for more than four decades, died after battling cancer, the family announced Saturday. He was 73.

Maggiore, who was born and raised in the Sicily region of Italy, opened Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant on Camelback Road in 1977. He would go on to launch more than 50 restaurants in Arizona and California.

In addition to Tomaso’s, the family-owned Maggiore Group currently operates the Hash Kitchen, Sicilian Butcher and Sicilian Baker concepts in the Phoenix area.

“Tomaso was not only my father, but my idol, and his love and passion for the restaurant industry, cooking and Sicily will continue to live on through our restaurants,” Joey Maggiore, executive chef of The Maggiore Group, said in a press release.

Melissa Maggiore Meyer has followed in her dad’s footsteps and plans to open a new restaurant concept, The Italian Daughter, at Pinnacle Peak and Scottsdale roads.

“I will be sure to live the rest of my life honoring his memory, continuing his legacy and making him proud,” she said in the release. “His absence in my life will be forever profound.”

Tomaso Maggiore is survived by his wife, Patricia, two children and five grandchildren.

The family said it plans to launch The Tomaso Maggiore Culinary Education Scholarship in his memory, with details to be announced in the coming week.

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