Opera Star Maria Agresta Prepares an Italian Feast at the Met Opera’s Grand Tier Restaurant

By Annie Wu, Epoch Times
February 2, 2017 2:36 pm Last Updated: February 2, 2017 2:39 pm

While opera singer Maria Agresta stars as Micaëla in the production of “Carmen” at the Metropolitan Opera this winter season, she will also be lending her Italian cooking at the Grand Tier restaurant located inside the opera house. All the dishes on the three-course menu are family recipes passed down to Agresta from her grandmother and mother.

Grand Tier chef Richard Diamonte and opera star Maria Agresta. (Noah Fecks)
Grand Tier chef Richard Diamonte and opera star Maria Agresta. (Noah Fecks)

Agresta, who is from the Campania region of Italy, grew up watching her mother cook in the kitchen. “From a very early age, the Italian tradition of a big and friendly family at the table was embedded in my ideals and warmed up my heart. Since then, I always gather a big crowd of family and friends, and cook with an enormous pleasure and love. I simply fell in love with cooking just like with singing,” she said in an email interview.

She recalls growing up in a food-loving family who cooked meals with incredibly fresh ingredients: her relatives grew vegetables on the family farm, her uncle was a fisherman who ran a fish shop, and her father made his own olive oil. 

Agresta's gnocchi dish. (Courtesy of Grand Tier)
Agresta’s gnocchi dish. (Courtesy of Grand Tier)

At Grand Tier, Agresta will be offering classic dishes from her hometown Cilento, such as hand-rolled gnocchi alla Cilentana, made with eggs, smoked provola cheese, and pecorino; and cannoli Cilentana with chocolate and lemon-vanilla crema. $70 for three-course prix fixe menu.

The Grand Tier. (Courtesy of Grand Tier)
The Grand Tier. (Courtesy of Grand Tier)

Monday to Saturday
Through Feb. 18
Grand Tier Restaurant
30 Lincoln Center Plaza