Authentic, Italian pasta is alive and well in Santa Barbara, now that Executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini at Four Seasons Biltmore treats visitors to the hotel’s California-Italian restaurant Bella Vista to true, authentic Italian pasta. Hailing from Paruzzaro, Italy and having also cooked at the famed Four Seasons Hotel in Milan, Cartumini knew what it would take to bring a little bit of Italy to the South Coast. And so, once he joined the team in Santa Barbara in 2010, his immediate goal was to convince management to purchase an $18,000 fully loaded, top-of-the-line La Monferrina pasta machine.
I am told that the result of this machine is amazing, made-from-scratch tender pasta—and that guests can taste the difference. “Fresh pasta has a softer consistency and allows for the sauce to be better enjoyed,” Cartumini explains. “Another great benefit to our dishes is that we are able to make infinite shapes and flavors… and even stuffed pasta.”
At Bella Vista, pasta is one of the top sellers, especially Chef’s ravioli with house-made pork sausage and cherries, as well as squid ink spaghetti with seafood and fresh herbs. Chef’s favourite dish is black truffle angel hair with grated Parmesan cheese and butter, which was offered at Bella Vista last fall and winter and was one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
When asked whether management has ever looked back on their choice to make the $18,000 purchase, Cartumini says that absolutely, to bring their restaurant to the next level, the machine was the right decision for Bella Vista.