Giacomino Drago arrived in Los Angeles at age 16 to work in his brother’s restaurant kitchen. After a few years of training, Giacomino felt comfortable enough in the kitchen to launch Il Pastaio. Today Giacomino is the owner of nine restaurants in Los Angeles area, each one have an individual concept. We are glad to ask him some questions:
1) Nine words to introduce you.
I am a chef who is passionate about ingredients.
2) What is the episode that started your Italian food passion?
Growing up in Galati Mamertino, a tiny hilltop village in Sicily, I watched my mother grow all the food we ate. She raised the chickens, grew the vegetables, canned the tomatoes for winter sauces, made cheese and wine. It was normal for the children to help prepare the meals, and so I learned, from a very young age, the joy of preparing a family meal.
3) How feel about being a Chef that cooks Italian food abroad?
Americans adore Italian cuisine. They love it. And so it is a wonderful feeling to cook for an appreciative, as well as a sophisticated and knowledgeable, clientele.
4) What is the Italian recipe that most represents you?
Our clients in Beverly Hills, for the most part, like to eat healthy and stay slim. Here, they like Branzino, salads that include arugula and artichokes, and they also love our fresh pastas.
5) What are the three essential Made in Italy products for your kitchen?
Extra virgin olive oil, tomato, flour.
6) Who cooks at your house?
Whenever I could spend some time at home, my wife tries her best to prepare something for the family.
7) Which one in your opinion is the biggest stereotype foreigners have about the Italian cuisine or Italian food?
That it is all just pasta and pizza. Of course, now that many Americans have travelled to Italy, must understand the rich and varied cuisine of our Italian culture.
8) What are your future projects?
Just to maintain what we have and strive to make it better; Maybe opening another restaurant. And there is the ongoing project that we currently work on with The Petersen Museum.