Chef Cristina Bowerman is not your traditional Michelin starred chef. In fact, she’s a complete anomaly. The Italian-born chef moved to America to study law and forensic studies as well as foreign languages at the University of San Francisco USF. Despite this, while working in a coffee shop and studying the plethora of ethnicities in the city, she decided to pursue a culinary career. (Mind you, at the time, she was also working as a graphic designer and opened a catering company called The Two Skinny Ladies). So she decided to move to Austin, Texas, where she graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts from the University of Austin, TX with the program of the famous Parisian school, Cordon Bleu. She returned to Italy to helm Glass Hostaria, an ultra-modern gem of a restaurant in the heart of Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood.
Her inventive, modern, envelope pushing cuisine has won her many awards as well. In 2008 she received the two forks by Gambero Rosso and in 2010 was the only woman of the year to receive a coveted Michelin star. Now, Bowerman is starting a new chapter. She still acts as director of Glass and teaches professional cooking courses in various Italian and foreign schools, but has decided to split her time between her native country and Los Angeles where she partnered up with Italian entrepreneur Emanuele Ponzo and opened Crateful, a luxury catering and meal delivery company. She has taught private cooking classes to celebrities such as Tori Spelling, Emmy Rossum, Vanessa Hudgens and Elizabeth Olsen and also personally delivers her famous ‘Amatriciana’ pasta to Owen Wilson‘s Malibu home on a regular basis. She is the new face of Lexus in Europe as well as the brand ambassador of the world expo in Milan.
Cooking a Michelin star worthy meal isn’t as hard as you might think. “My advice is to focus on the ingredient. Choose an ingredient that you like and, by all means, one that is in season. The following step is to understand what is the best cooking technique for that ingredient,” Bowerman tells Haute Living, adding, “Once you have decided all of that and also what kind of serving it will be—an appetizer or main or dessert—then it’s time to focus on spices. Spices can make or break a dish and there are so many I am dependent on, such as serracha, sumac, paprika, just to name a few. Use your favorite spice but, more than anything else, don’t be afraid to try new ones: the result will impress everyone!”
Although she’s a newcomer to the City of Angels, she’s also an award-winning chef, so we decided to get some outside perspective and find out what seven Los Angeles meals she deems to be Michelin-star worthy. The answers will, like most things about Bowerman, surprise you.
Photo Credit: Pizzeria Mozza/Facebook
Cristina Bowerman’s 7 Michelin Star Worthy Dishes in California
- Hokkaido Uni, Horseradish, Chives, Lemon & Sea Salt at Gjelina
- Wild Mushrooms with Pomme Puree, Wilted Greens and vegetable Demi from Plant Food & Wine
- A hot dog at Pink’s
- Toro at Matsuhisa (honestly anything at Matsuhisa!)
- A croissant (savory stuffed with eggs) at Bread Lounge (their bread is to die for!)
- Asparagus Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
- Steamed Egg with Bone Marrow Corn and Cheese at Hanjip
Photo Credit: Plant Food & Wine/Facebook