Issue No. 1
Sharing the Story of Local Food & Culture
ARTICHOKES (get 'em while you still can!)
MUST-TRY RECIPES FROM THE BELLWETHER HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU GRACIAS MADRE PEDALERS FORK ...AND MORE!
LA River High Schoolâ€™s Urban Farm Food Waste Gets the Respect it Deserves The Changing Face of Edible Marijuana Springtime Mocktails
Member of Edible Communities
What’s in Season
APRICOTS ARTICHOKES AVOCADOS BLACKBERRIES BLUEBERRIES BROCCOLI - though May CARROTS CARDOONS CAULIFLOWER - through May CHERRIES CHERRY TOMATOES CORN - beginning June CUCUMBERS EGGPLANT - beginning June FAVA BEANS FIGS - beginning June GRAPEFRUIT GREEN BEANS GREEN GARLIC LETTUCES MULBERRIES - beginning June NEW POTATOES - through May OKRA - beginning June PLUMS RADISHES - through May RHUBARB RASPBERRIES SNOW PEAS STRAWBERRIES SUGAR SNAP PEAS
CALIFORNIA HALIBUT CALIFORNIA SPOT PRAWN COONSTRIPE SHRIMP DUNGENESS CRAB - through June LINGCOD PACIFIC HALIBUT PACIFIC SALMON PACIFIC SAND DAB PACIFIC MACKEREL PINK SHRIMP RED SEA URCHIN RIDGEBACK PRAWN - through May ROCK CRAB ROCKFISH SABLEFISH WHITE SEA BASS YELLOWTAIL JACK
Seasonal tip: Larger tomatoes don’t reach their full potential until summer, but the smaller varietes like cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes are packed with flavor earlier in the spring.
© Nadine Greff / Stocksy United
© Helen Rushbrook / Stocksy United
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IN THIS ISSUE EASY ARTICHOKE GRATIN
22 20 EDITOR’S LETTER p. 6
ACCOMPLISHING THE IMPOSSIBLE How a bleeding plant-based burger might just help us save the planet BY SHAUNA BURKE
WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW
NEWS & NIBBLES
ARTFUL ARTICHOKES Local chefs and bartenders celebrate the glorious artichoke with 7 phenomenal recipes BY SHAUNA BURKE
LOCAL HEROES BY LISA ALEXANDER
BY JEREMY DELLAROSA
READING CORNER Check out these great reads, including a new biodynamic cookbook from Malibu’s own One Gun Ranch Reies Flores, the hands behind LA River High School’s urban farm, takes us on a tour
The changing face of edible marijuana and what we might see popping up in Los Angeles
• CONTRIBUTORS p. 11
SIP ON THIS Stir up these non-alcoholic “mocktails”, bursting with springtime flavors, and head out to relax on the patio
Food waste gets the respect it deserves. Plus, food waste prevention tips for home kitchens, and more!
BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT
BY SARAH HENRY
THE FOOD HISTORIAN Baking powder wars in Los Angeles BY LINDA CIVITELLO
BEHIND THE LINE Meet Stensland Smith, sous chef at Breva opening soon - at Hotel Figueroa BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT
9 recipe index food 9 Turkey & Sage Burgers with Carrot-Beet Ketchup 10 Carrot Juice Cavatelli, Tops Salsa, & Spiced Pulp Crumble 21 Stuffed Artichokes 21 Grilled Artichokes with Old Bay Aïoli 22 Baby Artichokes with Aged Rice Porridge, Mustard Garum, and Verjus Buttermilk Nage 22 Easy Artichoke Gratin 34 Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
FLUFFY BUTTERMILK BANANA BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES (gluten-free!)
drink 18 That’s My Jam 18 Pineapple Ginger Beer 19 Chamomile Limeade
Find the recipe online at
19 Bitter Memory
23 Mero Mero 23 The Night Manager 23 Cyanara Sucker 23 Carciofo Spritz 5
edible LA NO. 1
PUBLISHER Pulp & Branch LLC
IT'S HERE! IT'S HERE!
