Providence chef to cook for Pope Francis - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


Providence chef to cook for Pope Francis

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by ABC6 Reporter Mark Curtis

"Olive oil, a little bit of garlic!"

Chef Walter Potenza is well-known to Southern New Englanders for his many years cooking on ABC6.

And he's also renowned in world culinary circles for his many awards.

But now his biggest honor comes November 13th, when he goes to the Vatican to cook for Pope Francis.

"I am really excited to meet him. Because I have seen him on TV, and he seems to be a Pope that reaches out to every one, and that's the most exciting part I think," said Chef Walter Potenza.

While Chef Walter is a native of Italy, he plans to cook classic New England seafood for the Pope.

"I am going to direct a little bit toward lobster, something in Italy that is not very popular and some scallops from here, from New Bedford. We're going to fly some of our food there," said Potenza.

ABC6 Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Chef Walter has cooked for a lot of famous and important people over the years, including actor Robert DeNiro and two Presidents of Italy."

He's also cooked for the late Freddie Mercury of Queen, Sting and, yes, even Elvis Presley dined on Chef Walter's cuisine.

But cooking for the Pope will be a new career high for Walter Potenza.

"Cooking for the Pope is sublime. I think it is, as I often say, to really get close to Christianity, you really have to be in Saint Peter's Square at midnight when there is no one there," Chef Walter said.

The Papal meal is also a fundraiser to help feed the poor in Argentina, where the Pope is from.

"I hope he enjoys the food we prepare. It certainly is a big honor."

Chef Walter was the only American chef chosen to cook for the Pope.


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