Chef David Chang, Keith Richards, Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore and Martin Scorsese are all fans. They’ve expanded Artichoke to six locations (in New York and Berkeley, CA), launched a frozen pizza line, and are hosts of Cooking Channel’s “Pizza Masters.”
Chef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most established restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s FillingStation restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.
In 2012 he won the prestigious Cochon 555 – L.A. top award for snout-to-tail cooking with dishes like pork belly Benedict with soft poached egg, Fresno chili and bacon hollandaise.
His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide toAdventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts. Tapping into his childhood outdoor feasting memories, the book features step-by-step illustrated instructions for nine original menus with meals like a box-roasted spring lamb for 40, and a Cedar-planked Wild Sturgeon for 40 to 50 hungry guests.
He shares a particularly humbling moment of terror from his past in New York. Chef Jeremiah Tower from San Francisco (an imposing man) happened into his little restaurant in New York for a meal. Tower cooked for Alice Waters early in the history of the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley and had a very successful restaurant of his own in San Francisco, Stars, in the 90s. It was the Spago of it’s day in the Bay Area. It was obvious to Ed that Chef Tower was totally underwhelmed with the experience. That moment of abject terror created the path and motivation for Ed to become a better cook.
He’s also a new father.
Chef Ed shared his thoughts on preparing the perfect fried chicken. One of the tricks is to poach the chicken before frying. It gives the chicken a ton of extra flavor.