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Interview: Luciano Pellegrini, Chef/Partner VALENTINO, Las Vegas
By Bob Bickell

Chef Luciano Pellegrini RR: I have to believe that Las Vegas is a very different stage than your early days in Bergamo, Italy. It had to be a tremendous life adjustment mentally and every other way.

Chef: My really big adjustment was when I left Italy in 1985 and came to the United States. I couldnít speak a word of English except maybe hello and goodbye. I had been recruited through a friend to join Piero Selvaggio in Los Angeles, and I worked in the kitchens of Valentino in Santa Monica and Primi in Los Angeles, and later became the executive chef at Posto when it opened in Sherman Oakes. It wasnít until 1999 that I became the executive chef at Valentino in Las Vegas, so I had already been through the so-called cultural shock. Actually, I was ready to leave LA and Las Vegas provided that opportunity.

RR: In the past several years we have seen an amazing influx of chefs into Las Vegas and Iím guessing that not all of them were ready for the life in this type of environment.



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