Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chef Pete Scaturro of the Trevi Restaurant in Las Vegas. He shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects related to food and cooking.
Las Vegas has become a must place for foodies to visit. There are many celebrity chefs that blow into town and establish branches of their flagship restaurants. At the Trevi Restaurant, in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, there is Chef Pete Scaturro. Chef Pete has brought a loving hand to the day-to-day operations of his restaurant for over a decade.
- How long have you been at Trevi?
I've been with the Morton company for 15 years and 10 as executive chef.
- What brought you to Las Vegas?
My family had a restaurant New York City. When the family closed the restaurant and relocated to Las Vegas I joined them after working in New York.
- What is the most unique thing about the Trevi Restaurant?
It was remodeled to be more upscale but approachable. It was formerly Bertollini Restaurant for 15 years. The menu blends the cuisine of Italy's regions and makes it recognizable to American customers.
- What inspired you in that approach?
I traveled through Italy last year with the goal to bring new concepts to the menu. I want to make it lighter than most Americans are used to in Italian food.
- What is your favorite dish on the menu?
I really like the lasagna, chicken scaloppine, and wild mushroom risotto.
- What do you like about cooking Italian food?
Simplicity. A fresh tortellini with a simple sauce can give you chills. Versatility with pasta. What do you have available? Put it together and you can have an amazing meal.
- Did you cook growing up?
I didn't start cooking until I was 18. I graduated high school with an artistic background. I paint and am interested in photography. I had a college scholarship for art, but went to work with the New York stock exchange, but I didn't like it. Then I shadowed my uncle in his steakhouse. My creativity as an artist has helped me become a better chef.
- How has that influenced you as a chef?
My on-the-job training gave me a management style that you don't learn in culinary school. Everyone knows that I can do and have done all jobs in the kitchen. I've done it all from washing dishes and sweeping floors to cooking.
- What is your best cooking tip for the home cook?
Try and use the freshest ingredients and don't cut corners you'll taste the difference.
- What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
The food processor. It's the most versatile in my kitchen.
- What is your favorite seasoning?
Basil! I eat it fresh off the plant.
- What is your favorite dish?
Good homemade pizza. I like basic pizza Margherita.
- Other than Trevi where is a good place for pizza in Las Vegas?
Carmine's is a good pizza place in town.
- What is your guilty pleasure?
I'm not a big sweets kinda guy, but tiramisł is a favorite of mine.
- What is your favorite cookbook?
The Professional Chef by the CIA and various Italian Cookbooks.
- What is your favorite music to cook to?
I love all types of music I play jazz or punk rock. It depends on the mood. I don't like country. [Good musical taste Chef Pete!]
Thanks Chef Pete, could you pass the risotto please?