Scenes From A Culinary Revolution: Piero Selvaggio Surveys Four Decades of Italian Dining in Los Angeles
Join us at the Pacific Palisades Library for “Scenes From A Culinary Revolution: Piero Selvaggio Surveys Four Decades of Italian Dining in Los Angeles.”
Italian cuisine in America has made amazing strides since the 1970’s, when boutique ingredients were not available and most chefs wouldn’t have known how to use them anyway. Most Americans didn’t even know Italy had regional cuisines and associated Italian wine with straw basket Chianti and sugary Lambruscos. This started to change when a young man named Piero Selvaggio opened a restaurant called Valentino and showed Angelenos the breadth and subtlety of Italian cuisine. Since then the restaurant has weathered various trends and introduced us to new delicacies, always with Selvaggio at the helm. There were challenges along the way – problems as servers spent more time explaining dishes than actually serving them, flavors diners weren’t ready for, trends that had a brief moment of popularity and then became unfashionable, but gradually the flavors of Italian food in LA became more like Italian food in Italy. A master restaurateur who has always interacted with diners will muse over the ways in which Italian food in LA, and the people who enjoy it, have changed over four decades.
About the speaker:
Born in Sicily, Selvaggio opened his first restaurant, Valentino in Santa Monica, when he was only 25. Despite having held numerous jobs in the restaurant trade, he quickly realized that he had a lot to learn. To take Valentino to the next level, Selvaggio looked to the source, traveling back to Italy to learn the secrets of his native cuisine from some of the greatest chefs Italy had to offer. The results of that profound trip helped change the face of Italian cuisine in America. Selvaggio now lives in Malibu and is still involved with Valentino on a daily basis.
Free and open to the public.