May 15

A Delicious Lunch at Something’s Fishy!

Last week my husand and I met my in-laws at Something’s Fishy in Woodland Hills for lunch.  Something’s Fishy has an extensive list of rolls and some of them are even half price!  The four of us shared the all following dishes and left presently stuffed.

First, we ordered the Albacore Sashimi.  The fish was fresh and served with ponzu for dipping and pickled ginger for palate cleansing.  There is nothing more perfect than a good cut of fish and Something’s Fishy definitly delivers a good cut of fish

Spicy Tuna Roll & Shrimp Tempura and Tuna Roll

Spicy Tuna Roll & Shrimp Tempura and Tuna Roll

Next we ordered my very favorite roll: Spicy Tuna Roll.  Their version was full of chopped tuna – typically I prefer a cut of tuna, but this was divine.  It is also served with thin cucumber sticks.  We also ordered the Shrimp Tempura and Tuna Roll.  This was delicious as well with a nice pop of fried shrimp.

Surf & Turf Roll

Surf & Turf Roll

We also tried the Surf & Turf roll which was loved by many at the table.  Personally this was my least favorite roll because it just doesn’t seem right to me to have beef on a sushi roll.  However, everyone else at the table thought it was their favorite roll.  Shrimp tempura, asparagus, and rice tucked inside the roll with sauteed beef tenderloin, crispy onions and a sweet sauce on top.

Crispy on the outside and cool on the inside – the Tuna Tempura Roll was a hit as well!

Something’s Fishy made for a very pleasant lunch!  If I lived closer to Woodland Hills I would eat there all the time.  The restaurant is located at 21812 Ventura Blvd Woodland Hills, CA 91364

May 04

Chef Bio: Jonathan Waxman

Jonathan Waxman

Jonathan Waxman

A culinary career wasn’t necessarily Jonathan Waxman’s first career choice, although he was raised by parents who loved to cook and shared that love with their son. In fact, the Berkley, California native, born in 1950, was a trombonist, playing in bands in Las Vegas when he moved to France to study at the famed La Varenne, where he began to cultivate his reputation for California cuisine fused with French influences.

His culinary career began at Domaine Chandon and Chez Panisse in Berkeley before he earned a spot as sous chef at Michael’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, where he was later promoted to executive chef.

Waxman then made the cross country move to New York City where he opened Jams in 1984 which he followed with Buds, and Hulot. Jams opened a London location in 1987. Today, Waxman is the owner of Barbuto in New York City. New York Magazine describes his latest restaurant as “Jonathan Waxman is back, this time dishing up rustic Italian-bucatini, bacalao, a lemony roast chicken-at the casually hip West Village bistro Barbuto.”

The celebrity chef has also served as a consultant to Universal Studios in California, Ark Restaurant Corporation in New York, and Restaurant Above in New York.  

He was named the “Comeback Kid” by the 2002 Chef Awards.

Waxman has also tallied numerous television appearances, most recently guest starring on the premier episode of PBS’s Vine Talk. Hosted by actor Stanley Tucci, Vine Talk makes choosing and evaluating wines simple.

A guest judge on Top Chef twice in 2010, Waxman also competed in the second season ofTop Chef Masters, securing the fourth place spot in the competition that pits heavyweight chefs against one another. Waxman has also appeared on The Next Food Network Star.

Waxman has also published two cookbooks: A Great American Cook in 2007 and Italian, My Way in 2011. 

When he’s not in the kitchen, Waxman dedicates his time to helping others, most notably volunteering with Meals on Wheels, The American Cancer Society, and The March of Dimes. His influence on the culinary world is vast with famed chef Bobby Flay publically acknowledging Waxman as his mentor.

When he was recently asked about food trends, Waxman responded, “We are seeing a return to roots, a return to neighborhood restaurants. Many chefs are done doing fancy things and are celebrating what they do well. They are not afraid to do their own thing and there’s not so much of an urge to copy others.”

Apr 25

Chef Bio: Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin

Critically acclaimed French chef Jacques Pepin grew up in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant near Lyon, France, where he was born in 1935, which naturally led to the young boy’s first apprenticeship at age 13 at the renowned Grand Hotel de L’Europe.

Pepin would move on to cook at Plaza-Athenee and Meurice in Paris and serve as the personal chef to such French elite as Charles de Gaulle, Felix Gaillard and Pierre Pfimlin before making the cross-Atlantic move to the New York in 1959. After working at Le Pavillon in New York City, he joined the Howard Johnson Company as the research and new development director where he spent a decade.

