It’s a Duo at The Drake —

Father and son chef team, Paul and Nick Gstrein, light up The Drake in Laguna Beach. Father and son chef duo, Paul Gstrein (of Bistango and Bayside fame) and son and sous Nick cook on a tight line at the new Drake in Laguna Beach. “Space is a challenge,” Gstrein senior tells me. And I can see one reason why. His son and right hand, Nick, is a formidable sight— built like a football player (because he was one) his head barely misses the top of the hood vent. The shoebox-size open kitchen and c

Kitchen Talk —

Carol Lee is a foodie who knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where family comes together for Mickey Mouse pancakes on Sunday morning and margaritas on Friday night. It’s where Lee’s family gathers for her signature eggplant parmesan (check out her recipe below.) Lee is one of Orange County’s leading luxury real estate agents, and she has a knack for connecting families to the homes (and kitchens) of their dreams. She has a local’s insight to some of the most desirable neighbor

Local Chefs Catch the Sustainability Wave with the Surfrider Foundation —

Guided by criteria set forth by the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, top O.C. chefs are saying no to single-use plastics used for straws, bags and bottles, and saying yes to sustainable fish choices and proper recycling practices. Global and industrial action to reduce the estimated 5 to 13 million tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year starts at a grass-roots level. Here’s how local chefs are stepping up to the plate. Do you believe that chefs and restaurants

How to Cook and Dine Al Fresco This Summer —

Summer is nearly upon us, and what better way to enjoy the warming weather than by dining outside? You needn’t go farther than your own outdoor space to truly enjoy the perks of dining al fresco. Somehow, everything tastes better outside, whether it’s breakfast in the morning sun, afternoon nibbles on the patio or an evening in your backyard grilling with friends. It’s an easy habit to love—and one worth nurturing. Here, a few how-to tips. Start from the ground up A level, durable outdoor dini

The Best Things We Tasted This Week: CdM —

This week our taste buds were abuzz with Chef Johnathan Blackford’s spring menu at the new CdM in Corona del Mar. Our tip? Come hungry and be certain to sneak a peek at the underground speakeasy, Under CdM. The Parker House Rolls at CdM is absolutely sublime. Shelly Register (acclaimed Culinary Director at A Market) lends her talent and expertise to this recipe. The result is a roll so pillowy-soft and delicate that it barely takes up any space in your stomach … no need to worry about ruining y

Rad Fondo BBQ to Light Up Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off —

Since 2016 head cooks and lifelong friends Mike Morrill and Scott Sanchez of Rad Fondo BBQ have cooked up 3,206 ribs, 1,722 pounds of pork, 1,448 thighs and 1,328 pounds of brisket … They know a thing or two about BBQ. What began as a back-yard hobby has ignited into an obsession. Today, Rad Fondo BBQ is an award-winning team that regularly competes on the National BBQ circuit. Raised on the beaches in San Clemente, Rad Fondo brings their laid-back surf vibe (and killer BBQ) to the competitive B

The Best Things We Tasted This Week —

Chef Greg Daniels’ Peruvian Ceviche at Harley Laguna Beach is a lesson in balance. Locally-caught rockfish is citrus-cured to tender perfection; thinly sliced chilis add a mild kick of heat, and coconut milk smoothes the flavor to create a perfectly harmonious bite. Add plantain chips for a nutty, tropical crunch, and you’ll find yourself craving this dish for days! .com I’m a sucker for bison and ocean views, so an evening indulging in the Blackfoot Buffalo Ribeye at Driftwood Kitchen overlook

The Best Things We Tasted This Week: Bread and Pastry Edition —

Bread Artisan Bakery inspires a cult-like following where I find myself thumbing through Instagram to discover where next to find their bread pop-up shop. Based out of Santa Ana, this family-owned, European style wholesale bakery doesn’t have a retail outlet (online sales coming soon), so when a pop-up pops up, I’m ready. This week’s obsession is the (sourdough) made with fermented black garlic and gruyere cheese. It’s a big, satisfying loaf, meant to be sliced thickly and eaten just as it is or

Chef Fabio Viviani Shares Fond Memories of Family Meals

Italian-born Chef Fabio Viviani is many things: a chef, celebrity, restaurateur, cookbook author, husband and father. But he wouldn’t mind being everyone’s grandma too. Why? Because Viviani believes the world needs more grandmas to remind us to cherish legacy, tradition and memories created around food. We asked Chef to share his favorite memories and grant us insight into his Sunday supper traditions with his family, then and now. What did Sunday supper look like in your household growing up?

