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170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors • 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs
Celebrity Chefs • Cooking & Wine Tasting Classes
Big Bottle Auction • Continuous Food and Wine Tastings
Over 800 Wines • $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition

Celestino Drago
Executive Chef and Owner of Drago Centro

food nd wine fstival chef Drago image

It has been said that what separates an ordinary man from an extraordinary man is that special "something extra." Celestino Drago can truly be described as an extraordinary man. A Chef’s Chef, who has lived his life with equal amounts of passion and innovation, Drago has played a major role in the dining revolution that has taken place in Los Angeles over the past two decades. Frequently featured on local and national radio and television programs, James Beard Foundation honoree Drago ranks with the celebrity Chefs of the 90’s yet reminds one more of a favorite relative.

From the defining kitchen of Drago’s childhood home in Sicily, this master chef has been creating sublime, memorable meals for serious food lovers since coming to Los Angeles in 1979 at the age of 22. Some critics have gone so far as to say that he is aptly name, that his food is indeed "celestial."

Drago dreamed of owning and operating a restaurant that truly expressed his creative soul and in 1991, Drago Ristorante was born. The success of his namesake restaurant in Santa Monica, which consistently ranks on numerous "best of" lists, enabled Drago to open il Pastaio in Beverly Hills, Celestino Ristorante in Pasadena (now owned and operated by his brother Calogero) and Celestino Italian Steakhouse in West Hollywood. Each of these restaurants has earned acclaim for Drago’s trademark commitment to quality, friendly professional staff and of course, inspired cooking.

His generosity of spirit and his eagerness to promote from within has earned Drago a loyal staff. Known for his affable nature, he has the business savvy to recognize talent and the capacity to mentor others - thereby insuring consistent quality at all of his restaurants. Many of his protégées have gone on to own successful restaurants and staff many other top Italian restaurants in Los Angeles.

Drago also heads up a full service catering and special events company. Starting with intimate dinners at the homes of regular customers, Drago Catering has participated in many high profile events including his most recent honor at The Great Chefs of LA, for his 17-year commitment to the National Kidney Foundation. He continues to share his talent and knowledge in guest appearances with Crystal Cruises, William Sonoma and Sur La Table. In Fall 2002, guests to Santa Monica's newest boutique hotel, The Ambrose, will be able to experience his culinary offerings at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

From his birthright, Drago has forged a recipe for success rooted in loving memories of food interwoven with family. With good old fashion hospitality, consistent high quality and gracious, impeccable service, Drago serves up more than a great meal - he brings to life the culture of Italy for all who pass through the doors of his restaurants.

Chef Drago's Appearance > >
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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
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San Diego, CA  92121

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