Michelin Men: Two Italian Star Chefs Pop Up in L.A.

Vito Mollica and Matteo Temperini bring their award-winning cuisine to Culina and One Pico

The romantic cityscape of Florence or the coastal charm of Positano? It’s a tough choice, but you don’t actually have to choose. You can sample cuisines from both Italian regions–but with a California twist–right here in L.A., starting this weekend. Two Michelin-starred chefs, Vito Mollica (Il Palagio at the Four Seasons Firenze) and Matteo Temperini (Le Sirenuse in Positano), will be showcasing their cuisine at Culina at the Four Seasons and One Pico at Shutters on the Beach, respectively.

Mollica’s five-night affair at Culina starts this weekend.  The visiting chef will be collaborating with executive chef Mette Williams for a prix-fixe menu to mark the Four Seasons restaurant’s five-year anniversary. The five-course dinner (yes, five is a theme) begins with an antipasti course of sea bass and beef filet carpaccio, followed by ravioli carbonara with prosciutto-wrapped egg yolk. Then there’s more bass and beef before a dessert of mascarpone ingot with coffee ice cream. An a la carte menu, available at lunch and dinner, will feature Mollica’s specialty: cavatelli cacio e pepe with baby calamari and marinated prawns. Lunching customers will also get the chance to try the Italian’s take on Quartetto, a daily Culina special that includes tasting portions of four dishes on one plate.

Spaghetti di Gragnano with tomatoes and olive oil is one of chef Matteo Temperini's specialties.
Spaghetti di Gragnano with tomatoes and olive oil is one of chef Matteo Temperini’s specialties.

Photograph courtesy of One Pico at Shutters at the Beach

Bringing the flavors of the Amalfi coast to our fair shoreline for a week starting on March 4, Temperini, who was recently awarded two Michelin stars, will be sharing the kitchen with One Pico’s executive chef Isaac Gamboa to create a four-course, seafood-centric prix fixe dinner. Stewed octopus, lemon-infused risotto with red shrimp, and Maine lobster in olive oil broth are all on Temperini’s menu while, for his part of the collaboration, Gamboa will offer an a la carte menu of One Pico’s signature dishes, including slow-braised short ribs and pan-seared calamari. Some items will also be available for lunch. This is the second year that Shutters on the Beach and Le Sirenuse are collaborating for this week-long event.

redarrow Culina at the Four Seasons, 300 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-860-4000. Vito Mollica cooks from February 28-March 4. Prix-fixe menu is $65 per person.

redarrow One Pico at Shutters on the Beach, 1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, 310-587-1717. Le Sirenuse at Shutters takes place from March 4-11. Prix-fixe menu is $95 per person.