• Saturday, November 28, 2020

Four Seasons Los Angeles

Four Seasons California Cuisine
February 25, 2014

Dealmaking over lunch is nothing new in L.A. But Culina at the Four Seasons takes power dining to a new level. This chic Italian restaurant fills daily with the Hollywood elite – producers, investors and established actors (and their occasional arm candy). On equal footing with the crowd is the chef herself – Mette Williams. As the Four Seasons explains, there are many paths to employment at the hotel, but few are more public than the route Mette Williams took. She achieved the post by competing on the Food Network show Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell. Williams has been at the helm of Culina since 2013, turning out modern Italian cuisine that’s as daring as it is delicious. Her goal is simple: “All I ever wanted to do was make people happy through their tummies.” Here, Chef Williams shares some of her favorite recipes with Galavante, so you too can make tummies happy.

Barbabietole (Beet) Salad


8 golden baby beets
8 candy-striped baby beets (Leave one of each beet raw for garnish)
1.5 cups kosher salt
10 sprigs of thyme, 2 sprigs cleaned and chopped
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup orange oil
1/2 cup soft goat cheese
2 tbsp basil oil
petit basil or chopped regular basil
2 tangerines segmented; save juices from segments and use to marinate beets
1/4 cup candied pistachio or roasted pistachio
8 leaves watercress


Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a layer of kosher salt. Lay out a few thyme sprigs and then place the beets on top. Cover with foil and roast in the oven at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. To check the beets, get a toothpick and insert into the beet. If it goes in easily, they are done. Let them cool until you can hold them comfortably and then peel off the skin. The beets are easy to peel when warm.

When beets are cleaned, cut into bite-size pieces and mix with chopped thyme, diced shallots, orange oil and tangerine juice. 

For the raw beets held aside, make sure they are free from dirt and slice paper-thin on a mandolin or slicer width-wise. These beet disks will be a garnish, and you can do them ahead of time and keep them in clean water until ready for use.

For assembly, place a few pieces of watercress on a serving plate and put the marinated beets on top. Scatter the tangerine segments, goat cheese and pistachios and drizzle with the basil oil and a bit of the beet marinade. Sprinkle on the basil and place the beet disks on top.



3 assorted heirloom tomatoes, one for slicing, 2 for dicing
1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups ciabatta bread crumbs
6 basil leaves torn
1/2 cucumber diced
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved thin
1/4 red onion, shaved thin
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper


Mix the red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper and pour over diced cucumbers for a light pickle. Also use that liquid to dress your tomatoes and bread. Slice one tomato very thin for the base of your salad. Season with salt and pepper and then add the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the chopped tomatoes, fennel, onions and bread on top of the tomato disks and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, torn basil and basil seeds if you have them.

Pesche Bianca


6 grilled nectarines
3 oz burrata
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup toasted marcona almonds, roughly chopped
olive oil
8 basil leavers torn
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar


Grill the peaches or nectarines and set aside. Mix the honey and white balsamic together with a bit of olive oil and glaze the grilled fruit.

Amaranth Pasta


2/3 cups amaranth flour
1/2 cups corn flour
1/2 cups tapioca flour
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cups chopped Taggiasca olives
1 tbsp diced fresno chili
1 tbsp capers
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
2.5 cups San Marzano tomato sauce
4 basil leaves torn


Sift all dry ingredients, add eggs, yolks and olive oil until mixture forms a ball, let rest and then make into desired noodle.

Prosecco Gelée


8 sheets gelatin
1 bottle prosecco
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 lemon zest


Bloom gelatin in cold water. Mix together the vanilla bean, sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and water, just enough to wet the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, add the prosecco and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes, and then add the gelatin (make sure to squeeze the excess water). Pour into a flat pan and chill until firm.

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