If you have dined at Culina & Vinoteca at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills since 2018, you have tasted the talents of Culina Chef de Cuisine Luca Moriconi, who has updated its menu.
Born in Lucca Italy, he was inspired by his mother’s cooking. He has brought to the table family recipes and has created a truly authentic Tuscan inspired menu. Dishes such as Nastri Al Cinghiale (homemade pappardelle, braised wild boar sugo, pecorino) came directly from Mama Grazia. His mother was flown in (from Italy) to help create a special Mother’s Day inspired menu (2019). See photo above.
I adore this restaurant and can’t say enough about it and the culinary skills of Chef de Cuisine Luca Moriconi. Read my restaurant review HERE…if you love food, be sure to pop by Culina & Vinoteca for a fantastic meal.
Enjoy my interview below, with this talented Chef.
Q: I know your mom and her cooking was a big inspiration to you… is that the reason you became a chef?
A: I became a chef because I was helping my mom with the cooking as well as our neighbors, and then I decided to go to culinary school.
Q: When you were young, what types of meals did you help her create?
A: I would help with daily meals and for the family Sunday dinner, reunions, and birthday celebrations. It was different occasions, but often we were cooking with produce from my father’s garden and game meat from his hunting
Q: Did you have a favorite dish?
A: When we were making lasagna, I had to open lasagna sheets after blanched, so I remember that it was very hot but I still wanted to do it!
Q: I know you were born in Lucca how old were you when you left?
A: I left at 22 to go to work in Florence and then when I was 29, I worked in the Middle East.
Q: Did you work as a chef in Lucca?
A: Yes, I started in a small restaurant near my home at 16 years old, working as a helper, pizzaiolo and commis di Cucina.
Q: Once you left where did you work?
A: In Florence at The Villa San Michele and at the Four seasons Firenze from 2003 to 2011.
Q: Did you travel when you were young with your family?
A: A little, Egypt, North Italy in Veneto , Viareggio on the Tuscan coast too.
Q: Did you travel as a young man on your own?
A: Yes, I went to Scotland (a school project), and mostly Italy…not far, a mini vacation in California also in 2006. and Peru, That I know very well because I married a Peruvian.
Q: Where did you meet your wife?
A: I met her in Fiesole/Florence working in a five-star hotel called Villa San Michele
Q: Did you win her over with your cooking?
A: I won her by surprising her with a mini vacation in the Elba island and cooking for her there.
Q: Did the food of the places you visited inspire you?
A: I enjoyed the time, and food knowing that I was increasing my knowledge.
Q: As an adult when you travel are you inspired to create new meals because of it?
A: I get ideas from other types of cooking and from speaking with people like farmers.
Q: What is your most favorite place that you have visited in the world? And why?
A: I always remember the Titcaca Lake in Peru, the highest lake in the world with beautiful landscapes, amazing food and a great hospitality culture.