Thank you for picking up our premiere issue. I hope you enjoy it. Let me introduce myself. I'm Shauna Burke. I was born and raised in Los Angeles - by the beach - and have since left a few times, but always seem to make my way back. My background: former professional chef, sommelier, cookbook author, food and wine writer, marketing executive, and I can't even remember what else. The point is, I love food - I love how it brings people together and defines so much of our lives and our history. I'm here to show you what I love. Our little metropolis is so spread out, as you might have noticed. We spend hours in our cars driving from downtown to the westside to the valley to the beach and back again. One of my hopes in publishing this magazine is to help bring our communities together by exploring our many cultures, learning about our cityâ€™s history, enjoying great food, and revealing the many faces behind our favorite restaurants, products, and ideas. This magazine is for the innovators, the culinary entrepreneurs, the cooks, bartenders, foodies, and travelers; for anyone interested in what this city has to offer. After all, LA is the greatest food city in the world, right? Let's do it justice. Hope to hear from you soon. With much love,
Shauna Burke, Editor in Chief email@example.com
Winner of James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Publication of the Year
EDITOR IN CHIEF Shauna Burke CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST Linda Civitello CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa Alexander Shauna Burke Ryan Caveywoolpert Jeremy Dellarosa CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Alan Gastelum CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR Jeremy Dellarosa
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news & nibbles CONNECT WITH US
WIN A COOKBOOK!!!
Sign up for our newsletter on ediblela.com between May 1 and June 23 and be automatically entered to win a copy of On Vegetables (Phaidon, 2017) by local chef Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica. To see an awesome recipe from the book, flip to Fox's recipe for Carrot Juice Cavatelli, Tops Salsa, and Spiced Pulp Crumble on page 10 - a great way to utilize the entire vegetable and help reduce food waste at home!
UTILIZING SAVORY COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS AT THE WALLACE When we scoped the new seasonal cocktail menu at The Wallace (thewallacela.com) in Culver City, we were intrigued by ingredients like soy sauce and sesame oil ("A/S/L?";below, right), avocado mousse ("Avocado Is Extra";below, left), and celery juice ("Lit With Nutrients"). Yes, yes, the names are interesting, too. Stop by and let us know what you think with #FeastOnLA.
SAVE THE DATE! MASTERS OF TASTE When: MAY 7 Where: ROSE BOWL mastersoftastela.com
The 2nd annual luxury food and beverage festival will feature some of LA's best chefs and mixologists as well as some of California's most eclectic wineries and local craft breweries.
CULINARY EVENING WITH CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS When: MAY 20 Where: WARNER BROS. STUDIOS californiawinemasters.org
Support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, taste wine, and nibble on hors d'oeuvres as you make your way through Warner Bros. Studio. Don't miss the wine auction on the backlot!
LA FOOD FEST
MEZCAL BAR OPENS AT LAUREL HARDWARE Farm-to-table restaurant Laurel Hardware (laurelhardware.com) in West Hollywood just opened a shiny new Mexican-themed Mezcal Bar, which is nestled behind a curtain at their existing location. Mezcal Bar is offering seasonal Mezcal-infused craft cocktails and contemporary Mexican cuisine (think chilled lobster tostadas and tuna crudo) in a familiar, cozy atmosphere boasting some speakeasy vibes. Bartender Dustin Shaw shared a cocktail recipe with us for our May 2017 issue, combining a few of our favorite things: mezcal, bourbon, fernet, and Cynar (the wonderfully bitter artichoke liqueur). Find the recipe on page 23.
When: JUNE 10 Where: LA COLISEUM lafoodfest.com Sample goodies from 100+ world-class chefs, restaurants, street carts, food trucks, cocktail bars, beer gardens, and more (don't forget about the iced coffee lounge and ice cream social) - all in one awesome spot!
