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Josh & Zoe Loeb with Sophie Gayot

Josh & Zoe Loeb with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Last week, I heard that the owners of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen, Josh and Zoe Loeb, had just opened a café and bakery in Santa Monica

Being a fan of Zoe’s rustic pastries, I decided to check out Huckleberry Café & Bakery, and was impressed. Like Rustic Canyon, it features simple décor, somewhat noisy atmosphere, and quality products. Here, you will enjoy good home-style food, including sandwiches, salads, rotisserie chicken and sweets. It’s worth the drive just for the sourdough country boule alone.

All items are available for takeout. Read more about the place in our restaurant section.

Huckleberry on Urbanspoon



The Smelly Cheese Shop

on February 20th, 2009
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20

Feb

A variety of cheeses from Australia

A variety of cheeses from Australia

by Alain Gayot

Going to a food market in any locale gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going on and teaches you a lot about a community and its people. I like to say that every time I head to Paris, as soon as I get off the plane, I head straight for the market. Each time I do that, I am amazed at the plethora of products, even if sometimes the morel mushrooms come from Oregon.

 

After a 23 hour trek from Los Angeles to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, we headed to the Central Market where, amongst an assortment of kangaroo and crocodile meats, local seafood offerings and exotic fruits, we were surprised to discover cheeses. Say what? Yes, cheese of the very best kind, made in various parts of the vast state of South Australia.

Continue reading “The Smelly Cheese Shop” »



Vive la Chandeleur!

on February 02nd, 2009
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02

Feb

Kids love to flip the crêpe in the pan

Kids love to flip the crêpe in the pan

It’s time to give thanks to Gélasse the First, Pope during the 5th Century, whose gastronomical contribution to Christianity has remained a steadfast part of history. 40 days after the birth of Jesus Christ, Gélasse was responsible for merging the celebration of the child with the pagan celebration of light. The event was in the fashion of a grand banquet, illuminated in the dark days of February by candles (in French: Chandelles). Hence the name of Chandeleur. During Chandeleur, on February 2, it is tradition to feast on “crêpes,” just like in the days of Gélasse. Everywhere in France on this day, crêpes are “de rigueur” whether at home or in “crêperies”. This year, eating in crêperies is a good way to avoid the high prices of restaurants and still get a great meal (particularly during such turbulent economic times.)  

 

Despite the recession, however, not all restaurants in Paris are hurting. Those serving good food at reasonable prices are continually filled to capacity. Diners rely on a Quality:Price ratio to determine at which establishment to dine. Business lunches are on the decline and everywhere diners unanimously complain about the mark-up of wine prices.

 

The recession certainly has not affected fast food chains. Who would have ever believed that McDonald’s would open new outlets left and right?  Those Golden Arches are not the only ones to benefit from this economic climate: a new French chic fast food chain is surfing on the wave of recession. Fresh products and creative recipes are the mainstay of Restaurant Cojean.



Say Cheese!

on January 29th, 2009
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29

Jan

Roquefort is the king of cheeses

Roquefort is the king of cheeses

by André Gayot

 

The Roquefort saga continues to unfold. The Europeans, of course, did not appreciate the last “gift” of the Bush administration: the tripling of the taxes on imported Roquefort cheese as of March 23, 2009. The background of the story is:

 

While it is legal in America to raise beef with hormones that accelerate the growth of the animals and also to “sanitize” chickens with chlorine (to prevent harmful salmonella), such procedures are forbidden in Europe. Since 1988, the European Union has banned US beef and chicken which does not comply with the European rules. Continue reading “Say Cheese!” »



Gilles Epie and Sophie Gayot in the wine cellar

Gilles Epie and Sophie Gayot in the wine cellar

by Sophie Gayot

Since L’Orangerie has closed its doors in Los Angeles, I have been looking for that perfect soufflé au chocolat. I had no luck until my recent trip to Paris. As I always do when the chef offers the dessert on his menu, I ordered one to end my dinner at Citrus Etoile.

And, oh, was I surprised! It was as good as the one from the legendary temple of haute cuisine, though a slightly different version that was almost an improvement. Did I forget to mention that the chef, Gilles Épié, was the chef at L’Orangerie some years ago? Continue reading “In Search of the Best Chocolate Soufflé Recipe” »



Spread the Roquefort

on January 16th, 2009
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16

Jan

Roquefort

Roquefort

by André Gayot


It’s time to stock up on Roquefort since the U.S. government has decided to raise taxes 300% on this cheese produced in the South of France. The inflation will result in making Roquefort as expensive as caviar. The motivation behind this decision stems from the U.S.’s desire to penalize the European Union for its reluctance to import American beef. The E.U. argues that the use of hormones in animal feeding is illegal in Europe while it is accepted in the U.S. European scientists continue to question the innocuous nature of these hormones when ingested by humans in their hamburgers or steaks. The dispute has been dragging on for years.

 Now why, among all food products imported from Europe, the attack on Roquefort? Its selection by the U.S., as an effective weapon of persuasion, remains unclear. Could it be because Roquefort is such a staple of European cuisine? Then what wonderful, unsolicited publicity! Or is it due to the Penicillium roqueforti found within the cheese as a result of the fermentation of ewe’s milk? The shepherds in the French Southern mountains contend that their sheep have nothing in common with American beef, and that Roquefort is a natural antibiotic.

At any rate, buy yourself a couple pounds of Roquefort while it is (relatively) affordable.

  

Read the update on the situation.

 

 



Christmas Abalone @ Surfas

on December 19th, 2008
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19

Dec

 
 

Brad Buckley cooking Abalone with Alain

Brad Buckley cooking Abalone with Alain

 
By Alain Gayot

Life is funny like that: today, I really needed an abalone fix. So I headed over to Surfas and caught up with Brad Buckley of The Abalone Farm in Cayucos as he was doing a cooking demonstration. We cooked some and ate some and, as expected, it was rather yummy.

Continue reading “Christmas Abalone @ Surfas” »



All About Bees

on December 02nd, 2008
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02

Dec

Mitzi Dulan RD, Alain Gayot and Christopher Watt

Mitzi Dulan RD, Alain Gayot and Christopher Watt


Who can possibly remember when they first had it? The fact is it’s ever present. It’s very good for you in many ways, it never goes rancid or bad and yes, it’s very sweet. My worry is that I had heard that “killer bees” were decimating honey bees worldwide and that without bees there would be no life left on earth.


Is that what took the dinosaurs in the past?  Where do bees come from and what do they do? Will I be able to continuously put honey in my tea? So I headed over to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where the National Honey Board held a media event and grilled a couple of board individuals on some serious questions. I needed to know if we are in trouble and where my honey would come from in the future.

Continue reading “All About Bees” »



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