If you think churrascaria fare (Brazilian BBQ) is all there is to the food of Brazil kindly think again. With the Rio Olympics in their last week it’s time for a broader education on Brazilian fare. Joining us is the founder of Pampas Grill (Original Farmers Market and Culver City,) Francisco Carvalho. He launched Pampas Grill at the Original Farmers Market in 2001.
Think refreshing caipirinhas, hearty Feijoada, Farofa, and warm cheese bread rolls besides the familiar Picanha cut from the grill…
Francisco graciously shares his own recipe for his favorite Caipirinha, the preferred libation of Brazil. Just remember the base spirit, Cachaca, is more potent than you think…
At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where he was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant.
Chef Collins is performing a cooking demonstration on the Cooking Stage at 12 Noon with a recipe from his new book, Cooking Blokes &Artichokes with a prior book-signing at 10:30 a.m. The heart-felt forward is by Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone. Much earlier in their careers they worked together in the London kitchen of Marco Pierre White.
“Are you looking for tasty, no bullshit food? You’ve come to the right place. Cooking, Blokes + Artichokes is for every bloke searching for inspiration and a solid guide to good cooking. Brendan’s 100 straightforward recipes can help any modern man broaden his kitchen skills – from making proper vinaigrette to the foolproof technique for braising meat.”
The Hollywood Farmers Market and the parent non-profit, SEE-LA, are celebrating 25 successful years of providing the Los Angeles community with sustainable and fresh produce with special market events each Sunday in May. The Sunday event series for the balance of May features cookbook signings and demonstrations by a few of Los Angeles’ most celebrated chefs and cookbook authors
The Pacific Food & Beverage Museum is inaugurating “The Thoughtful Feast,” a new series of curated dinners that highlight the culinary heritage of Southern California, the Pacific Coast, American West, and beyond. The first dinner on April 11th will focus on a region of the American South that in the early 1700s developed a cosmopolitan cuisine, one that is not generally available in greater Los Angeles.
Host Chef Brian Dunsmoor of Hatchet Hall (the name is an unusual “tribute” to Carrie Nation, the ardent prohibitionist) in Culver City and The Pacific Food & Beverage’s Museum’s Philip Dobardare with us to set the ample table.
Charleston, South Carolina, was the South’s leading port in the Colonial Era, and the city’s wealth and trade links came to be expressed in a cuisine that included French, African, South Asian, and native foods and techniques. Chef Brian Dunsmoor of Hatchet Hall studied in Charleston and brings his personal experience to recreating a meal that would have been enjoyed in Colonial America but has flavors that are surprising and beguiling to a modern palate. Between courses, Chef Brian will explain the dishes and discuss the region’s culinary culture.
At the age of 15, Chef Brendan Collins quit secondary school to follow his dream and enroll in culinary school, where is was classically trained in French technique. By 17, the talented Nottingham native had his first job at London’s La Gavroche, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Today Collins is the Executive Chef and Proprietor of both Birchin Hollywood as well as the Executive Chef of The Corner Door in Culver City.
Drawing on his training in butchery and belief in using the whole animal, Collins is dedicated to using only the best ingredients and cooking food that he likes to eat. He combines impeccable French technique, seasonal California ingredients, and his inimitable “British lad” attitude to create a cuisine that is at once comforting and exciting, while maintaining a relaxed, English pub atmosphere
His newest project is a modest British pub, Butcher’s Dog, located in Sawtelle’s Little Tokyo on the Westside. It’s where he likes to go to relax and watch his favorite soccer team, Manchester United.
For the past three years, The Corner Door has been known as one of the best spots for cocktails in all of Southern California, filling both the bar and dining room with guests imbibing on their always seasonal and innovative beverage program. And now, with Executive Chef Brendan Collins at the helm of the kitchen, The Corner Door has introduceda completely new Dinner Menu with eats to match.
Collins, formerly the chef at such notable spots as Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse, opened his own acclaimed restaurant Waterloo & City just next to The Corner Door until he decided to close (and sell) it late last year. Though he was also working on his newly opened Hollywood restaurant, Birch, at the same time, Collins was deeply invested in Culver City. “It is a close-knit community, and all the restaurants are friends with each other,” he says. “I lived and worked in Culver City for seven years, and wanted to keep a connection with the neighborhood.“
As Executive Chef, Collins will be cooking at The Corner Door at least one day a week, but his longtime lieutenant and Chef de Cuisine Ali Haji has taken charge of day-to-day operations. Haji has worked with Collins continually for the last eight years, beginning at Mesa, in Costa Mesa. “I am closer to Ali than anyone, maybe even my own wife,” Collins says. “He knows what I like and the standards I like to keep; he is ready to step up and run his own kitchen.”
The Corner Door has a popular, and agreeably affordable, Happy Hour program every day. The signature Avocado Toast with burrata, radish, arugula, olive oil and sea salt is a modest $6.00.
Chef Akasha Richmond is one of the pioneers in destination dining in Downtown Culver City with Akashawhich she debuted in 2008. Now she has launched her second restaurant in Culver City, Sambar, which is located steps away from Akasha.
It’s inspired by her travels throughout India as well as her affinity for the rich culture and traditions of the country. Sambar showcases the diversity of Indian cuisine with an invigorating array of clean, bright flavors and choices – all inflected with familiar ingredients as interpreted through a California lens.
The concept takes its name from a traditional Indian based vegetable stew that is a staple in most South Indian homes. It was the first Indian dish that Richmond had ever tried many years ago. “I’m enamored by the balance of the very complex yet comforting approach to Indian cooking,” says Richmond.
The menu at Sāmbār will change with the season as the kitchen turns out a selection of spice-driven dishes that focus on local California ingredients including small plates, snacks, and street foods. While the foods of India can be as diverse as the varying states, from the heartier and richer curries of the North, to the rice-based and more tropical fare found in the south, there is a common thread which Richmond has effortlessly captured with the Sāmbār menu emphasizing a balance of sweet, spicy, hot, and salty, dishes such as Sevpuri Chaat, Gunpowder Smashed Potatoes, Truck Stop Goat Curry, Mississippi Masala Wings, Cheese Thali, or Black Quinoa Uttapam–a small fermented pancake.
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.
AKASHA, in the historic Hull Building, is one of the pioneering restaurants in the revival of Downtown Culver City. The restaurant debuted in early 2008. It’s a contemporary restaurant, bar and café with patio seating, too, featuring New American cooking representing the creative vision of Executive Chef, Caterer, & Proprietress Akasha Richmond.
Akasha knows her reputation is hard-earned, and she takes that trust very seriously. “I am very selective about the suppliers I work with for AKASHA – they must share my values to keep their ingredients on our menu.” Akaska says.
Akasha has just leased the coveted former Ford’s Filling Station location in Downtown Culver City for a new concept.
It will be her take on Indian cuisine which Akasha has an extensive background with going back to her time in the kitchen with the Golden Temple Conscious Cookery restaurant in Los Angeles.
Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a profile of a big deal celebrity chef flagship restaurant in London.
It’s the 9th Anniversary of Chef Michael Cimarusti’s and Donato Poto’s Providence in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, recently named them the Number 1 establishment in his annual listing of the “101 Best Restaurants – 2014.”
One of the foremost goat cheeses available in the United States, Belle Chevre, is made in a tiny town located in northern Alabama. It’s quite a success story!
The mantra of the book is: “Cook Big. Play with Fire. Get your Hands Dirty.”
“Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions – a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming The Feast (Atria Books), Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiasts in this complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting. It even includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you’re sure to have.”
“From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Taming The Feast includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.”