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 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 1, 2012 |
David Lebovitz knows his sweets . The Paris-based blogger is a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse and one of my favorite cookboook authors, with several dessert cookbooks and a guidebook to Parisian pastries to his credit. He knows his stuff. So when he says that Pasadena's Little Flower Candy Co. makes caramels that are the equal of anything he can find in France, that's a pretty big deal. "People often ask me, after taking a bite of a caramel in Paris: Why can't they get caramels that taste like that in America?"
January 15, 2013 |
Former Patina executive chef Tony Esnault has taken the reins of the kitchen at the downtown restaurant Church & State. Owner Yassmin Sarmadi tapped Esnault to work at Spring, a new French restaurant slated to open on the ground floor of the Douglas Building on Spring Street in late 2013, but Esnault ended up stepping into former Church & State chef Jeremy Berlin's spot. Esnault will still be the chef at Spring when it opens. Esnault's menu additions at Church & State include a chicory and citrus salad, coq au vin and nettle soup.
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 )
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.
March 13, 2013 |
The James Beard Foundation announced its 2013 Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America inductees. Of the six culinary professionals honored, one award was given to a California chef, Michael Mina. The foundation gives the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America award each year to professionals who have made a notable contribution to the food and beverage industry in the U.S. The honorees include: Eric Asimov, the chief wine critic for the New York Times; Dorothy Kalins, the editor who founded Saveur magazine in 1994; Barbara Lynch, a James Beard award-winning chef and restaurateur from Boston; Zarela Martinez, a chef and restaurateur in New York; Michael Mina from Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point, the now-closed XIV in Los Angeles and Michael Mina in San Fransisco; and Bill Yosses, the White House executive pastry chef in Washington D.C. The award recipients will be honored at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York on May 6. This year's awards theme is "Lights!
August 24, 2012 |
L.A. Epicurean Festival: The L.A. Epicurean Festival takes place on Sunday at cathedral-turned-event-space Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. The full-day event will feature demonstrations from chefs, sommeliers and mixologists, a cooking contest judged by chefs Michel Richard, Josie LeBalch and Bradley Ogden, wine czar Jean-Charles Boisset, Tasting Panel editor Meridith May and master sommelier Will Burtner, and a sugar sculpture created by pastry...