FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc., a newly formed restaurant company, announced the launch of an updated Italian Mediterranean-inspired menu at all of its Bravo Cucina Italiana locations. The Italian Mediterranean brand vision was orchestrated by founder, owner-partner, chairman and CEO Brad Blum, while the exciting menu additions were developed by Chief Culinary Officer John Imbriolo, whose Italian family heritage is rooted in the Italian Mediterranean Way of cooking.

“We started FoodFirst to differentiate our company in relevant ways by passionately pursuing the mission of creating amazing food that fulfills the tenets of ‘Good Food for the Planet’, with nothing being more important than fresh taste,” says Blum. “Our executive chefs at BRAVO enjoy ‘cooking from scratch’ and are inspired by the Italian Mediterranean Way of cooking, which is simply better – better ingredients, better recipes, better cooking methods, better flavors and better for you,” Blum emphasized. “The Italian Mediterranean Way of cooking, dining and living is very joyful and now we are providing our guests an opportunity to experience these types of foods without having to visit the Amalfi Coast of Italy, although I would be glad if they did.”

Each brand and business that makes up part of FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. is committed to the philosophy of Good Food for the Planet. Developed by Blum, this philosophy and its five principles set the framework to provide restaurant food in this country and around the world that is:

  • Exceptionally GOOD tasting.
  • Remarkably GOOD for you.
  • You feel GOOD afterwards.
  • A GOOD everyday value.
  • GOOD for the environment.
  • But nothing is more important than taste!

Blum searched to find the right Chief Culinary Officer for FoodFirst Global Restaurants. He hired John Imbriolo, a fifth-generation Italian chef known as ‘Johnny I’ who learned to cook at the apron of his Italian immigrant father, Angelo Imbriolo. John’s father was a favorite chef of John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy family as well as later for Ronald and Nancy Reagan when they lived in the White House. Offered only at BRAVO today are the same family recipes prepared by Chef Imbriolo’s father to delight President Kennedy and his family at their inauguration celebration in 1960 and for President Reagan and his family during his term in office throughout the 1980’s.

“Today at BRAVO, inspired by the Italian Mediterranean lifestyle, we care about choosing the freshest handpicked ingredients and preparing exceptional Italian Mediterranean recipes from scratch,” says Imbriolo. “This updated menu at BRAVO provides foods that taste amazing, to be enjoyed by our current guests and new guests alike.”

The updated BRAVO menu has an emphasis on offering more plant-based foods and seafood with fresh lemons, stone-pressed extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Key additions include Mediterranean Olives, the very best olives carefully selected and handpicked in southern Italy.

New entrees feature the new Alfredo Fresco line, using the highest quality chef-crafted ingredients to deliver exceptional flavor AND you’ll feel good afterwards! Three products include ‘made from scratch’ Fettuccine Alfredo with fresh fettuccine and Reggiano Parmigiana, Primavera with a medley of fresh & colorful vegetables, and a succulent shrimp version. A divine Shrimp + Lobster Fettuccine is in select markets and will soon be offered nationally. A classic favorite is Chicken + Spinach Fettuccine (Pasta Woozie). A new Neapolitan Vegetarian Pizza is four pizzas in one: roasted red peppers, fresh zucchini, shiitake mushrooms and grape tomatoes and basil with a new crisp and delicate crust. Each dish is made with the freshest ingredients, many of which are handpicked to deliver exceptional flavor.

BRAVO is introducing new proprietary Italian Mediterranean house wines named ‘Picco’, which are crafted in Sicily by the Settesoli Winery exclusively for BRAVO. The name Picco, which translates to ‘Peak’ in English, is a reference to the ripeness of the sustainably grown and handpicked grapes from the vineyards of family-owned farms along the Italian Mediterranean coast. Picco will come in both a smooth and rich red blend simply named Rosso and a crisp and delicious white blend named Bianco.

The benefits of the Italian Mediterranean lifestyle, which draws much of its spirit from the region’s style of cooking, has been enjoyed for generations. The Mediterranean Diet is less a diet and more a lifestyle. The number of citizens in this area living joyful and fulfilling lives has been largely attributed to their eating habits, including a focus on plant-based dishes, as well as fresh seafood, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemons, a staple in Italian Mediterranean cooking. BRAVO is committed to providing its guests with the same type of fulfilling dining experience at each of its locations throughout the United States.

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