Show 293, October 6, 2018: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio of Santa Monica’s Valentino, Planeta wines of Sicily

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaPiero Selvaggio of Valentino, Santa Monica fame is one of the pioneers of Italian fine-dining in Los Angeles. He also has been one of the visionaries introducing the premium wines of Sicily to the United States. Piero joins us to talk about the noble Nero d’Avola grape grown in Sicily and Sicily’s Planeta wines.

“We travelled through Sicily as on a great wine continent, establishing our estates in five different areas from west to east, seeking our interpretation of them through research into indigenous varieties, including those by now forgotten, and into the suitability of the different terroirs to welcome international varieties as well. We planned to eventually build around each territory a comprehensive system of experience composed of hospitality, cooking, nature and culture. On these elements the history of our company has always been based. This instinct for the future, together with our curiosity to see the world and compare ourselves with it, has guided our choices.”

After an incredible run of 46 years Piero will be closing Valentino this year after celebrating New Year’s Eve. In early 2019 he will be launching Louie’s on the waterfront in Newport Beach. It’s an upscale Italian steakhouse in tribute to Olympian Louis Zamperini. We’ll keep you posted…

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Show 125, June 6, 2015: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“The restaurant world is a blend of business and poetry” states renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, who, after over 40 years in the business, has mastered the perfect balance of both. He is one of the true pioneers in bringing the foods of Italy, with style and authenticity, to Los Angeles. Piero has skillfully stewarded successful restaurants in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Houston and aboard luxury cruise ships.

Piero just returned from Expo Milano in Italy and will share his experience there. He has high praise for the Pavilions of Italy and Spain. The dazzling USA Pavilion, with its emphasis on food, is a star attraction.

“Our theme for the USA Pavilion is American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet. Expo Milano 2015 will enable the USA Pavilion to showcase the United States as an innovator not only in the food sector, but also in many aspects of culture, science and business. Feeding ourselves engages a massive infrastructure, advanced technologies, and dynamic systems that touch on just about every aspect of the world we live in. Each step from farm to table reflects a set of values and connections that impact our identities and shape our future.”

“The USA Pavilion is a one-of-a-kind building designed by architect James Biber of Biber Architects in New York. It is a 35,000 square foot space within Expo Milano’s 3.6 million square foot sustainable “smart city.” The building is a multi-level experience that flows with activity from top to bottom, side to side. It includes a massive vertical farm that will be harvested daily. “I’ve drawn inspiration from the straightforward, ‘honest’ agricultural buildings that are part of our nation’s history,” said Biber in a recent interview about the process of creating the USA Pavilion. “It is a very simple building, and when people look at it, they’ll instantly understand exactly how it was made.”

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Show 25, April 13, 2013: Luciano Pellegrini, Executive Chef/Partner of Valentino Las Vegas in The Venetian

Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino Las VegasLuciano has been the guiding force behind Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino Las Vegas since it opened 14 years ago. He relocated from Los Angeles and has very visibly been at the helm ever since.

He’s one of the few James Beard award-winning chefs who actually cooks in a Las Vegas restaurant full-time and lives there!

Unfortunately we missed connecting with Chef Luciano and hope to talk with him at another time. The Valentino news is that the restaurant will be closing at The Venetian with the hope it will soon be transplanted to a new location.

The better news is that Chef Luciano and his fine staff will be serving guests until the end of June if not longer. Enjoy the original Valentino Las Vegas experience while you can. When it comes to elegant Italian fine-dining with exemplary service and a superb wine program you really can’t do better!

Andrew Zimmern and Jet Tila on Appetite for LifeTravel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern is a fan of Chef Jet’s food and has been wanting to cook with him on TV for some time. It finally happened on February 17th when Andrew visited Jet at The Charleston in Santa Monica for their Sunday Jazz Brunch. Jet demonstrated two dishes for Andrew Zimmern for a new Web series Andrew has on MSN. The series goes by the name “Appetite for Life”.

If you go to the Web site, you’ll see a big window on the Home page with color photo links to the Season 5 episodes. If you tab through the 16 episodes presented there (right and left) Jet is Number 5. The webisode itself is titled “A World of Culinary Wisdom”.

Enjoy.

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April 13: Zov’s, Bacon Bash, Hamburger America, Valentino Las Vegas, Linda Burum

Podcasts

Segment One: Zov Karamardian of the original Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Two: Amy Jurist of Amy’s Culinary Adventures
Segment Three: George Motz, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, journalist and burger expert
Segment Four: Luciano Pellegrini, Executive Chef / Partner of Valentino Las Vegas in The Venetian
Segment Five: Linda Burum, Food Journalist. Contributes to L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times and other prominent publications Part One
Segment Six: Linda Burum, Food Journalist. Contributes to L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times and other prominent publications Part Two

We’re very international this week. It’s a dash of Morocco with an insight on the world of secret dining. Then we talk juicy burgers followed by a touch of elegant dining in Las Vegas. Finally it’s a taste of India in our own backyard.