Sunday Supper with Chef Pavlos of Provenance —

It’s a technicolor California Sunday in the backyard of Chef Cathy Pavlos and husband Elliot’s new home. We’re here for a taste of Chef’s Sunday Suppers, normally held at her restaurant Provenance, but in this instance, we’re getting a VIP experience at her home. We’re sitting at a long, cheerful table in the grassy part of the yard, eating raspberry cobbler ala mode baked in Grandma Maria’s 70-year-old lasagna pan … lingering … just a little while longer over espresso and conversation. The mood

If Your Story was a Cocktail, What Would it Taste Like? —

Mixologist Leo Montesinos of Surf City Still Works crafts stories into cocktails. The OC Market Place set the stage for Cocktales, a creative event pairing stories and spirits, where master mixologist Leo Montesinos of Surf City Still Works contributed to the creative consciousness of five very talented local writers to craft a bespoke cocktail, inspired by their words. What resulted were cocktails both subtle and complex, much like USC School of Cinematic Arts grad, Jacobo Lopez’s short story

Eilo's Kitchen: Catering to Your Health Never Tasted so Good

Aileen Kruidenier of Eilo’s Kitchen on food as medicine, micro-sourcing and cooking in an Airstream. Aileen Kruidenier is the founder and owner of Eilo’s Kitchen; the hippest, healthiest mobile catering service in Southern California. Inspired by her grandmother, a background as a certified health coach and a pesky diagnosis of Lyme disease, Aileen opened Eilo’s Kitchen on Earth Day, April 22, 2018. It’s one of the first full-sized commercial kitchens to operate in an Airstream in California. A

Harvest Restaurant is Doing the Right Thing With Their Cuisine

Harvest Restaurant at The Ranch at Laguna Beach is a Platinum Example of the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program Executive Chef Kyle St. John of Harvest Restaurant at The Ranch at Laguna Beach was excited to show me something in the walk-in — it was a big, twenty-pound yellowtail tuna that Ryan Trolley and the boys at Harbor Fish Company in Dana Point pulled from the ocean that very morning. “ I got a call this morning about the catch, and I was like, yeah, I want it,” Che

The Ecology Center Expands Access to Promote Healthy Communities

ou know The Ecology Center, located in the 130-year-old Congdon House on Alipaz Street in San Juan Capistrano, as Orange County’s environmental steward for sustainable living. For close to 10 years the Center has thrived as a living example of what earth-conscious integrative systems look like and how to replicate those very systems within your own family, school and community. Take a workshop to learn how to harvest rainwater, or learn how to build a garden veggie box to enjoy fresh veggies at

Spring Into Southern Cuisine With Chef Velasco At Memphis Cafe

Chef Diego Velasco of Memphis Cafe in Costa Mesa lives the chef’s dream. He’s a classically trained chef who cooks refined cuisine in an unrefined setting, proving that you don’t need the stuffiness of white-tablecloths to have a memorable meal. Find his restaurant in a cool, mid-century modern building near the ever-so-hip LAB Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa. The shape of the restaurant reminds me of a Palm Springs’ diner; the inside is neat and functional in a Brady Bunch sort of way, but at night th

2018 Hottest Food Trends From A to Z — Saute Magazine

Goth Food maintains traction in 2018, with noteworthy appearances in everything from ice cream to pizza crust.  It’s detoxifying attributes, and cool, black hue make it a repeat from 2017. Millenial’s love plant-based foods which are why companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, exist.  They make veggies burgers that bleed like meat burgers. Weird?  Yes.  Bad?  Not really.  The Specialty Food Associate Trendspotter Panel predicts that better-for-you choices will be the leading food trend

The Saltry Restaurant: Dining on the Edge of the Alaskan Wilderness

t seems impossible that a restaurant like The Saltry in Halibut Cove, Alaska exists. It sits on a remote island on the edge of the wilderness, perched atop 25-foot tall pilings on a weathered wooden boardwalk. In this part of the world, the tidal changes are dramatic. Twice daily the ocean heaves deep breaths; exhaling out of Kachemak Bay, to reveal water banks rich with grey mud, spotted with the occasional bright orange starfish or large boulder covered in neon algae. Soon enough the banks are

Happy Hour at AVEO Table + Bar is Like Taking a Mini Vacation

VEO Table + Bar at the beautifully renovated Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point (formerly St. Regis), has a delicious Happy Hour menu available Sun-Thurs from 2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., that’ll make visitors think, I love my vacation!, and make locals think, I live in a vacation! It’s true; coastal Southern California boasts an enviable, year-round vacation climate, perfect for enjoying an al fresco Happy Hour, even in the winter months. With a selection of Mediterranean-inspired bites and cool-weather c

The Hood Kitchen is a Collaborative Workspace for Food Entrepreneurs

Once, I was hired by a baking start-up to create and improve upon their line of vegan cookies and cupcakes. The test kitchen they chose was a commercial kitchen in a big, scary, warehouse, located in an even bigger and scarier industrial part of town. The ovens looked like industrial incinerators, and the walk-in freezer was bigger than my first apartment. Everything was dark and musty, and I swear the walls in the dish area grew black mold. My allotted time in the kitchen was late at night, and

Q&A with Rens Kroes, author of "Power Food on the Go"

ens Kroes is a health superstar from the Netherlands with a happy outlook on food and health and a robust global following. With over 375,000 Instagram followers @renskroes and three cookbooks about preparing real, minimally processed food (power foods), Rens’ wholesome approach to maintaining a healthy diet (try to be healthy most of the time) is relatable and achievable for even the busiest of busy people. Rens’ newest cookbook, “Power Food on the Go” is all about creating vibrant, healthy rec
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