August 17, 2012 |
Who makes the best croissant in Los Angeles? Apparently, that has been a subject of hot debate on the news side of the Los Angeles Times staff. To settle the argument, they came to the experts - the Food team. They brought in their favorite 10 croissants from various sources and four judges - Jonathan Gold, Betty Hallock, Noelle Carter and I - settled in for a tasting. Often with contests like this the votes are widely scattered as the differences tend to be minimal. Not so in this case.
August 16, 2012 |
Baking is the most punctilious of the culinary arts and Thomas Keller is among the most punctilious of the culinary artists. Put the two together and you might wind up with a cookbook that would make strong cooks quake in fear. Happily, that's not the case with the “Bouchon Bakery” cookbook that's now available for pre-order with a fall publication date. Written by the French Laundry boss and his pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel with help from baker Matthew McDonald (his bread section is definitive)
March 13, 2013 |
Tal Ronnen, a chef aiming to bring veganism to the masses, opens "plant-based" restaurant Crossroads on Melrose Avenue on Thursday. The menu at Crossroads, Ronnen's first L.A. restaurant, features his vegan, Mediterranean-influenced small plates in a chandeliered, wood-floored dining room designed by Studio Collective. Ronnen, author of "The Conscious Cook," teamed with entertainment and hospitality veterans Steve Bing and Parnell F. Delcham to open the white-tablecloth, all-vegetable restaurant in the former Phillipe Chow space at the corner of Sweetzer Avenue.
February 26, 2013 |
The inimitable Zagat has just released its 2013 "30 Under 30" awards, honoring the top young culinary talents in the Los Angeles area. The 30 honorees were feted Monday night at a cocktail party at the Emerson Theatre with Zagat founders Tim and Nina Zagat on hand to do the honors. The Zagat survey, which started as a homemade newsletter and morphed over the years into a publishing juggernaut, has embraced the digital age. The guides are now online, and coverage of this event included a live feed and a Google+ Live Hangout.
August 2, 2006 |
THERE'S dessert, and then there's dessert.... And then there's more dessert. Not satisfied to send out just one showstopper at the end of a meal, L.A. pastry chefs are parading course after course of dessert. And we're not talking about just a few extra mignardises. They've solved the pressing after-dinner conundrum in which you have to make a heartbreaking decision on just one dessert when there are so many tantalizing choices.
September 5, 2012 |
Scientist Mark Bernstein , the creator of the fantastically useful software program Tinderbox , alerted me to the fact that the public lecture series Science and Cooking , “a collaboration between eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs," resumes at Harvard this month. Returning lecturers include Ferran Adriá ( El Bulli Foundation ), David Chang ( Momofuku ), José Andrés ( Minibar and Jaleo in Washington ), and Wylie Dufresne ( WD-50 )
August 18, 2012
Everything Nancy Silverton touches seems to turn to gold. After working for years as pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck's Spago, she and then-husband Mark Peel opened Campanile in 1989, and it quickly became one of Southern California's most important restaurants. Pursuing her passion for bread, she started La Brea Bakery the same year, and it quickly became the benchmark for fine sourdough before she sold it in 2001. In 2006, she joined partners Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in opening the Mozza Restaurant Group , owner of the overwhelmingly popular Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and Mozza2Go.
November 21, 2012 |
New Italian restaurant Bestia opens Friday on the edge of downtown's Arts District, a 140-seat trattoria from chef Ori Menashe, pastry chef Genevieve Gergis and partner Bill Chait, located in a former factory building converted into lofts near the L.A. River. The 4,100-square-foot Bestia (Italian for "beast"), designed by Studio Unlimited, is meant to channel contemporary Italian spaces that mix modern interiors with centuries-old architecture: A "bar fight" wall covering, meat hook chandeliers that hang from steel tracks, booth seating and a copper bar are some of the elements. Menashe is former executive chef of Angelini Osteria, and his menu is multi-regional Italian: grilled octopus with warm lentils, guanciale and salsa di acciughe ; housemade salumi; housemade spicy 'nduja, mozzarella and scallion pizza; spaghetti mancini with squid ink, mullet bottarga and Calabrian chiles; hand-rolled fusilli with braised goat, ricotta salata and pistachio oil; and grilled hen, borlotti beans and chicken liver crostino.
February 2, 2005 |
Diners about town have been noticing a phenomenon that some are characterizing as the "Bastide diaspora." Since the exit of chef Alain Giraud, nearly a dozen former employees have also moved on, and clusters of alums are showing up here and there. Among the departed? Former general manager Donato Poto, sous-chef Kevin M. Meehan, sommelier Christophe Rolland, assistant sommelier Drew Langley, pastry chef Koa Duncan, pastry cook Mario Ortiz and other assorted chefs and line cooks.