Taste

[Chef Talk]

Carla Pellegrino talks food bibles and wooden spoons

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You could say Carla Pellegrino is fairly affectionate about Italian food.
Photo: Denise Truscello

When chef Carla Pellegrino isn’t bouncing between her two Las Vegas restaurants, Bacio at Tropicana and Bratalian in Henderson, she’s traveling, munching on Japanese food or going to the movies on Sundays.

Favorite cookbook: Larousse Gastronomique "It’s basically the bible of French food. It’s big, red and thick. I also use The Silver Spoon, which is like the bible of Italian food, but Larousse is more complete. I try to put a French touch on my cooking to make it a little better, and this is one of the most complete cookbooks ever.”

Favorite food city: Turin The capital of the northwestern Italian region Piedmont is Pellegrino’s pick. “It’s the best of Italian food culture, the best cheese, the best wine, and all of it is just in the air. You can smell fontina everywhere you go.”

Favorite Trop spot: Laugh Factory Pellegrino’s daughter lives in LA, and the pair are regulars at that city’s comedy spot. “We have always taken friends there,” she says. “It feels like home. I love that it’s here in Vegas now.”

Favorite kitchen tool: wooden spoon “When I give everything an extra turn with it, I just feel like I’m doing something more for the food. And if someone pisses me off, I can smack them with it.”

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