Meet the Chef Owner
Maurizio Paparo was born in Naples, Italy. Before moving to the U.S., he trained at the Instituto Tecnico para Turismo hospitality school in Florence, Italy. Since then, he has worked in the restaurant industry for over 35 years, sharing his enthusiasm for food in Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and now in Eugene, Oregon. His passion for high quality food and beautiful things led him to purchase the Excelsior Café in Eugene, Oregon in 1993. Extensive renovations began in the historic building in 1995, which created a 14-room, European-style bed and breakfast Inn, located in the heart of Eugene. The Excelsior Restaurant is renowned throughout the Willamette Valley, not only for its friendly, elegant, and charming atmosphere, but also for its meticulously prepared authentic Italian cuisine.
In 2007, Eugene acquired another wonderful place to dine, when Ciao Pizza opened to share an authentic Italian pizzeria experience, creating dishes made in a traditional wood and gas fire ovens. Like many other regional chefs and restaurants in Oregon, Maurizio has been an advocate of local, fresh and organic products from the beginning. His support of the Slow Food Movement throughout the Willamette Valley is simply an extension of his Italian roots. The Excelsior Farm, located just outside of Eugene, was planted in 2008, and provides produce to all of his businesses, resulting in the the highest quality and freshest ingredients for guests at the Excelsior Restaurant. “It is very exciting to know that the produce on your plate was locally and responsibly grown, and was just picked! It is the freshest and most flavorful produce available.”