Chefs

Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice, Wowzers

Chefs, Cookbooks, Cooking, Melissa's, Recipes By November 1, 2020

Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice: My niece Holly Sue is a chef. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, many years ago she left a restaurant career to raise her family, but later started a highly successful at-home personal chef business when her boys were approaching middle school age. Her clients pick up made-from-scratch family dinners twice…

Scrumptiously Simple Salmon

Chefs, Cookbooks, Recipes By February 3, 2020

Mark Bittman, NYT’s columnist and cookbook author, knows how to create tempting flavors without much fuss. Try out his Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil for a quick weeknight entree. This 5-ingredient recipe takes about 5 minutes to put together and roughly 12 minutes to bake. Easy. Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil Yield: 4 servings 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1…

Celebrity Chef Amar Santana’s Corn Pudding – The Best

Celebrity Interviews, Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By January 1, 2020

There is mischief in Amar Santana’s eyes as his exuberant laughter fills my kitchen with culinary joy. He is relaxed, his confidence driven by a passion for cooking and a well-proven skill sets. The celebrity chef joined me to share the secrets of his silky corn pudding, a versatile side dish that can accompany everything from steak to sweetbreads. Watch…

Celebrity OC Chef Amar Santana Opens The HALL Global Eatery

Celebrity Interviews, Chefs, Cocktails, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants, Videos By December 31, 2019

Recognize the name? Chef Amar Santana dazzled viewers as a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He competed on Korean Food Battle, and although he doesn’t speak Korean, almost won the competition. The HALL Global Eatery, SCP, Costa Mesa: Along with business partner Ahmed Labbate, Chef Santana has opened a extraordinary food hall at South Coast Plaza (it’s the spot where…

Fake Yes, But Beautiful

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By April 23, 2018

Happily, I’ve known Denise Vivaldo for decades. She could have been a comedian. A good one. Most of what she says and writes is funny. But no … She made her mark in food styling and food writing. She so good at styling for photos that she could even make soupy glop look appealing. Or, how about this ice cream? …

BRICK Restaurant’s New Grill Grabs the Glitz

Chefs, Restaurants By March 2, 2018

Dining at Brick Restaurant is always worth the drive to San Clemente. I live in Huntington, so it takes some time behind the wheel to savor the palate joy of chef-owner David Pratt’s cuisine. David’s house-crafted pasta. His pizzas. His meatballs. (Such as these farro gnocchi adrift in pork bolognese.) And his salads are some of the very best in…

Plate Art from Chef Alessandro Pirozzi, Branzino al Piatto at Salerno

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By January 17, 2018

Branzino That Is Delectable Artwork from Chef Alessandro Pirozzi Branzino has become an everyday staple on upscale restaurant menus. The delicate, white-fleshed Mediterranean seabass (called “loup de mer” on French menus) tastes almost sweet when cooked correctly. Orange County chef-restaurateur Alessandro Pirozzi knows how to serve it at its very best. He showcases the mild-mannered fish in different ways in…

Fifi’s Best: OC chefs gather to create a luscious edible tribute to the late food writer, Fifi Chao

Celebrity Interviews, Chefs, Cooking, Restaurants By December 8, 2017

Fifi Chao, much respected and beloved food writer for the Orange County Business Journal for more than three decades, recently passed away. In the photo above, Fifi embraces her much-adored husband, Patrick. Some of Orange County’s best chefs gathered at Break of Dawn Restaurant in Laguna Hills to create a 10-course dinner in her honor. They dubbed it “Fifi’s Best.”…