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5 Questions for Joseph Elevado

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Joseph Elevado is the executive chef at l'Ermitage Beverly Hills, where he opened the restaurant Livello last year. He’s worked for Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto and at Social House in Las Vegas and Mexico. The Italy-meets-Asia menu at Livello features Elevado’s classic techniques and Japanese aesthetics: oysters with ponzu gelee and sambal; spaghetti carbonara with edamame and Benton bacon; ‘soy ragu’ of spicy kurobuta pork; and sea urchin and snapper crudo with olive oil, citrus and shiso.

What’s coming up next on your menu? Coming up for this spring, we are going to feature a dish of warm spaghetti and toasted bottarga with anchovy-shiso pesto and organic olive oil. I love bottarga and am looking forward to this dish.

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Latest ingredient obsession? A few months ago I think we used harissa in everything. Lately it seems like we’ve been finishing everything with Katz organic olive oil from Napa.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? Ever since moving to L.A. I’ve been going to or taking people to either Animal or Son of a Gun. At Son of a Gun, I can always go for their fried chicken sandwich, with the spicy b&b pickle slaw, and rooster aioli. That combined with a cold beer or martini is all right with me.

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? Kunz spoons. They are hands down the most instrumental and fundamental pieces of equipment for me in the kitchen.

What’s your favorite breakfast? My favorite breakfast is a childhood favorite of Spam & eggs (two over-easy eggs on top of white rice). I don’t eat it too often anymore, but when I do, I am a happy camper.

What’s the last non-food-related book you read? These days I enjoy audio books on the ride to and from work when I am in my car, and if that counts, the last book I “read” was ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Livello, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, (310) 278-3344, www.lermitagebh.com.

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-- Betty Hallock


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