The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

July 25, 2013

MasterChef finalist has local ties

MasterChef finalist has local ties

(Continued)

"We are connected to the judges on a daily basis and they give us a lot of advice," Manfe said.

While Manfe might be known for his Italian cooking based on his heritage, he brings a diverse repertoire from the restaurants he has managed. In fact, he met Katherine while managing a Japanese restaurant. She came in for a job, Manfe said.

"She was very cute so I hired her," Manfe joked. "It wasn't love at first sight."

Recently, the couple visited family in Daviess County for the Fourth of July holiday, driving from their Astoria, N.Y. home to Indiana with their two dogs. Luca said it reminded him of his original home of Aviano, Italy.

"I'm a country boy, I grew up in the country," Manfe said. "Every time I can get out, I enjoy it."

The couple visited the Arnold family in Washington and also got to see what southwest Indiana has to offer, including Newburgh's historic district and Daviess County's Amish country.

"It was so green. The pictures we took were beautiful," Manfe said.

During their vacation, Manfe got to keep in touch with his in-laws who have since become some of his biggest fans. Count his father-in-law Mike Arnold in that group.

"I'm proud of both my daughter and him and they are making a go of it in the big city," Arnold said. "There's a kid that looks like he is going to make it."

While Manfe couldn't divulge what was going to happen the rest of the season, he said Wednesday's episode where the contestants faced a challenge on the campground was exciting.

"I've never been camping in my life," Manfe said. "It was really in the middle of nowhere."

His dream is to open his own restaurant in New York, something that he has been working toward. He also has other ideas, like a chain of gelato shops.

"I want to do things step by step," Manfe said. "The restaurant is something I have been working towards for 10 years."

Fans of Manfe can follow him online on Twitter and on Facebook at MC4Luca.

Local fans of Luca Manfe can follow his road to MasterChef glory on Twitter and Facebook at MC4Luca.

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