Evan Funke is chef of Bucato, the newly opened pasta palace in the Helms Bakery complex in Culver City. Funke left his position as chef of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen and Milo & Olive last year to open his own place, joining with restaurant operator Ed Keebler to take over what was once Beacon. Bucato means "laundry," also a reference to the way pasta dries on the line, says Funke, who studied pasta making in Bologna under Alessandra Spisni at La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese. Now he's working alongside fellow pasta sfoglino Kosaku Kawamura in a laboratory with no pasta machines, rollers or extruders.
What's coming up next on your menu?
Bucato's menu is always changing. We are letting the farmers and ranchers do what they do best, and we cook in the moment. We let the ingredients and season drive the process.
What's the one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without, other than your knives?
I can't work without a matarello. A matarello is a long, thin rolling pin we use for pasta fatto a mano, or "made by hand" in our pasta laboratorio.
What's your favorite breakfast?
I love toast.
Your favorite day off away from the kitchen is ...
I don't like being away from my kitchen. And I don't like taking Mondays off since Bay Cities [Italian Deli & Bakery] is closed.
What's the last cookbook you read — and what inspired you to pick it up?
"The White House Cookbook," published 1887. My parents have a first edition, and I love the way the recipes are written.
Bucato, 3280 Helms Ave., Culver City, (310) 876-0286, www.bucato.la.