His success has earned Pepin the highest of accolades in his native France. He became a recipient of Chevalier de L’Ordre due Merite Agricole in 1992, Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1997 and the French Legion of Honor in 2002. He received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and was inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.

His book Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, which he co-authored with Julia Child, won the James Beard Award in 2000 and was named Best Cookbook in 1999 by IACP.

The celebrated French chef currently hosts his own television show More Fast Food My Way, which follows on the heels of his popular series Fast Food My Way. He starred with fellow iconic chef, Julia Child, on Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home in 2000 and has hosted Today’s Gourmet, Cooking Techniques, and Kitchen.

Pepin has also appeared on American Masters and Top Chef and guest starred on Ugly Betty.

The acclaimed chef is also the author of several memoirs: Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook and The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. The success of the latter resulted in a television special titled The Apprentice: Then and Now.

Pepin is currently a columnist for Food & Wine Magazine and formerly served as a columnist for The New York Times.

Having founded The American Institute of Food and Wine, Pepin has served as The French Culinary Institute’s Dean of Special Programs, a position he’s held since 1988 and is an adjunct professor at Boston University.  He attended Columbia University, earning a Master of Arts degree in 18th Century French Literature.

Apr 24

Chef Bio: Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio spent much of his formative years in the kitchen, cooking with his grandmother and mother in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he was born in August 1962. But, it wasn’t until his father encouraged him to become a chef that the self-trained cook, who specializes in American cuisine, decided to pursue cooking as a career.

He landed his first restaurant job at Evelyn’s Seafood Restaurant when he was only 17, fine-tuning his skills before making the move to New York City where he would work at such restaurants as Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, The Quilted Giraffe, and Mondrain. During his stint as the executive chef at Mondrain, Colicchio earned a spot on Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef” top ten list in 1991.

Eventually, Colicchio spread his culinary wings, opening Gramercy Tavern in New York City in 1994 where he remained as co-owner until 2006. During his 12 year tenure with Gramercy Tavern, his restaurant earned the honor being named Zagat Survey’s Most Popular Restaurant in New York City in 2003 and in 2005.

Colicchio opened the first of his Craft restaurants in 2001. Craft currently has locations in New York City, Las Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta, and New Jersey. Each dish is made with a single main ingredient, and diners share plates to enjoy a fresh culinary experience.

On the heels of the success of Craft, Colicchio followed with Craftbar, which is the same concept as Craft only in a casual setting; steakhouse Craftsteak, and sandwich shop Witchcraft.

Colicchio’s latest restaurant, Colicchio and Sons in New York City, prides itself on working with local farmers to serve fresh food and grass-fed animals.

With his dedication to fresh foods, Colicchio has earned celebrity status in the culinary world, garnering The James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Chef in 2010 and Best Chef in New York in 2000. Bon Apetit named him Chef of the Year in 2002.

Colicchio’s culinary expertise and style has also become popular with television viewers.

Perhaps best known as the head judge of Top Chef, Colicchio has led the show since its inaugural season in 2006. Colicchio has also appeared on numerous television shows, among them The 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Bonnie Hunt Show, and Rachael Ray. He is currently executive producing the documentary Hungry in America, which is tentatively scheduled for release in 2012.

Colicchio recently added pitchman to his resume, plugging Diet Coke, a move that landed him the title of “sell-out” from Top Chef All-Star Elia Aboumrad. Colicchio maintains his position that promoting a product he uses and sells in his restaurants is one that makes smart business sense. He’s also the author of Think Like a Chef and Craft of Cooking.

Award-winning chef, author, and advertising pitchman are all part of Colicchio’s repertoire. And, he recently added the title of lifesaving hero. Colicchio performed the Heimlich maneuver on chef Alice Waters during a Washington DC benefit in 2009, saving her life.

Apr 21

Chef Bio: Masaharu Morimoto

Masaharu Morimoto

Masaharu Morimoto

Chef Masaharu Morimoto spent the first 30 years of his life in his native Hiroshima, Japan, where he perfected the art of sushi, first training under Japanese chefs before opening his own restaurant which he successfully ran for five years. But, in 1985, Morimoto turned 30 and made the move to New York City.  He continued to hone his craft, which eventually landed him a coveted chef’s position at the famous Nobu restaurant in New York City.

