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FOOD : Malibu Becomes Eclectic : Chef Andre Guerrero Makes Sure You Can Get : Anything You Want at Alice's Restaurant

August 30, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Rose Dosti is a Times staff writer.

SOME PEOPLE MIGHT say that Andre Guerrero's cooking is California style. They would be only partly right.

"I call it Los Angeles cuisine. A lot of it has to do with L.A. chefs being more personal with their cooking," says Guerrero, 33, executive chef at Alice's Restaurant in Malibu.

Guerrero's cooking is so personal that there is little chance that someone might copy it exactly: It has too many parts, most of them ethnic.

Born in the Philippines of French and Spanish parents, Guerrero grew up in Los Angeles in a rarefied atmosphere of fine cooking. Both his mother and father were superb chefs, he says. His father taught him to make French pastry before Guerrero could cook anything else.

Later, he studied art and pottery at UCLA, but he did not stay away from cooking for long. He became a garde-manger (manning the "cold station" of salads and buffet items), pastry man and line man (putting the finishing touches on plates of food before they were whisked to tables). He worked at L.A. Nicola in Los Angeles, at the Biltmore Hotel when executive chef Roland Gibert ran the kitchens and at Cafe Le Monde in Glendale, a restaurant opened by his parents, who have since retired along with the restaurant.

But it was at Alice's, a charming, free-spirited restaurant by the sea, where it all came together for Guerrero.

"All of it--the pastry, the garde-manger and line positions--suddenly made sense," he says. Alice's, where an abundance of seafood is featured, perhaps dictated by its oceanside location, gave Guerrero confidence in his own personal approach to cooking, which began to blossom and flourish.

Today, all the touches are right there in Alice's kitchen: the rich Spanish flavors of his mother's excellent Philippine cooking, the exacting French techniques of the sauciers and French pastry makers, plus a good old American sense of inventiveness. Guerrero interprets the entire ethnic potpourri of his culinary past into a Los Angeles-style cuisine.

CORN CREPES WITH LAMB, OLIVES AND RATATOUILLE VINAIGRETTE 1 pound boneless leg of lambSalt, pepper1 bunch chives6 Corn CrepesAli-Oli (garlic sauce)36 Greek (Kalamata) olives, pitted and mincedRatatouilleSprigs of basil Season lamb on all sides with salt and pepper. Place in baking pan and roast at 375 degrees 30 to 45 minutes or until done as desired. Cool completely and slice paper-thin. Set aside.

Run chives under very hot water until limp. Then place under cold water. Shake off excess water. Set aside.

Lay crepes on flat surface. Then spread a very thin layer of Ali-Oli over entire surface. Place slices of lamb on top of Ali-Oli to cover of surface. Spread another thin layer of Ali-Oli on top of lamb. Sprinkle 1/6 of the minced olives in straight line across center of each crepe. From bottom edge of crepe, roll upward, parallel to line of olives. When crepe is rolled, slice inch from both ends. Tie 3 strands of chives, ribbon fashion, around each roll; there should be 1 chive ribbon in center of each third of crepe. Repeat until all crepe rolls are tied. Slice each crepe into 3 equal parts.

Heat crepes slightly in oven to warm. To serve crepes individually, spread Ratatouille on bottoms of 6 plates. Arrange 3 pieces of crepe roll on top of each plate of Ratatouille. To serve from a platter, spread Ratatouille over surface of platter and arrange all the crepe rolls over Ratatouille. Makes 6 servings.

Corn Crepes cup flour cup masa harina (corn flour)3 eggs2 teaspoons oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk Mix flour, masa harina, eggs, oil, salt and milk in large bowl. Heat 10 -inch non-stick skillet. Add a few drops of oil to skillet, then add 2 ounces batter, tilting pan to coat entire bottom surface. Cook until batter appears dry, then turn it over and cook other side 15 seconds. Repeat until all batter is used. Leftover crepes can be frozen. Makes 18 crepes.

Ali-Oli 3 large egg yolks2 cloves garlic, minced1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard1 tablespoon lemon juice1 cup olive oil Place egg yolks, garlic, salt, mustard and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed. Add olive oil in very slow, steady stream, until oil is incorporated. Sauce should be thick and smooth. Set aside. Use as much as needed for crepes, then reserve any remaining sauce for other use. Sauce keeps well in the refrigerator. Recipe may be reduced by half if leftover sauce is not wanted.

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