Cuisine del Sol cookbook echoes the spirit of SoCal Special Olympics

Cuisine del Sol
Celebrating 20 Years of Food, Fun & Sun
Special Olympics Southern California

Reviewed by Partners in Good Taste, Adrianne Morrison & Linda Kissam

Recipe included: Pumpkin Sage Lasagna

Celebrating an unheard of 20 years of food, fun, and human spirit, the Cuisine del Sol cookbook gathers recipes from some of Los Angeles’ most celebrated chefs, restaurants, and food purveyors who have donated their time, talent and treasure to the Pier del Sol event which supports Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC).

The cookbook is 130 pages in softback form.  It includes the history of the Pier del Sol event, beautiful recipes and event photos, information about the Special Olympics and a moving forward from Maria Shriver. We love it when a cookbook supports a great cause.

Vanilla Bean Kulfi

In this case, the work of numerous SOCal area chefs come together to share their creative talents, together, to help support Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC). Each of the recipes come from a different chef.  Each is accompanied by a chef bio, recipe and an elegant photo of the dish. As you may know, we are sticklers on good photos so we know what success looks like. The recipes range from simple to complex, but the instructions are clear and easy to follow. We give the book five out of five stars.

Proceeds from the sale of the book and the Pier del Sol event benefit Special Olympics Southern California athletes so purchase your cookbook today and bring it to the event for the chefs to sign.  Order your books now  Think holiday & birthday gifts for your foodie friends.


This book inspired many memories for me of growing up in So Cal and the fun times we had at POP (Pacific Ocean Park) and cruising around LA. It’s a joy to read the bio-stories of our wonderful LA chefs of today and know they support and participate with our SoCal Special Olympic teams.

Want to do something more this year with those pumpkins than make Jack-o-Lanterns? Sicilian Chef Taino Drago of Westwood’s Tanino Ristorante and Bar offers us his recipe for “Pumpkin Sage Lasagna.” It sounds almost too easy, even the pasta dough, and I imagine you could buy a good quality noodle and still use those fresh farmer’s market pumpkins to serve this dish for Thanksgiving. The recipe is included below.

This cookbook has so many great sounding recipes: Chef Neal Fraser’s “Redbird Posole,” or Chef Alain Giraud’s “Maine Scallops with Leek Fondue and Pistachio Sauce”—seriously, pistachio sauce. And, can we say, “Green Corn Tamales”? My mouth just started to water. I’m finding I don’t trust random recipes on the internet, so Chef Gerardo Ochoa of El Cholo LA, if you say this is how to make them, I’m so making a batch for Christmas Eve. There’s even a recipe from PINK’S. Angelenos know PINK’s, but have you tried their Poli-bacon Burrito Dog? Now you can make it at home.

Lobster Salad at The Lobster

I wish I could include every chef, tell their story and share their delicious recipes here, but that’s what this book is all about. I’ll end with a shout-out to Helm’s Bakery. As a kid, we all ran out to the street to get Mom fresh bread from the iconic Helm’s Bakery Man. I can hear the bell ringing, Mom getting her change together, and us kids running to stop the van. But I digress. Chef Sherry Yard of iPic Entertainment, who “crafted a unique ‘Dining in the Dark’ menu that revolutionized the typical movie going outing,” shares her “Profiteroles with chocolate sauce and coffee gelato” recipe. Is this what’s being served in the dark at the movies these days? If yes, please tell me, where?

Get this book for yourself and gift one to a friend – $50 is a lovely contribution to our SoCal Olympics and you get this wonderful cookbook as a thank-you. Win-Win for all.


Pier del Sol is held at the iconic Pier on Santa Monica’s beautiful ocean front. It is the largest annual fundraiser benefiting the region’s Special Olympics Southern California athletes.

If you live in the LA area please come to the

21st Annual Pier del Sol Event

Date: Sun., Oct. 8th, 2017

Location: Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park

This event features a variety of price ranges from a $75 general admission ticket to an exclusive $175 VIP brunch.  Depending on your ticket, expect tastings from over 35 of L.A.’s top Chefs and restaurants, entertainment, music, arts & crafts, games, and unlimited rides at Pacific Park. This year’s theme is “Oktoberfest,” which includes a beach top VIP Beer & Wine Garden. Learn more

If you can’t make it in person, you can still join in on the celebration.  Cuisine del Sol is a very special collection of recipes from celebrated “City of the Angels” chefs. Meet them, try their recipes, and travel down memory lane with pics of the event’s promotional posters throughout the years. All proceeds benefit the athletes.

Take the book for a test drive with this delightful fall recipe

Pumpkin Sage Lasagna
Tanino Drago, Tanino Ristorante Bar

Pasta Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

Pumpkin Stuffing:

1 lbs. pumpkin, fresh

1 bunch fresh sage

Freshly ground nutmeg (to taste)

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Butter (for sautéing)

Besciamella (sauce):

3 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt (to taste)

Freshly ground nutmeg (to taste)

Preheat oven to 375°.

To create the pasta dough, add eggs to flour and mix well until blended. Knead until pliable. Roll out into thin sheets and cut into strips for lasagna. Cook for 1 minute in boiling water.

Cut pumpkin into small cubes.  Sauté pumpkin with butter, sage, nutmeg and salt, until brown.

In a pot, heat milk almost to a boil.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter. Slowly stir in flour, a touch of salt and nutmeg. Cook flour mixture, ensuring not to brown. Add milk, slowly stirring until mixture is thick in texture.

Lay cooked pasta in a pan. Place besciamella, Parmesan cheese, and sautéed pumpkin on pasta. Repeat this for four layers. Top with Parmesan cheese, to taste.

Bake for 25 minutes.


Note: As is common in the food review industry, Adrianne and Linda were each provided with a copy of the cookbook for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, these two writers are happy to provide  full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.




Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *