Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sustainable Gardens

We are so excited to announce that our friend, the talented landscape architect, Judy Kameon, has released her first book and we are featured in it! It is a true honor as I have admired Judy's work from afar before I knew her personally: she designed the gardens of The Parker, Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs, Balanciaga, the list goes on and on. We are so thrilled for her to break out with this book and a new website designed by our own designers, Smog. Tonight we are cooking for a book launch at Heath Ceramics to celebrate and we will be cooking soon for the next one at Individual Medley, stay tuned, and be sure and check out the book here where she shares all of her favorite resources and tips.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Private Dinners in The Salon

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted two private parties in The Salon. Each had 12 guests who sat around the cooking table and got to see our Chef Matt prepare most everything table side, including fresh, warm Ricotta Cheese, my personal favorite thing ever. Here's a look at the menu:


Crispy Soy Rice Cake with Tuna Tar Tar

Pork Skin Chicharon Tostada with Housmade Jerk Sausage & Red Chili

Vegan Carrot Panna Cotta with Candied Carrot & Fennel Seeds

Baba Ganoush Agnolotti with Yogurt Tzatziki & Cilantro


Garden Vegetable Crudite with Roasted Pepper Hummus, Handsome Coffee "Soil" & Baby Sprouting Vegetables


Apple Salad with Purple Frill Mustard Greens, Smoked Orange Vinaigrette, Sunflower Sprouts & Seeds, Sugar Snap Peas & Hot, Fresh Ricotta Cheese Prepared Table Side


Blue Prawns, Scallops & Striped Sea Bass with Spaghetti Squash, Shaved Green Radishes, Clarified Lobster Stock, Enoki Mushrooms with Herbs and Spicy Chili Oil


Grass-Fed Beef Cheeks Pot Roast with Celery Root Puree, Glazed Mirepoix, Red Wine Reduction & Carrot Top Gremolata


Angle Food Cake Toasted in Brown Sage Butter with Grapefruit Curd & Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Potato Onion Soup

Today we made all the children cry, but not intentionally. We did a lot of onion chopping and the trick is to go fast to release the least amount of liquid which is what causes the sensitivity to our eyes. Go ahead, try going fast at home, it helps!

Our challenge this quarter is to stretch the children's palate away from processed foods, they love their salt! This week we tried that with onions. We brought in yellow and purple onions as well as shallots, garlic and chives to give depth to our russet potatoes used in this soup. We used a mushroom stock, but chicken, beef or any vegetable stock can be used in it's place. Water can be subbed in as well, but these children like explosive flavors so we knew needed a flavored liquid. Next week we may talk about making stock, stay tuned.

Potato Onion Soup

2 qts white potato, peeled and sliced into small cubes 
3 qts sliced onions/shallots 
1 cup chopped garlic
3 qts stock
salt, pepper, olive oil to taste

• In a large stock pot, caramelize the onions and garlic with olive oil until golden brown. Add a couple pinches of salt and pepper.

• Add potatoes and season again with salt and pepper. Continue to stir with the onions to keep them from sticking to your pot.

• Add stock (to save time, have stock already boiling in another pot before you add it here). Bring to a boil for 7-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender

• Add to a blender to make smooth.

• Serve with creme fraiche and chives.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Office Intern

Seeking a detail-oriented individual to join our team! Paid office intern position which offers the opportunity to grow with us. 

Applicants must be punctual, professional, and willing to adapt to various needs and responsibilities. 

Full time hours Monday-Friday with hourly pay and future benefits. 

Job description below. Please read carefully and contact us via email at with your resume and contact information included in the body of the email, being sure to answer the application question as well. DO NOT ATTACH YOUR RESUME. Label the email subject as "OFFICE INTERN". Do not send multiple submissions. Thank you! 

Duties Include:

--Answer phones and take inquiries
--Check voice mail
--Stop/start answering service
--Greet guests and walk-ins
--Fulfill online orders for pick up, delivery, and shipment
--Invoice online merchant accounts
--Post new orders to Outlook calendar
--Complete kraft labels for daily delivery orders
--Stock cash for food truck gigs
--Tabulate daily receipts 
--Log weekly delivery and pick up sales
--Manage email inbox (respond to all inquiries within 24 hours and keep record of all correspondence) 
--Organize and monitor kitchen and office boards 
--Order office supplies
--Oversee office equipment maintenance 
--Keep office tidy 
--Wash and iron linens
--Arrange rental vehicles
--Walk mascot dog(s) as needed
--Must take time to learn all departments with the company in order to better direct inquires and answer questions


--Resourceful, strong multi-tasker, attention to detail, and exemplary work ethic
--Excellent organization skills
--Consistent availability
--Team player with a “yes” attitude 
--Personable and confident over the phone
--Excellent grammar and math skills
--Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook)
--Passion for food industry and basic knowledge of food
--CA driver's license and clean driving record


--Mandatory Work Days: Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve

Application Question:

• Describe the best meal you've ever had in one paragraph. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Get Yer 80s On Sweethearts!

Awwwe! Thank you Zagat! See the complete list here of other culinary couples in Los Angeles.

Ok, more on that 80's party.... My friends of Heyoka Hideout (remember their opening party we cooked for here) hosted a Murder Mystery Party using this company who sent an actor, Laura Rigores to assign each of us roles and act as our "detective", (she was hilarious, you should request her if you ever book a party like this!). In our case the "scene" was backstage at a big concert of a rock star (yes this role was assigned and that person had to sing alá Spinal Tap). This rock star was flanked by his managers and had a bunch of groupies, an ex wife and even a transvestite who were all in love with him and mugging for his attention. The role given to me was a has-been singer who is trying to get the attention of all the agents there (also roles assigned) and I get my back stage pass by being a photographer (so I had a camera to keep me busy). It was uncanny how Laura (our detective) was able to sense who were the biggest hams in the group and assign roles accordingly. For instance, read what you will into this but Matt got assigned..... the transvestite! 

Of course we brought a ton of 80s food and set up a buffet. Think stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, 7 layer dip, cheese skewers poked in cantaloupe, sausage pockets, pasta salad with black olives and pesto, spinach dip, deviled eggs... the works!!! Best Valentine's Day ever!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

We have a whole new group of children with this new semester at The Challenger's Boys and Girls Club so we got back to the basics: knife skills.

For this first class we took something simple like celery stalks and  demonstrated how to peel the stringy part off and then chop it evenly. We also peeled the stems of some rapini stalks and chopped those up too. Peeling lends itself to a more tender finished product, it's not necessary but it's nice, plus it shows these students how to use a peeler properly. We also cut a chiffonade of basil and picked off some edible flower petals for color.

The dressing we made was a simple honey mustard vinaigrette. The children loved it although several said they preferred Ranch.


• Add equal parts honey and mustard (1 tsp)to a bowl. 

• While whisking briskly, drizzle in 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

• Continue to whisk briskly and 1/2 cup olive oil

• Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust as you like.

This dressing will keep for up to seven days refrigerated, just shake before serving.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Let's Plate

We have kicked off the new year by cooking for a lot of wedding tastings (remember when we took you inside a wedding tasting here?). It's difficult not to be struck by the colors and aromas that I pass by when a tasting is going on. Whenever I can I grab my camera to pop off some shots to share. The tasting you see below actually was for a large event rather than a wedding, and four people came in for it. They brought a fancy bottle of wine and had themselves a party. They requested "really pretty food" so it was fun to pick through (edible) flowers in our garden and incorporate them on the plate.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Silverlake Conservatory of Music Annual Fundraiser

Not only does the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Annual Fundraiser raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support programs, operations and scholarships for low income children to learn and appreciate music, but way back in 2009, it was also the first 100 person catering event that we had ever done which you can see here. So we have a serious soft spot for this event which we get asked to do each year, and we were all extremely pumped up that this time around the plated dinner was for 500 people (and tickets were two grand a pop). Yoooaaaawww!

This year the gala was held in the backyard of The Paramour, the mysterious castle-like fortress tucked away in the hipster hills of Silverlake. A tall platform for the dinner tables was constructed which gave the majestic impression for guests to feel as if they were as tall as the gigantic trees surrounding the property.

We felt really proud to contribute to the auction by donating a dinner in The Salon. Please understand very famous people bid on these items for this event, and very famous people donate the auction items... 

So to stand out, I insisted that Matt attach (tape) our recent NY Times press piece to the sign (chalkboard) announcing the dinner. Everything was very rock-n-roll at this event and very high brow. In the cool grandeur of The Paramour, the auction felt like a very elite and edgy gallery hosting large scale pieces with starting bids of 25k. Ya know…. then there was us so we needed that NY Times endorsement to jump up and shout like the nerdy new kid on the playground, "Bid on me, bid on me! I know I'm just food but you gotta eat guys, come on!"

It was Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers who founded Silverlake Conservatory so he performs and donates to this non-profit and recruits other musical icons to do the same. This evening's entertainment included special guest Neil Young. Allow me to reiterate… Neil Young would be performing this evening for just 350 people in a very fancy tree house basically. Not bad, not bad.

We ordered a kitchen built, conveyed the game plan, and got to cooking for this feast.

A very precise rhythm is required for pulling off a restaurant-like dinner of this size. When you don't open cans, there is a significant amount of prep to complete, so that's where we start.

In addition to our kitchen outside, we were allowed to use a small room to prep and construct appetizers in. Our tried and true little home convection ovens and friers purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond with one of those 20% off coupons worked just fine for this part, thank you. 


Fried Chicken & Waffles with Blueberry Maple Compote

Vegan Chickpea & Fennel Samosas

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Caramelized Onion & Bruschetta

Vegan Falafel with Romesco & Tzatziki

As guests considered auction items and snacked on appetizers, we continued with our dinner prep.

Above are some of the components of our Crostini Stations. So pretty right? Typically we design these as a buffet like hereFor this dinner, however, we placed them on the table with the salad course. 

There were plates of crackers, flat breads, focaccia and garlic bread to accompany this course.

And then as The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed, we plated dinner on platters to be served family style. 

We set up a line with stations for each entree and side so that there was a designed synchronicity to put out every platter hot and pretty. Our front of house people ensured that each platter gets dropped at it's prospective table quickly and with grace.

Niman Ranch Beef Brisket with Porcini Mushrooms, Baby Carrots & Scallions

Alaskan Halibut with Pumpkin Puree, Charred Cauliflower Romanesco, Melted Red Wine Vinegar Onions, Shaved Pickled Cauliflower & Beet Greens

Salt Baked Celery Root with Roasted Baby Parsnips, Sautéed Baby Celery, Marinated Black Truffle & Crispy Rutabaga Strips

Sautéed Pole & Shelling Beans with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Weiser Farms Fingerling Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary

Dessert was easy comfort sweets to pick at before the finale...

Photos: Jennifer Emerling

Ahhhh, and then there was Neil Young. He did a lot of chattering, asking what was for dessert, confessed how he disliked tuning guitars and then he talked about how he wished Lou Reed was still around. Everyone nodded. It was just him, a harmonica and a guitar. He sang nine songs, one being a Bob Dylan cover. Talk about mesmerizing, wow. Then dessert was passed around, guests put in their final auction bids, polished off their wine, we packed up and that was a wrap.  

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