Mangiamo! Michael Chiarello Orchestrates a Tribute Dinner to Sophia Loren

September 18, 2014 8:16 PM

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Mangiamo! Michael Chiarello Orchestrates a Tribute Dinner to Sophia Loren

Credit Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello for helping turn Yountville into the culinary capital of California’s wine country. His southern Italian roots are on full display at his critically acclaimed restaurant Bottega, where for nearly six years he has used his ingenuity to whip up creative, palate-pleasing, farm-to-table cuisine. However, conquering Italian fare in Napa Valley wasn’t enough for Chiarello, who, as a kid, spent much of his time hanging out in his mother’s California kitchen with his extended Italian family of butchers, cheesemakers and ranchers. Though he branched out with the opening of Coqueta, a stylish Spanish eatery on San Francisco’s Pier 5 last year, this past July he returned to the culture he knows best by teaming up with dear friend Piero Selvaggio to orchestrate a tribute dinner for Italy’s reigning queen of cinema, Sophia Loren, at Napa Valley’s Festival Del Sole. “Bella Italia” indeed.

Tell me about the meal you cooked for Sophia Loren, and if we’ll see any of the dishes on the menu at Bottega. This was an event designed to be a celebration of her life and the music of her son, Carlo Ponti, Jr. There was a film called L’Oro di Napoli, where Sophia is making pizza that is fried and...

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