20 Nov Please The Palate Pick of the Week: “La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: an Italian and American story” Culinary-Focused Documentary
Los Angeles is blessed with an array of multi-cultural cuisines. But if you think about one of the most popular cuisines, it is Italian food. Italian culture has had a huge influence on our cuisine which is profiled in a new documentary on Italian food in LA. “La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: an Italian and American story” was created and and produced by Andrea Perugini and presented by The Consulate General of Italy Los Angeles and IAMLA (Italian-American Museum of Los Angeles) and is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
For more than 200 years, Italian food culture has been an integral part of our culture. Pizza, pasta, mozzarella, Parmigano, and more are part of our vocabulary but that has not always been the case. “La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: an Italian and American story” depicts the path and the transformation of Italian cuisine in Los Angeles that has largely been overlooked.
“La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: an Italian and American story” is an Italian and American story. It starts with the period between 1850 and 1945 when Italian immigrants came to the US for financial reasons. Businesses like San Antonio Winery, Maestro Sausages, and Musso & Franks (where Fettucine Alfredo was invented) were started and still exist today.
It was the period between 1945 and 1990 in which authentic imports from Italy came to the US, thanks to Piero Selvaggio, known as “the man who changed Italian food.” In addition to Piero, there was Mauro Vincenti and Gino Angelini, as well as Angelo Auriano who worked at Valentino for 18 years before opening Factory Kitchen and Officine BRERA. They were at the forefront of the Italian food movement in Los Angeles. There was also Nancy Silverton at Campanile who brought together the fresh ingredients of California with the products of Italy.
From 1990 to 2021, it has been a period of tradition and innovation with chefs such as Evan Funke of Felix, Steve Samson of Rossoblu, Paola Da Re and her family from Pasta Sisters, Cheesemaker Mimmo Bruno of di Stefano Premium Italian Cheese, and more who have made significant contributions.
“La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: an Italian and American story” was made on a small budget but it tells a beautiful story of the chefs and personalities that have made Italian food in Los Angeles what it is today. Take an hour out of your day to enjoy watching the documentary “La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: an Italian and American story”, available on YouTube.