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinFirst it’s the “best bite of the week” with Chef Jet and Producer Andy. Thereafter it’s Zov of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin previewing her upcoming author lunch with Kitty Morse. Ms. Morse is a native of Morocco and returns there often. Her latest title is, Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories.

 

 

Amy Jurist of Amy's Culinary AdventuresIf you have confidence in the chef, underground dinners can be a lot of fun. Chef Amy Jurist (also an accomplished caterer) has been organizing these unusual one night only events for 7 years under the banner of the Decadent Underground Dinner Club. Up next for her is “The Bacon Bash” evening. (It’s the 5th Annual…)

 

George MotzIt’s un-American not to appreciate a juicy hamburger hot off the grill.Television host, author, Emmy award-winning filmmaker, and burger expert, George Motz certainly agrees. His passion for burgers initially resulted in the award-winning documentary, “Hamburger America.” The success of the film inspired George to then pen a state-by-state guide to burgers also titled Hamburger America.

Now George has an original series for Travel Channel, “Burger Land”. George takes the views on a road trip across America offering his expert take on the nation’s top burgers in various regions of the country. The first city visited is Los Angeles and it’s more than the obvious spots!

Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino Las VegasLuciano Pellegrini is the founding executive chef at Valentino Las Vegas located in The Venetian hotel. For 14 years this fine Italian restaurant has been earning rave reviews. Chef Luciano is one of the few James Beard award-winning chefs who actually lives in Las Vegas and cooks in his restaurant. He won his coveted Beard Award for Valentino Las Vegas!

Chef Luciano will be sharing some Valentino Las Vegas news.

Linda Burum is an accomplished food journalist known for her attention to the details. You’ve seen her engaging work in Los Angeles Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly.

Among the cuisines that Linda has extensively researched are the regional cuisines of India. Linda will be sharing her food knowledge of our own Little India on Pioneer Blvd. in Artesia.

Podcasts

Segment One: Zov Karamardian of the original Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Two: Amy Jurist of Amy’s Culinary Adventures
Segment Three: George Motz, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, journalist and burger expert
Segment Four: Luciano Pellegrini, Executive Chef / Partner of Valentino Las Vegas in The Venetian
Segment Five: Linda Burum, Food Journalist. Contributes to L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times and other prominent publications Part One
Segment Six: Linda Burum, Food Journalist. Contributes to L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times and other prominent publications Part Two

Show 5: November 10, 2012: Piero Selvaggio of Valentino Restaurtant

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Restaurant in Santa Monica, Houston and Las VegasVery few fine dining restaurants in Los Angeles survive for 5 years so an establishment which is celebrating 40 years of success under the same ownership is real news! Such is the case with Valentino in Santa Monica under the watchful eye of L.A.’s consummate and most gracious host, Piero Selvaggio.

Unbelievably after 40 years Piero still can’t wait for the doors to open nightly at Valentino so he can greet and seat his loyal guests. That’s the art of hospitality.

Valentino’s remarkable wine cellar is known and respected internationally. It’s one of the most comprehensive in the United States with some 1,200 selections and 70,000 bottles!
November 14th is the “Forty Years, Forty Dishes and Forty Wines at Valentino” Anniversary Dinner. Executive Chef Nico Chessa and Pastry Chef Allessandro Stroppa will collaborate with guest chefs Celestino Drago and Steve Samson. The menu of 40 courses and 40 wines (small bites and 2 oz. wine pours) will be inspired by the cuisine of Sicily’s most revered chef, Ciccio Sultano, to commemorate the 40 years of Valentino and the dishes of Sardinia and Sicily, Piero’s birthplace.

December 4th is the “Valentino 40th Anniversary While Truffle Dinner and Celebration.” The evening features Walter Ferretto of the multi-starred Cascinale Nuovo in Asti, Piedmonte along with Valentino alumni chefs Luciano Pellegrini, Angolo Auriana, Davide Giova and Valentino Executive Chef Nico Chessa and Pastry Chef Alessandro Stroppa. This ultimate white truffle dinner with 10 courses includes a course with white truffles freshly harvested the night before and hand carried by Ferretto from Asti. The menu will feature signature dishes from the history of Valentino created by the alumni chefs.

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