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May 14th, 2018 by Cherry

Who really thinks about pizza? All I know is that it’s delicious and if I had to choose a last meal .. it’s pizza. So attending the Pizza Fest: A Tutta Pizza! on Sunday was living the dream. LA Food Bowl and Grow! Brought pizza makers from all over the world to the Hollywood Palladium. I ran around trying to sample all the pizza but when I learned that Enzo Coccia came all the way from Italy to have a pizza workshop I had to attend. He briefly spoke about the origins of pizza that at first they deep fried the dough in olive oil before using the ovens. He spoke of the importance of fresh yeast, air pockets in dough and tomatos! It’s fascinating to see how so many people can take the same ingrediants but put a personal stamp on it to make their pizza unique. Afterwards all the attendees were giving a pizza puff to enjoy and a bag of real Italian rustichella d’abruzzo pasta.


It was a day of fun with photos and pizza .. did I mention pizza? All of them were delicious from the brussell sprout pie beauty to pepperoni it was a tomato, yeasty and cheesy day that showcased great pizza! It really makes me want to not only see the history and beauty of Italy but the food … the glorious food!  











The Authentic Italian Table Series cooking workshops are curated by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West. The Authentic Italian Table highlights the art of Neapolitan pizza making as well as the values of the Italian food culture. As part of the greater Extraordinary Italian Taste campaign – a promotional and educational project conceived by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with Assocamerestero – this event puts the spotlight on “the queen of the Italian table!”

FOOD BOWL brings together L.A.’s best bars, cafes, hotels, markets, restaurants and the world’s top chefs for hundreds of extraordinary events. Help raise awareness and funds to fight food waste, hunger, food insecurity and promote sustainability.


Posted in Los Angeles Tagged with: , , , , , ,

November 14th, 2012 by Cherry

The Egyptian and Aero Theatres are celebrating Cinema Italian Style with a festival from November 13 –  18, 2012.  The opening night will be screening Italy’s official entry for the 2012 Oscar Best Foreign-Language Film Caesar Must Die directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (trailer).  The real life inmates of the maximum security prison Rebibbia are cast and filmed presenting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  A film that shows life behind bars in Italy a viewpoint rarely seen outside of the prison system.

Over the course of the festival we are given a glimpse of the vibrancy and diversity of Italian Cinema from Acciaco (Steel) about blue collar steel workers to Magnifica Presenza the comedic comedy with a pastry chef, ghosts and gay love.  The festival highlights the diversity of ideas as well as the beauty of Italy from small cities to Rome that will fire the imagination, spill tears and laughter like bells.



Posted in art, culture, festival, Film Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 24th, 2011 by Cherry

I had the privilege of a personal tour and tasting at Drago Centro Downtown Los Angeles with Ian Gresko, Chef de cuisine where I learned about the special holiday offerings they have.  It was quite a temptation to my palate with everything from seafood to homemade CHOCOLATE!!! I of course could not resist and recommend anyone seeking a beautiful setting for Italian food to come down to the DTLA Drago Centro.

I’m sure like most people when you think of Italian food your mind goes to pasta and pizza.  But after the tour of the restuarant (even the kitchen is wonderfully designed and attractive) I got to see the creativity that Chef Drago and Ian are able to draw upon from the varied tastes of Italy.   You learn something new every day and I learned about a months worth from chatting with Ian.  That they make their own ice cream with flavor profiles to compliment the menu that changes with seasonal specials.  That Ian can make brussel sprouts taste GOOD (who knew that my childhood nemesis when properly seasoned and cooked by an experienced chef makes you want to pop them in your mouth), that the butternut squash soup was just as tasty as beautiful and that the wild mushroom risotto .. well word fails me.  One of the best things about Drago Centro is that the menu has such a wide selection that someone with food allergies, vegetarian or any other dietary restrictions can find an item that they will LOVE to eat.  So if your looking for a restaurant to have your holiday dinner or celebration I recommend.  Drago Centro downtown with Chef Ian Gresko.    They are have private rooms to accommodate a number of  guests as well as two new enclosed patios that have heaters so you won’t get cold!!

7 Course Fish Christmas Eve Menu

New Years Eve Menu 


Drago Centro

The much anticipated Drago Centro has opened in downtown Los Angeles. Drago Centro is the new luxury dining Italian restaurant.

The design, developed by Stanley Felderman, of Felderman Keatinge & Associates in collaboration with Celestino Drago, incorporates the rich experience of Celestino’s Italy into the modern urban setting of downtown Los Angeles. The space was inspired by the urban design of the Rialto Bridge and adjacent market place in Venice and the colors were inspired by the artists, Giorgio de Chirico and Giorgio Morandi.

The use of full height windows brings the surrounding architecture into the space. Strong architectural features such as the vaulted ceiling, stone walls and fifteen foot high glass enclosed wine tower are iconic elements. The combination of these elements and the warm rich hues bridge the cool modernity of the city with the warmth of Celestino’s native Italy… continued

Chef Celestino Drago introduces his latest concept rediscovering local Italian dishes, which are revisited with the aid of modern cooking techniques and inserted into a modern context. The menu is representative of the cultural diversity of Italy. It emphasizes fresh, high quality ingredients reflecting old flavors that have defined Italian cuisine for centuries.



It has been said that what separates an ordinary man from an extraordinary man is that little “something extra.” Celestino Drago has lived his life with equal amounts of passion and innovation. Additionally, Celestino has played an integral role in the dining revolution in Los Angeles over the past two decades. Frequently featured on local and national radio and television programs, James Beard Foundation honoree Celestino ranks among the top celebrity chefs yet reminds one more of a favorite relative… continued



Ian Gresik’s lifelong culinary passion began at early age in his native Southern California where he attended the prestigious California School of Culinary Arts and graduated at the top of his class.  He landed his first job as Pastry Chef at Patina Restaurant where he lent his keen eye and creative artistry to the restaurant’s signature, decadent desserts and worked his way to Sous Chef.  The talent and expertise Ian cultivated at Patina earned him a job as a professional food consultant for the venerable JBS Consulting Services group followed by a European sabbatical where he studied the rich culinary traditions and techniques of Italy, France, Greece, and Spain… continued



Posted in Food, tasting Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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