Show 418, March 27, 2021: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining (along with inside seating at the allowable 25 per cent capacity) nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles

Kris ominaga of Manuela Restaurant

“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They recently reopened for spacious patio dining in their inner courtyard. Also takeaway and delivery.

“Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.” 

“Designed by Los Angeles native Matt Winter and named for Manuela Wirth, the restaurant is illuminated and animated by specially commissioned works from artists Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Raymond Pettibon.”

“An L.A. native, Chef Kris brings costal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his signature cream biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s aged country ham, barbecued oysters with charred leek butter, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and Peads & Barnetts pork chop with yellow peach, turnips, mustard seed oil and honey vinegar. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California’s vibrant flavors and colors.” Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing herbs and vegetables in addition to supporting local farmers.

Manuela is part of dine L.A. Their special Lunch menu is available Tuesday, March 2nd through Friday, March 12th while the Dinner menu is available March 2nd through Sunday, March 14th. (Closed on Mondays.) This provides a great introduction to Manuela where the aim is to impress a new guest with a great value.

We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen for a brief chat.

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Show 412, February 13, 2021: Factory Place Hospitality Group with Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana, Los Angeles

Matteo Ferdinandi and Angelo Auriana of the Factory Kitchen

Factory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen (Ligurian cuisine) in Downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. The Factory Kitchen (serving dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) and Brera Ristorante (serving Dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) have reopened for patio dining. Brera reopens for lunch on February 16th. To-Go availability at both establishments continues.

Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi is the Beverage Director for both restaurants.

Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo.

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Show 407, January 9, 2021: Cindi Thompson of Crafted Kitchen, Arts District of Los Angeles Part One

Cindi Thompson of Crafted KitchenCindi Thompson’s Crafted Kitchen established in 2017 is a collegial business incubator-style, shared use commercial kitchen located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. A state-of-the art facility, housed in a fully restored 100-year-old brick warehouse, Crafted Kitchen is designed to give small food businesses access to the space, resources, and business skills they need in order to make their culinary dreams a reality. With a variety of kitchen formats available, Crafted Kitchen provides Los Angeles-area food entrepreneurs with room to grow.”

Under the roof of Crafted Kitchen are private kitchens, semi private kitchens and a fully equipped test kitchen with soaring 20-foot high bow-truss ceilings (and an adjacent landscaped patio) that can be used for distinctive private dinners, events and cooking classes.

The shared use kitchen space (available by the day or hour) has all the cooking equipment and cookware a budding food entrepreneur needs. All they need to provide are the raw ingredients for their food or beverage creation and packaging supplies.

“The Crafted Kitchen story began with the desire to build more than just a state-of-the-art shared-use kitchen. It started with the belief that, through community, an individual “me” could become part of the greater “we”. With community as our catalyst, Crafted Kitchen defines success as more than just the bottom line. We believe it’s about growing, learning and thriving alongside other culinary creatives and innovators. By leveraging industry resources, regulatory & licensing experience, bulk purchasing power and culinary expertise, we provide tools and resources to help food entrepreneurs accelerate business growth.”

Late last year Crafted Kitchen was honored by the food critics at the Los Angeles Times for inclusion in the widely studied 2020 feature of “101 Restaurants, Dishes, People and Ideas That Define How We Eat.”

It’s the dream (and carefully planned) venture of encouraging and supportive culinary entrepreneur Cindi Thompson. We’ll meet her.

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Show 407, January 9, 2021: Cindi Thompson of Crafted Kitchen, Arts District of Los Angeles Part Two

Cindi Thompson of Crafted KitchenCindi Thompson’s Crafted Kitchen established in 2017 is a collegial business incubator-style, shared use commercial kitchen located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. A state-of-the art facility, housed in a fully restored 100-year-old brick warehouse, Crafted Kitchen is designed to give small food businesses access to the space, resources, and business skills they need in order to make their culinary dreams a reality. With a variety of kitchen formats available, Crafted Kitchen provides Los Angeles-area food entrepreneurs with room to grow.”

Under the roof of Crafted Kitchen are private kitchens, semi private kitchens and a fully equipped test kitchen with soaring 20-foot high bow-truss ceilings (and an adjacent landscaped patio) that can be used for distinctive private dinners, events and cooking classes.

The shared use kitchen space (available by the day or hour) has all the cooking equipment and cookware a neophyte food entrepreneur needs. All they need to provide are the raw ingredients for their food or beverage creation and packaging supplies.

“The Crafted Kitchen story began with the desire to build more than just a state-of-the-art shared-use kitchen. It started with the belief that, through community, an individual “me” could become part of the greater “we”. With community as our catalyst, Crafted Kitchen defines success as more than just the bottom line. We believe it’s about growing, learning and thriving alongside other culinary creatives and innovators. By leveraging industry resources, regulatory & licensing experience, bulk purchasing power and culinary expertise, we provide tools and resources to help food entrepreneurs accelerate business growth.”

Cindi shares the inspiring story of budding food product entrepreneur (and tenant) Ai Fujimoto of Omiso Miso Soup. She hand-crafts 5 flavors of premium miso soup balls. Just add hot water and stir for an incredible, instant bowl of flavorful Omiso miso soup.
“Cindi Thompson was inspired to create Crafted Kitchen when she hit a roadblock in growing her own small food business – a scarcity of quality, affordable commercial kitchens to support her work.  Determined to provide fellow culinary entrepreneurs access to the quality space and resources she needed in order to grow and thrive, she founded Crafted Kitchen, an incubator-style commercial kitchen.  Prior to pursuing her passion for the culinary arts, Cindi enjoyed a long career in the financial services industry. She is a lifelong resident of California.”

