Celebrate the Italian American Museum of L.A at Taste of Italy

Monday, September 19, 2016 | 8:57 pm

Italian culture is almost synonymous with fine dining and expertly aged wines. You’ll get the chance to experience both at the Taste of Italy. This foodie paradise features over 35 fine restaurants, more than 100 wines and live demonstrations from star chefs. The 8th Annual Taste of Italy benefits the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA) which is housed in the oldest remaining building from Los Angeles’ Little Italy. Their permanent collection pays homage to the stories and contributions Italians have made and continue to make in Southern California.

Celestino Ristorante in Pasadena hosted Taste of Italy’s six-course truffle preview dinner complete with boutique wine pairings by Wine Bee. Chef Calogero Drago, of Celestino and Drago Brother’s, prepared an elegant dinner featuring the finest Italy has to offer. Delicate porcini mushroom soup with black truffles paired expertly with Corbera Isola d’Oro wine from Sicily. This velvety soup set the tone for an evening of delicate flavors and satisfying ingredient combinations.


Although the meal stayed away from the stereotypical pasta and red sauce. The al dente ravioli was another highlight of the meal. Each ravioli came filled with quail eggs and Prosciutto di Parma in a Fontina and Truffle sauce. This well-balanced dish echoed the flavor profile of the rest of the meal and highlighted the earthy taste of truffles without overpowering the delicate ravioli.

The wine program focused on wines from Sicily and southern Italy, including wines aged in stainless steel rather than oak and a sweet pour of Pellegrino Duca di Castelmonte, Passito di Pantelleria. This Sicilian wine paired well with what was described as an authentic Italian dessert – Sicilian sponge cake with di Stefano Mascarpone Cheese an orange sauce and strawberries.


This incredible meal was a small sample of the feast that will be presented at Taste of Italy on October 1. Chef Calogero Drago will be in attendance as well as Chef Aurelio Barattini and cheesemaker, Mimmo Bruno.

“Taste of Italy offers an authentic Italian experience in the heart of downtown Los Angeles where guests can enjoy authentic Italian cuisine and exceptional Italian wines in a charming, historic setting,” Marianna Gatto, historian and Executive Director of the IMALA, said in a press release.


Taste of Italy will take place on October 1 from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at the Italian American Museum, 424 North Main Street, Los Angeles. For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://italianhall.org/taste-of-italy-los-angeles/.



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