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Pastry Chef

October 14, 2009 | Betty Hallock, Mary MacVean and Elina Shatkin
Seven years in the making, the Farmer's Kitchen in Hollywood is officially open. At last week's ribbon-cutting, farmers and politicians were there to salute the new cafe, which launched quietly in the spring. The Farmer's Kitchen uses surplus food from the Hollywood Farmers Market and is a venue for classes and job training. It's a project of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, which runs the Hollywood market and others. The community-focused kitchen is another effort to make a link between farmers and city dwellers, says Pompea Smith, head of SEE-LA.
November 1, 2012 | By Russ Parsons
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?"
September 29, 2012 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
If the heart of a bakery is its oven, then Proof Bakery's is ginormous. Really. It's a gas-powered Dalton with double doors and revolving shelves that can fit 18 sheet trays - or 72 pies - at a time. The oven, about the size of a 10-foot U-Haul truck, is 50 years old, inherited with the space, and its quirks provide the cult Atwater bakery its pulse. "When someone first showed me how to light it, you had to fill a basin with gas, light a newspaper and throw it in," says owner Na Young Ma. "It was like 'Backdraft.' "But I have learned to love it. " (She also has since installed a modern igniter.)
December 3, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
"The Next Iron Chef" proves that winning just might be the riskiest thing a chef can do. Chef Elizabeth Falkner -- who came thisclose to nearly becoming an Iron Chef in Season 4, found herself heading out the door this week, undone in part by a supposed "advantage" she had earned from winning an earlier round of the competition. But so often in this high-stakes competition, "advantage" is just another way of saying "opportunity to lose it all. " And that's exactly what happened in a near-mirror image of the Season 4 upset -- down to the bleach-blond spiky hair-do -- that also came during the auction challenge.
February 4, 2013 | By Betty Hallock
The new A.O.C. , located in the space that was until recently Il Covo on West 3rd Street, opens on Wednesday. Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners of Lucques, Tavern and the Larder at Maple Drive, decided last year to move the decade-old A.O.C. to a new spot to give the small-plates restaurant a refresher. (The A.O.C. cookbooks, with recipes by Goin and pairing suggestions from Styne, is coming out this fall.) At the new A.O.C. are Goin's usual seasonal small plates: cheese and charcuterie, salads, vegetables and dishes from the wood burning oven.
October 4, 2012 | By Hector Tobar
Earlier this week, The Times reported on the death of Michael Henry Heim, 69, one of the leading figures of the small, unseen and largely unknown circle of men and women who translate the world's literature into English. Heim, a UCLA scholar, spoke six language fluently and could read six more, and he translated works by authors such as Gunter Grass, Bertolt Brecht, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann and Anton Chekhov into English. But what the world didn't know until his death is that Heim had privately funded   dozens more works by other translators.
February 26, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
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 | Betty Hallock;
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.
November 21, 2012 | By Betty Hallock
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.
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