The Cure: Tom Yum Soup

Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By February 27, 2018

My cough was so nasty, it could take paint off a wall. Like so many, my flu-cold misery lasted and lasted. Christmas. New Years. Beyond … Determined to cure it before Groundhog’s Day, I called Kaiser’s on-call nurse. I didn’t want to spend untold hours among other sickies in the E.R., so I put my faith in the phone professional….

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.”…

Easier Than Pie, Watch This Blueberry Betty!

Cooking, Recipes By September 18, 2017

Blueberry Betty is a one-dish wonder, easy to prepare and scrumptious to eat. Watch this quick how-to video and see just how quickly it comes together. When serving this for company, I assemble the dish before guests arrive. When the doorbell rings, I put it in the oven and set a timer. It’s still warm (but not bubbling hot) when…

The Best Blueberry Pie!

Cooking, Recipes By August 11, 2017

I’ve tasted some very-so-so blueberry pies. The fillings were a snooze, too sweet and a little mushy or sometimes too loose. Yes, some are gummy, others runny. My favorite recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, the periodical for nitpick-y cooks that want to know every culinary detail imaginable. I love this jammy blueberry filling, and it is their attention to…

Studio, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Chefs, Cooking, Restaurants By May 4, 2017

Chef Gardener Kathryn Agresto, owner of Native Soil Gardens, tends and oversees the 1,000 square foot garden next to Studio at Montage Laguna. Studio’s talented executive chef, Craig Strong,  is inspired by the garden, creating dishes that are rich tasting, yet light and healthful.  Here’s a shot of Studio’s raised beds. Fruit trees are espaliered against the wall on the…

Zov’s Pastry Chef Shares Secrets to Gorgeous Flow Icing Topped Cut-Out Easter Cookies

Chefs, Cooking, Restaurants By April 14, 2017

Whimsy teams with artistry atop Michelle Bracken’s decorated cutout cookies. Themed to holidays, these impressive treats have become a kind of edible calendar for patrons at Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in Tustin, where Bracken is the longtime executive pastry chef. Valentine’s Day through Christmas, these glamorous goodies represent symbols of the season. For me, my favorites are her Easter cookies:…

Chef Ross Pangilinan Spreads His Wings – Departs Leatherby’s For His Own Mix Mix

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants, Uncategorized By March 31, 2017

Orange Coast Magazine’s restaurant critic Gretchen Kurz just named Mix Mix Kitchen Bar as “Restaurant of the Year.” Vision, talent and guts. That’s what it takes for a chef to leave a much respected restaurant to plunge into the hazardous waters of restaurant ownership.  Count award-winning Chef Ross Pangilinan as one of those brave owners. In December he opened Mix…