The term artisan seldom has meaning in the food world these days. Far too often, it’s the co-opted stuff of corporate marketing, which probably explains why the jaded food lovers among us roll their eyes at the term at a nearly audible level. Yet there are times when we encounter someone truly befitting of this title. We meet the person, we watch them ply their craft, and we’re left in awe, marveling at the talent we witnessed, happy that the word artisan still can mean something in the right hands. Then we eat their handiwork, and those feelings repeat.
Fransesco Allegro is an artisan. As the pasta maker for the critically adored Downtown Los Angeles restaurant Rossoblu, he turns the process of creating pasta of all shapes and sizes into a mesmerizing display of dexterity and precision that’s impossible to look away. I was fortunate to watch his genius roll out in Rossoblu’s subterranean pasta room. What transpired was a symphony without music. The good people over at Sauté magazine allowed my wife and I to document the experience, which can be read in full here. I’d suggest reading it, but I’d rather tell you to get to Rossoblu and experience his remarkable skill as soon as you can.