Morimoto quickly cultivated a reputation for his edgy food which combines flavors from his Japanese roots with Italian ingredients and Chinese spices, all presented in classic French tradition. As his profile heightened, Morimoto opened his first restaurant, Morimoto, in 2002. The Philadelphia restaurant features hot dishes, cold dishes, noodles, a raw bar, and a sushi bar.

The celebrity chef later opened locations of Morimoto in New York City, Napa in California, and Waikiki in Hawaii, all of which feature his Japanese Fusion style. He also owns Morimoto Sushi Bar in Boca Raton, Florida, and Wasabi by Morimoto in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Morimoto New York garnered the chef critical acclaim, including Outstanding Restaurant Design in 2006 from the James Beard Foundation. That same year, Zagat Survey named Morimoto New York the Top Newcomer in restaurants and Travel and Leisure counted Morimoto New York among its top 50 New York restaurants.

The chef’s debut cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, garnered him an IACP Award and The Julia Child Award for a First Book. Morimoto went on to publishMorimoto Cookbook.

As the success of Morimoto the restaurant grew, Morimoto the chef’s profile also grew and expanded to numerous television appearances. Morimoto has been an integral part of Iron Chef’s success, having appeared in dozens of episodes on the Food Network program in the last decade. He’s also been featured on Iron Chef: Battle of the Masters, The Making of Iron Chef, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Hell’s Kitchen, The Next Food Network Star, andThe Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Morimoto was also a guest judge on Top Chef and guest-starred as himself on Hawaii Five-Oin 2011. In 2008, the celebrated chef lent his voice to the video game Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine.

While Morimoto has become one of the most successful chefs in the world, his future as a chef wasn’t always so certain. His prowess as a baseball player got him drafted into the major leagues in Japan. A catcher, Morimoto never made it to the big leagues after suffering a career-ending shoulder injury and instead pursued a culinary career.

Apr 19

Chef Bio: Roy Yamaguchi

Roy Yamaguchi

Roy Yamaguchi

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi often visited his grandparents on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where he cultivated a love of Hawaiian food. He translated that love into a celebrated culinary career, attending the Culinary Institute of America and graduating when he was only 19 years old.

Known for his “Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine,” Yamaguchi kicked off his culinary career in Los Angeles as La Serene’s executive chef, later leaving for Santa’s Monica’s famous Michael’s restaurant.

His stints as executive chef eventually led Yamaguchi to open his first restaurant in Los Angeles, 385 North. It was during this period that Bon Appetit crowned Yamaguchi’s cuisine as “California-French-Japanese-eclectic.”

Four years after opening 385 North in 1984, Yamaguchi returned to Hawaii where he opened Roy’s, which now boasts 37 locations in Hawaii, the United States, Guam, and Japan. Roy’s features Yamaguchi’s “Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine,” primarily seafood dishes that combine fresh Hawaiian ingredients, Asian spices, and European sauces. Each Roy’s location features a local menu with the restaurant’s classic offerings in addition to dishes created by each individual location’s chef, all of whom have been mentored by Yamaguchi.

In addition to the success of his restaurants, Yamaguchi has enjoyed crucial acclaim, winning the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Pacific Northwest Chef in 1993, earning the distinction of being the first Hawaiian chef to win the award.

Diners who can’t get to one of Yamaguchi’s restaurants can still enjoy his passion for food. Yamaguchi offers viewers a taste of Hawaii through his long-running PBS television seriesHawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi, which is regularly seen by millions of viewers in 50 states and in 60 countries.  

The critically acclaimed chef also returned to his native Japan, an experience he shared with viewers of My Country, My Kitchen, airing on the Food Network. Yamaguchi has also made several appearances with the Top Chef franchise: He was eliminated in the second round of Top Chef Masters in 2009 and served as a guest judge on Top Chef two years earlier. Yamaguchi also starred in Iron Chef: Holiday Showdown and Iron Chef: Showdown in Las Vegas. 

Yamaguchi has also authored several cookbooks:  Hawaii Cooks, Roy’s Fish and Seafood,and Roy’s Feasts from Hawaii, and has designed his own line of cookware, Roy Yamaguchi Cookware.

He has also earned some high praise from such notable sources as The New York Times,which called him the “the Wolfgang Puck of the Pacific.”

