From Los Angeles to Puglia’s Cantina Agr. Ladogana

Los Angeles, known for its vibrant food scene, has been a melting pot of flavors and cuisines from around the world. But what happens when some talented L.A. chefs set off on a culinary adventure to a small town in Puglia, South Italy ? 
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This is the captivating story of L. A. Institute of Culinary Education chefs whose journey from the bustling streets of L.A. led him to the enchanting Cantina Agr. Ladogana in Orta Nova, Puglia (Apulia).


In a remarkable gastronomic fusion that transcends borders, the vibrant culinary scene of Los Angeles collides with the traditional charm of Cantina Agr. Ladogana in Orta Nova. This unique partnership has captivated the taste buds of food enthusiasts, creating an unforgettable experience that combines the best of both worlds.

Nestled in the heart of Puglia, a South-Italian region known for its picturesque landscapes and rich culinary heritage, Cantina Agr. Ladogana has long been celebrated for its dedication to preserving traditional Italian flavors and wines. 

Led by renowned winemaker Ladogana family, their vineyard has now embarked on a thrilling collaboration with Los Angeles-based chefs, bringing a contemporary twist to age-old recipes.

The journey begins in the bustling city of Los Angeles, where a team of talented chefs from renowned eateries sought to create a bridge between their innovative culinary techniques and the time-honored Italian cuisine. 

The exchange of ideas and expertise was born out of a mutual desire to showcase the culinary treasures of both regions, resulting in a remarkable culinary collaboration that promises to delight even the most discerning palates.

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant food scene of Los Angeles, known for its diverse cultural influences, the chefs infused Cantina Agr. Ladogana’s traditional recipes with a creative twist. The result is a harmonious blend of flavors that pay homage to the rustic traditions of Puglia while embracing the innovative spirit of California cuisine.

One of the highlights of this culinary partnership is the reinterpretation of the classic Puglian dish, Orecchiette pasta. Traditionally served with simple yet flavorful ingredients such as Broccoli, Rabe and anchovies, the Los Angeles chefs have elevated this humble dish by introducing ingredients like locally-sourced wild mushrooms, truffle oil, and a sprinkle of artisanal cheese. 


Furthermore, the collaboration extends to the pairing of Cantina Agr. Ladogana’s exceptional wines with Los Angeles’ vibrant cocktail culture. 

Renowned mixologists have crafted unique and refreshing cocktails using the vineyard’s signature wines as a base, infusing them with fresh herbs, seasonal fruits, and a touch of local botanicals. This innovative approach has created a tantalizing fusion of flavors that showcases the versatility of Puglian wines beyond traditional pairings.

Cantina Agr. Ladogana has become a vibrant meeting place where culinary traditions converge, allowing visitors to embark on a gastronomic journey that spans continents. The partnership between Los Angeles and Orta Nova showcases the power of collaboration in redefining culinary boundaries and celebrates the shared love for good food and exceptional wine.

Los Angeles County Fair: A Celebration of L.A. Community 

The Los Angeles County Fair (LACF), is a vibrant annual event that brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate the diversity, culture, and spirit of Los Angeles County. With its rich history, thrilling attractions, mouth-watering food, and captivating entertainment, the fair has become a beloved tradition for residents and visitors alike. 

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For over a century, the Los Angeles County Fair has been an integral part of the community, serving as a platform to showcase the region’s agricultural heritage, local businesses, and talented individuals. The fairgrounds, located in Pomona, encompass a sprawling space that comes alive every September with an array of engaging activities and attractions.

One of the major draws of the Los Angeles County Fair is its exhilarating assortment of amusement park rides. From classic Ferris wheels and roller coasters to gravity-defying thrill rides, the fair provides endless excitement for adrenaline enthusiasts of all ages. 

The fair also hosts a variety of live entertainment, including concerts featuring renowned artists, musical performances, comedy shows, and cultural showcases, ensuring there’s something to suit every taste.

The fair’s culinary landscape is an enticing mix of traditional fair favorites and innovative culinary creations. Indulge in deep-fried delicacies, savor juicy burgers, relish in delectable desserts, and embark on a culinary journey from all corners of the globe. 

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The fair also hosts cooking competitions, demonstrations, and food-themed events, providing an opportunity to learn and appreciate the art of gastronomy.

Honoring its roots as an agricultural fair, LACF features an impressive showcase of livestock, farm animals, and agricultural exhibits. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits that educate and raise awareness about sustainable farming practices, animal husbandry, and the importance of agriculture in our daily lives. 

The fair’s farm area offers a hands-on experience for children and adults alike, with opportunities to pet farm animals, learn about different crops, and witness live demonstrations.

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The Los Angeles County Fair is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts and shoppers. The fair hosts a wide range of art exhibits, showcasing the talents of local artists and craftsmen. Visitors can browse through vibrant paintings, intricate sculptures, handmade crafts, and unique artisanal products. 

The fair also features a bustling marketplace where attendees can explore an assortment of vendors offering everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and specialty goods.

Medal-winning Cantina Agr. Ladogana at “Los Angeles County Fair – Wine Competition”

In the sun-drenched region of Puglia, Italy, lies the renowned Cantina Agr. Ladogana winery in the picturesque town of Orta Nova. This hidden gem has gained recognition as an award-winning winery, capturing the hearts of wine enthusiasts around the world. 

