Here are the haute secrets of chef and restaurateur Celestino Drago, the Italian-born proprietor of downtown’s delectable Drago Centro. Tonight, the master chef will accept the honor of Foodfare’s Chef of the Year, which is a well-deserved accolade. Though many are privy to his success as a chef and restaurateur, many may not know that he is the driving force behind Drago Enterprises, a multi-faceted operation that encompasses his true Italian heritage. Since 1985, Drago Catering has become a quintessential name in upscale catering for extravagant occasions in the greater Los Angeles area serving well-known political, financial, cultural, philanthropic, entertainment and celebrity clients. Many may also not know that since 2008, his Drago Air service has taken in-flight fine dining to an entirely new altitude while offering exquisite first class dining to private charters and top domestic and international airlines. Here is this chef of the year’s insider’s guide to the City of Angels.

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Where were you born ?
Messina (Italy)
How long in Los angeles:
35 Years
Beverly Hills
Chef/ Restaurateur
Favorite Restaurant:
Best Sushi:
Q Sushi –Downtown LA when I want to indulge and explore the unique selection / or Yojisan Sushi in Beverly Hills for my classic favorites
Best Italian:
When my Moma is cooking!
Best dessert:
The Carrot Cake at The Polo Lounge
Best place for a romantic date:
Spago Beverly Hills
Best Sunday brunch:
Culina at the Four Seasons
Best place for a power business meeting:
Melisse, Santa Monica
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
Saks Fifth Ave in Beverly Hills
Best Spa:
I don’t remember, it’s been so long!
Favorite Charity Event:
There are so many great charities in Los Angeles that I’ve been proud to support for many years that it’s hard to pick just one…if I had to pick just one I would have to say the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation because of the kids
Favorite Cultural Event:
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
Favorite Cultural Institution:
Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles
Best Steakhouse:
Best Pizza:
Osteria Angelini
Best Lunch:
The Secret Table at The Beverly Hills Cheese Store
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
Equinox in Beverly Hills
Best Massage:
Utta Body Sculpture, Beverly Hills
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
Carey or Music xpress
Best Museum/Exhibit:
MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
Tejon Ranch in Lebec, CA Just outside of LA 270,000 acres of untouched beautiful land
All-around favorite locale in Los Angeles, whether a neighborhood, restaurant, venue, or other
The Huntington in Pasadena
Best aspect of Los Angeles
Diversity of culture, great climate and food!
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