Apr 17

Chef Bio: Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Hailing from a prominent family – her father Nigel Lawson served in Margaret Thatcher’s government – Nigella Lawson was born in London in 1960. Unlike most chefs who started their culinary careers early in their lives, Lawson started as a journalist and would later become a celebrated food writer and television host.

In addition to writing for such publications as The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, Lawson won the coveted title of Deputy Literacy Editor at The Sunday Times before she began to combine her love of food (she has been quoted as saying she has no culinary qualifications except her love of eating) with writing.

Her first success as a food journalist came when she published her first book, How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food in 1998, which went on to sell a million and a half copies worldwide. She followed How to Eat with How to be a Domestic Goddess in 2000. The Guild of Food Writers named her sophomore effort the “Cookery Book of the Year” the year after it was published.

Lawson is also the author of Forever Summer and Feast: Food That Celebrates, Nigella Christmas, and Nigella Fresh. Her books have sold an estimated six million copies worldwide.

The popular food journalist has also earned her fair share of critical acclaim. The British Book Awards named her 2001’s Author of the Year and Bon Appetit crowned her Tastemaker of the Year in 2002. The WH Smith Book Awards honored her book Nigella Biteswith the Lifestyle Book of the Year award in 2002. 

In addition to her writing, Lawson made the successful leap into television, hosting several of her own shows, including Nigella Bites, Nigella Express, and Forever Summer with Nigella. Lawson currently has her own show, Nigella Feasts, which airs on The Food Network.  She also introduced her own line of cookware in 2003.

Lawson has also logged an impressive list of television appearances in the United States in the last decade and a half. Her notable television appearances include Iron Chef America, Top Chef, Live with Regis, Rachael Ray, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Who Do You Think You Are?, Late Night with  Conan O’Brien, and The Late Show with David Letterman.

With her high profile, Lawson is fodder for the tabloids, which can be brutal, in the United Kingdom. In May 2003, she earned the distinction of making the 100 Worst Briton List, coming in at number 90, as voted by Channel Four viewers. She also is reported to have turned down the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), given by the Queen, in 2001.

Apr 17

Chef Bio: Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless

Growing up in a family of grocers and restaurateurs, Rick Bayless seemed destined for a career in food. With his pure Midwestern roots – he was born in Oklahoma in 1953 – Bayless has cultivated a reputation as a Mexican chef, who aims to expose diners to authentic Mexican food.

Bayless is perhaps best known for Frontera Grill, which won a James Beard Award in 2007 for Outstanding Restaurant, in Chicago. Frontera Grill shares its bar and the front door with its sister, Topolobampo. While Frontera Grill offers a more casual dining experience, Topolobampo caters to those who enjoy fine dining. Both restaurants serve traditional Mexican food, made with local organic ingredients, for which Bayless is known.

XOCO, Bayless’ third Chicago eatery, offers Mexican street fare and snacks, including empanadas and churros, giving diners a look at Mexican classics.  The self-described quick service café is closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Meanwhile, Macy’s shoppers in Illinois and San Francisco can also enjoy Bayless’s authentic Mexican street fair, such as tortas and tamales, at Frontera Fresca where prices top out at $7.50.

Bayless’s culinary achievements have also earned him many distinctions. Food & Wine Magazine named him 1988’s Best New Chef; the James Beard Foundation honored him as 1991’s Best American Chef in the Midwest, 1995’s National Chef of the Year, and 1998’s Humanitarian of the Year; and Bon Apetite awarded him 2002’s Cooking Teacher of the Year.

He shares his love of Mexican food with television viewers on his PBS show One Plate at a Time.  In addition to serving as a guest judge on Bravo’s hit show Top Chef, Bayless competed in the inaugural season of Top Chef Masters, a spin-off of Top Chef that pits culinary heavyweights against each other.  Bayless out-cooked Hubert Keller and Michael Chiarello in the final round to win the title of the first Top Chef Master in 2009.

Bayless has also appeared on such television shows as The Today Show, Good Morning America, Iron Chef America, CBS This Morning, Great Chefs of America, The Isaac Mizrahi Show, and Martha Stewart Living.

The noted Mexican chef is also an award-winning author. His book Mexican Kitchen: capturing the vibrant flavors of a world-class cuisine was named the IACP Best Cookbook of the Year in 1996, and Mexico, one plate at a time earned a 2001 James Beard Award for the Cookbook of the Year. Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures and Mexican Every Day, both cookbooks, were both nominated for James Beard Awards in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Bayless is also a regular contributor to Eating Well, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Travel and Leisure, and Yoga Journal.

