Cha Cha’s Short Rib Tacos, Cinco de Mayo or Any Time

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By April 30, 2016

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea is a Mexican cantina with a frisky vibe. At the heart of its allure are the boldly-flavored dishes and handcrafted drinks. The menu showcases unique twists on Latin American cuisine, modern takes on everything from wood-oven roasted Jidori chicken spiked with Yucatan spices, to the decadent caldo with a saffron-tomato broth rich in fresh…

Chef-Restaurateur-Top Chef Star Amar Santana: A look back at his amazing breakfast magic

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By March 17, 2016

Amar’s Creamy Grits, Four-Minute Egg and Honey-Glazed Smoked Bacon ‘Just can’t put into words how proud I am of super chef Amar Santana. Not only is he a highly successful chef-restaurateur, but he has used his talent and perseverance to work his way to the top on Bravo’s highly-competitive  “Top Chef” TV show. Years ago, before he opened his restaurants…

Corned Beef Sliders, St. Patrick’s Day or Any Day

Chefs, Recipes, Restaurants By March 7, 2016

Chef Roman Jimenez knows that using the very best ingredients yields bigger flavors and better textures.  As executive chef at Macallans Public House in Brea Downtown, he advocates “from-scratch” cuisine. His irresistible Corned Beef Sliders showcase the best of the best. He corns his own beef in-house, a brine-then-sous vide operation. He makes his own pickles. And his scrumptious slider…

Tomgirl Baking Company’s Florentine Bar Cookies Are Unsurpassed

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By February 1, 2016

Wonyee Tom, executive baker and co-owner of Tomgirl Baking Co. in Huntington Beach, makes one of my very favorite bar cookies. The bars are rich in contrasting textures and flavors, their buttery crust supporting a treasure-filled topping. Cream- and honey-spiked caramel dances between nuts and dried fruits, most often a generous mix of sliced almonds plus diced cranberries and apricots….

Easy Is Best: Simple Prep For A Few Delicious Favorites

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By February 1, 2016

CHOOSING THREE FAVORITES isn’t easy. The prep is easy, but with all my potential favorites whittling down the list wasn’t a cinch. To narrow the field, rather than choosing dishes with long or hard-to-find ingredient lists, or dishes with culinary techniques that require time and dedication   … I selected dishes that are very easy to prepare and are superb for…

Steak Au Poivre, Fan The Flambé with Chef Laurent Brazier

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By December 17, 2015

The kitchen drama of flambéing is hard to beat. The ignited Cognac sends flames from skillet, a spectacle for guests and showoff cooks alike. Steak au Poivre, the classic French dish that teams high-quality steak with loosely cracked peppercorns, is a great example. Once the steaks are cooked to perfection, the peppery coating providing a flavor-amped crust, the meat is…

Chef David Pratt’s Salmon Baked in Paper, en Papillote Drama and Flavor Wow

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By September 30, 2015

David Pratt, executive chef-owner of Brick in San Clemente, says that cooking “en papillote” is an easy, delectable and make-ahead way to cook fish when entertaining at home. It’s the classic technique that bakes ingredients sealed in a parchment-paper pouch. Each parcel contains one serving, and as it cooks the food inside steams in its own juices. Toward the end…