Celestino Drago - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival


Celestino Drago

Drago Centro - Los Angeles, CA

Hailing from Sicily, chef Celestino Drago has become one of Los Angeles’—and the country’s—most lauded Italian chefs. From his affable demeanor to his inventive and delicious takes on Italian fare, Drago has helped lay the groundwork for Italian cuisine in America today. Before launching his restaurant empire in Southern California, Drago attended mechanical school in Italy while working at a restaurant called Pierino in Pisa. He loved everything about the restaurant business. Recognizing his culinary potential, Pierino’s chef worked closely with him and in three short years Drago was chef.

In 1979, Celestino was hired as the chef at Orlando Orsini in Los Angeles, starting a new culinary career in the United States. Following a stint at Spectrum Foods, he opened his first restaurant, Celestino, in Beverly Hills. After receiving high praise, he was encouraged to open Drago on bustling Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. His second restaurant earned rave reviews and was consistently rated in the top five Italian restaurants in Los Angeles before it closed in 2011. His subsequent ventures, include his artisanal bakery, Dolce Forno, the upscale Il Pastaio, and Drago Centro.

Drago’s cuisine is deeply rooted in his childhood home in Sicily. Since his arrival in Los Angeles, he has been delighting diners with dishes dishes imbued with the heritage and authenticity of true Italian fare.