FOODIES WEST.COM         
EXECUTIVE CHEF MICHELANGELO ALIAGA
PRIMO ITALIA TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA

I think that's the big difference between Italian cuisine
May 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 8                                                                                                            and the rest of the world. The love.












 





 








 
 
 
 


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Michelangelo Asiaga | Executive Chef of Primo Italia | Torrance, California Chef Michelangelo Aliaga has lived in some choice places. He was raised in Peru’s Andean high country, educated in Barcelona, he cut his professional culinary teeth in Florence, and then he came to the U.S. to work in “an Italian restaurant in West Los Angeles”, that being Drago Centro alongside Chef Mirko Paderno, one of LA’s foodie magnets. Aliaga’s love of the kitchen started in his grandparent’s home in Celendin, a storybook town in the northern Andes. But he has always, he said, only cooked Italian professionally. So where do the Italian leanings come from? “My father is Italian,” Aliaga explained, “and my mother is Peruvian. Part of my first years I spent in Peru. Then I moved to Spain where my mom was living. I went to high school there and culinary arts school there. After culinary school, I moved to Tuscany, Firenze. I lived there for six years. Actually I started my profession there in a very, very small trattoria. A family-style restaurant. Like a mom-and-pop, very small family-run restaurant.” The words “charmed life” may come to mind. But Aliaga is a chef, remember. He may have gone from one winning hand to another, but he faced the familiar hurdles of the kitchen. The first appeared in that traditional Old World kitchen when the owner-chef offered the grad the dishwasher job. This stunned the recent grad, who went to the restaurant on the recommendation of one of his teachers. letely green, and running a station and making fresh pizza dough every day. It just takes a lot. It takes a skill that you gain by doing. Practice makes perfect.”