It’s the dream venture of encouraging and supportive culinary entrepreneur Cindi Thompson. We’re continuing the conversation about Crafted Kitchen with her.

 

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Show 400, November 21, 2020: Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. 2020 Fellow of Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Program

Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine PizzaNow in its fourth year, The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program (WEL) is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs presented by Audi and aims to support woman-identifying hospitality industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue this program this year, with the opportunity to bring together an extraordinary group of industry professionals from across the country,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “As the devastation caused by this pandemic continues, it is more important now than ever to support our community and do all that we can to help entrepreneurs continue to succeed and thrive. We are honored to provide them with resources and to help expand their networks.”

The only California fellow selected for 2020 is Dina Samson of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll meet her and also learn what creative meal services Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza are currently providing to their guests with the new restrictions.

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Show 396, October 24, 2020: Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, Manuela, Downtown Los Angeles

Kris ominaga of Manuela Restaurant“Located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, Manuela unites chef, farmer and artist to create an authentic and original dining experience. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kris Tominaga, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients sourced from the best farmers and producers in Southern California.” They reopened in July for spacious patio dining in their designed inner courtyard for Weekday Lunch, Dinner and Weekend Brunch. (Closed on Monday.) Pick-Up and Delivery are available, too.

“Serving a wide range of vegetables, grains, fish and game, Manuela also features an exemplary bar program which offers classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Local beers are on tap, while the carefully selected wine list is designed to pair with the smoke and acid flavors at the heart of the Manuela menu.”

“Designed by Los Angeles native Matt Winter and named for Manuela Wirth, the restaurant is illuminated and animated by specially commissioned works from artists Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Raymond Pettibon.”

“An L.A. native, Chef Kris brings costal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his signature cream biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s aged country ham, barbecued oysters with charred leek butter, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and Peads & Barnetts pork chop with yellow peach, turnips, mustard seed oil and honey vinegar. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California’s vibrant flavors and colors.” Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing herbs and vegetables.

Chef Kris utilizes his own kitchen garden at Manuela growing select herbs and vegetables for some of his dishes. Unusually a well-cared for brood of 12 hens provides some of the eggs for Manuela.

Manuela will be open for Thanksgiving.

We entice Chef Kris out of his busy kitchen during Brunch service for a brief chat.

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part One

John Taube of Sibling Rival at the Hoxton DTLANewly arrived last year in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton hotel with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International. Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone. Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (temporarily closed,) and Pilot (service from 7:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m.) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool.

All the rooftop food & beverage spaces (outdoors) at The Hoxton have reopened with the health and safety protocols securely in place. It’s Breakfast, Brunch, Happy Hour (2 to 6:00 p.m. Weekdays,) Mid-Afternoon and Dinner along with a Late Night menu. Many of the classic daytime menu items from Sibling Rival have temporarily migrated to Pilot until guests can again be served at Sibling Rival.

Chef John’s key team includes Pastry Chef Mallory Cayon and Chef de Cuisine Tyler Curtis. All of the from-scratch breakfast pastries are prepared in-house including their signature Cinnamon Rolls and Banana Bread.

Pilot is named in tribute to The Hoxton, Downtown LA rooftop’s cameo in the 1921 film “Stranger than Fiction” where it served as the launch pad from which stuntman Frank Clarke and pilot Wally Timm flew their plane.

We’ll get all the updated specifics from Executive Chef John Taube who oversees the ample culinary portfolio.

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Show 390, September 12, 2020: Executive Chef John Taube, The Hoxton DTLA & Sunday Hospitality Part Two

John Taube of Sibling Rival at the Hoxton DTLANewly arrived last year in Downtown Los Angeles in a tastefully restored Beaux Arts building is The Hoxton hotel with sister properties in Williamsburg, Portland, Chicago and International. Their 174 rooms are spread across four different size categories from Snug to Biggy, meaning there’s something to suit everyone. Destination restaurants located at Hoxton properties are a trademark. The Hoxton DTLA has Sibling Rival, the elevated, all-day restaurant located on the ground floor (temporarily closed,) and Pilot (service from 7:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m.) on the rooftop (with eye-catching L.A. skyline views) which also includes the Pilot Bar adjacent to the pool.

All the rooftop food & beverage spaces (outdoors) at The Hoxton have reopened with the health and safety protocols securely in place. It’s Breakfast, Brunch, Happy Hour, Mid-Afternoon and Dinner along with a Late Night menu. Many of the classic daytime menu items from Sibling Rival have temporarily migrated to Pilot until guests can again be served at Sibling Rival.

Weekend Specials include Spanish Paella for Two with Chorizo Sofrito and Fresco, Prawns, Mussels, Pee Wee Potatoes, Market Peppers and swerved with Pan de Tomat and Saffron Aioli.

Chef John’s key team includes Pastry Chef Mallory Cayon and Chef de Cuisine Tyler Curtis. All of the from-scratch breakfast pastries are prepared in-house including their signature Cinnamon Rolls and Banana Bread.

Executive Chef John Taube continues with us expanding on the diverse food offerings currently available at Pilot at The Hoxton.

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Show 388, August 29, 2020: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

Play