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Cantina Agr. Ladogana participated at “Los Angeles County Fair” Wine Competition by winning the Gold and Silver Medals for the category “Best White Wine”. Coming from a traditional, agricultural reality of South Italy with roots in Puglia, it was a fantastic and astonishing international accolade for the Ladogana Family. All of that supported the local, premium organic wines that had won such a prestigious international award.

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Following that victory, we pay tribute to the visionary behind this exceptional winery, the late Dr. Saverio Ladogana, whose passion and dedication have shaped Cantina Agr. Ladogana into a true testament to Puglia’s winemaking traditions.

He was a visionary winemaker and revered figure in Puglia’s viticulture, dedicated his life to preserving and elevating the art of winemaking. His journey began in the vibrant wine culture of Los Angeles, where he honed his skills and developed an acute understanding of the craft. It was there, at the renowned Los Angeles County Fair, where Dr. Ladogana’s exceptional wines garnered recognition and accolades, setting the stage for his future accomplishments.

Inspired by his Californian experiences, Dr. Ladogana returned to his native Puglia with a profound vision to confirm a winery that showcased the rich heritage and unique terroir of the region. In 1972, he founded Cantina Agr. Ladogana, a family-run winery that would become a symbol of excellence in Puglian winemaking.

Guided by Dr. Ladogana’s unwavering commitment to quality and innovation, Cantina Agr. Ladogana quickly gained acclaim. The winery’s vineyards, nestled amidst the picturesque landscape of Puglia, benefit from the region’s fertile soil, gentle sea breezes, and abundant sunshine. This ideal combination of natural factors creates the perfect conditions for cultivating extraordinary grapes.

Today, it is led by three Ladogana’s family “Los Angeles County Fair – Wine Competition” Winners, (from left to right) Dr Franco Ladogana, Dr Daniela Ladogana and Dr Vittorio Feola (Ladogana three Cousins, with the same big passion for organic wines).

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Cantina Agr. Ladogana produces an impressive array of wines that reflect the richness and diversity of Puglia’s winemaking tradition. From crisp whites to full-bodied reds, each bottle encapsulates the essence of the region. The winery’s signature Primitivo, with its velvety texture and robust flavors, has become a true masterpiece, captivating wine connoisseurs worldwide.

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In memory of Dr. Saverio Ladogana, the winery continues to uphold his legacy, striving for excellence in every aspect of winemaking. The Ladogana family, led by his three Ladogana family members, shares his unwavering dedication to crafting wines that embody the soul of Puglia.

The winery’s commitment to tradition extends beyond the vineyards and into the cellar, where age-old winemaking techniques are carefully employed. The wines undergo meticulous aging, allowing them to develop their distinctive character and complexity. Each bottle of Cantina Agr. Ladogana is a testament to the family’s passion and expertise, a legacy that Dr. Ladogana would be proud of.

To experience the magic of Cantina Agr. Ladogana firsthand is to embark on a sensory journey. The winery offers immersive tastings and guided tours, where visitors can witness the meticulous winemaking process and gain insight into the family’s profound winemaking philosophy. 

Guests are invited to explore the vineyards, sample the exquisite wines, and embrace the warm hospitality that has become synonymous with Cantina Agr. Ladogana.

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Cantina Agr. Ladogana stands not only as a testament to his vision but also as a symbol of the rich heritage and exceptional wines that Puglia has to offer. It is a fitting tribute to a remarkable man who dedicated his life to crafting wines that transcend time and capture the spirit of a region.

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Commemorating Dr. Ladogana: an Exclusive “Total White Party”

To honor the legacy of Dr. Saverio Ladogana, a visionary and esteemed winemaking figure, there was the anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles County Fair Gold and Silver Medals, a prestigious accolade celebrated with an exclusive “Total White Party”, nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes providing the perfect backdrop for an evening of elegance and nostalgia. 

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The “Total White” theme encapsulated the essence of purity, unity, and celebration. Attendants will do their finest white attire, symbolizing the blank canvas upon which Dr. Ladogana and others have built the foundations of our beloved fair. 

Guests were treated to a delectable feast prepared by Los Angeles-based renowned chefs, showcasing the finest culinary delights. From mouth-watering appetizers to tantalizing entrees and delightful desserts, each dish will be crafted with utmost care and precision, offering a sensory journey that echoes the excellence of the Los Angeles County Fair.

That exclusive commemoration party was an extraordinary event, blending elegance, nostalgia, and a celebration of Dr. Saverio Ladogana’s remarkable contributions honoring his memory and the enduring legacy of the Los Angeles County Fair’s Gold and Silver Medals.

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(Credits: Pictures by Piano Zero Cento)

**Written in collaboration with Dr. Luciano Magaldi:

Dr. Luciano Magaldi is a security engineer with deep expertise in cybersecurity, new technologies and geopolitics. He is an honorary member of the White House Historical Association and an official alumnus at Stanford Alumni Association-Club of Los Angeles and at Cambridge at Harvard Alumni for Education Association. He is an opinion contributor for The New York Weekly, The London Globalist, the Los Angeles Journal, The International Policy Digest and Modern Diplomacy. He’s worked for Google IE, Apple EU HQ, Amazon SL, and Microsoft PT.

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