In addition to Frontera Products, his line of prepared Mexican foods, including chips and salsa, the celebrity chef founded and heads the Frontera Farmer Foundation, a non-profit that provides grants to farmers in the Chicago area to help them maintain their farms.

Apr 17

A Delicious Tasting at Devo Olive Oil Co.

DEVOlogoA couple months back my husband and I decided to take a trip to Branson Missouri.  Little did we know Branson really is like Las Vegas for Ned Flanders – lots of gospel music, antique shops and country fried food – not our style!  One cool thing about that trip though was our discovery of Devo Olive Oil Company.  At Devo you can taste test all the oils and vinegars before you buy!

On our recent trip we picked up three different items: two balsamic vinegars & one truffle oil.  The first balsamic we decided to purchase was Honey Ginger White Balsamic ($12.95).  Honey and ginger combined create a subtle spicy note which plays perfectly with the white balsamic vinegar.  It pairs well with chicken, shrimp, scallops, fish and other light dishes.

Our second purchase was Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar ($12.95).  An amazing combination of both sweet and tart, the Strawberry Balsamic vinegar is the result of adding pure and natural Strawberry essence to 12 year old balsamic.  I’ve used it to make a rich reduction for topping sugared puff pastry with fresh strawberries and marscapone (will post that recipe soon!)

Our final purchase was White Truffle Oil ($20.95).  Oh me oh my this is the good stuff.  This heavenly concoction is made in Italy by steeping white truffles in extra virgin olive oil.   It’s heavenly as a finishing oil on pizzas, popcorn, roasted potatoes and so much more.  A little goes a very long way!

The good thing about Devo is you don’t have to go to Missouri to buy their products – they’re available online!  So if you’re like me and you would rather visit the real Las Vegas check out Devo online!  They have a wide array of oils, vinegars and even homemade pastas.

Apr 16

Chef Bio: Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

Born in New York City in 1956, where he spent his childhood and still lives today, Anthony Bourdain has carved a niche for himself in the culinary world as an celebrated chef, an Emmy Award winning television host, and an acclaimed writer with publishing credits in The New York Times, The Independent, and The Times of London.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bourdain has served as the chef at The Supper Club in New York City. He’s currently the Executive Chef, or the Chef-at-Large, at Brasserie Les Halles, a French restaurant in New York City.

Perhaps best known for his sharp wit and keen sense of humor, Anthony Bourdain makes cuisine that would normally be inaccessible accessible to his television audience. As the host of Travel Channel’s Emmy Award Winning No Reservations, Bourdain takes viewers around the world – visiting places most people might never have the opportunity to go – and shares the sometimes stomach-turning, sometimes inspiring local cuisine.

Bourdain’s television credits also include Kitchen Confidential, What’s Your Trip, A Cook’s Tour and a recurring guest judge spot on Bravo’s hit reality show Top Chef. He guest-starred as Dr. Tony on the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba in 2010 and has appeared on such shows as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Larry King Live, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Although he wears a chef’s hat, Bourdain is also acclaimed for his writing and television work, all of which have won him honors from the culinary community. Bon Apetit named him the 2001 Food Writer of the Year; his book A Cook’s Tour earned 2002’s Food Book of The Year award from The British Guild of Food Writers; and his non-fiction writing garnered him a Creative Arts Emmy nomination in 2010.

No Reservations earned an Outstanding Informational Programming Emmy nomination in 2007 for an episode that followed Bourdain and his filming crew during their time in Beirut at the height of Lebanon’s conflict with Israel. Two years later, in 2009, No Reservations took home the Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming Creative Arts Emmy.

Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, run by the James Beard Foundation, welcomed Bourdain into their halls in 2008.

But, Bourdain isn’t strictly about food. He’s also a crime and fiction writer, having published several books, among them The Bobby Gold Stories and Typhoid Mary.

Having established himself in the culinary and literary world, Bourdain isn’t and has never been afraid to speak his mind. People either love him or hate him, and he’s made no secret of that which annoys him – like vegetarians. As he writes in his book, Kitchen Confidential, “Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. “The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold. Oh, I’ll accommodate them, I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate’, if called on to do so.  Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.”