If there's a local event that should make our calendar, let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org 7
MALIBU'S ONE GUN RANCH SERVES UP BIODYNAMIC RECIPES AND AN ENVIABLE RANCH LIFESTYLE
©One Gun Ranch
One Gun Ranch (1gunranch.com) owners Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring are authors of the gorgeous new book, One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living (Regan Press, 2017). Drawing on generations of home-grown wisdom, Bamford and Eysenring offer up advice ranging from meditation, working out in nature, enhancing fitness while hiking, and what to look for at farmers' markets to discovering your green thumb by planting a window box, making a supersoil compost, and preparing your own biodynamic menus at home. Founded in 2008, One Gun Ranch is a 24-acre Demeter-certified biodynamic farm, nestled in Malibu's Santa Monica Mountains. The ranch's name was inherited from the land's previous owner - the bassist of Guns N' Roses - and was established with the mission of educating people about biodynamics - the benefits and joy of living with the land and rhythms of nature. At One Gun Ranch, farming is conducted according to biodynamic principles, which means the sowing,
planting and harvesting of crops is all done in accordance with the moon, sun, and planets. The farm itself is a living organism, with all living things on the farm reused and recycled back into the land. The owners believe in providing love and support to the local community through good food and soil. Bamford and Eysenring sell their greens, vegetables, and fruits to local markets and restaurants throughout Los Angeles, including at their quintessential Malibu-inspired shop, Ranch at the Pier, located at the end of the Malibu Pier. “We are thrilled to have put our lifestyle and passion to paper, creating an accessible platform to help enlighten people about biodynamics and the joyful benefits from living with the land and the rhythms of nature," says Bamford. “Through sharing our story, inherited knowledge, and the way we live, we hope to encourage people to cultivate their true life force and harness their natural potential, empowering them to revive the mind, body, and soul.”
LOOK OVER THERE TO FIND THE RECIPE FOR TURKEY & SAGE BURGERS WITH CARROT-BEET KETCHUP, PICTURED ABOVE.
One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living (onegunranch.com; Regan Arts, 2017) is available now!
reading corner “NO SUMMER BARBECUE IS COMPLETE WITHOUT A GREAT BURGER, SO WE DEVISED THIS SUPER HEALTHY, LEAN RECIPE AND EVEN SWAPPED OUT THE BUNS FOR LETTUCE CUPS." - ALICE BAMFORD AND ANN EYSENRING, AUTHORS OF ONE GUN RANCH, MALIBU: BIODYNAMIC RECIPES FOR VIBRANT LIVING
TURKEY & SAGE BURGERS makes 8; serves 4
1/2 lb organic ground turkey 1 tbsp olive oil Leaves from 1 sprig fresh sage, finely chopped 1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped 8 medium or 16 small cup-shaped lettuce leaves 2 large pickles, sliced or chopped Chopped onion for topping Chopped mozzarella cheese for topping (optional) Carrot-Beet Ketchup for serving (recipe follows) 1 Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to 400°F. 2 Put the ground turkey in a bowl and drizzle in the olive oil. Add the sage and jalapeño and mix with your hands just until well blended; do not overmix. 3 Divide the mixture into eight 2-inch patties. Arrange the patties on the grill rack and grill until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side. 4 Tuck each pattie into a lettuce cup, either 1 leaf or 2 nested together, and top with the pickles and onions. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, if using. Serve immediately, with the Carrot-Beet Ketchup (below) on the side.
the case against sugar... Most of us have some idea that refined sugar probably isn't great for our health, but Gary Taubes' The Case Against Sugar (Knopf, 2016) is an eye-opening, sobering read about the hold sugar has over our society. Delving deeply into the subject at hand, his words form a powerful and informative argument against this addictive substance. -eLA
CARROT-BEET KETCHUP makes about 1 cup 1 beet (4 oz), trimmed and scrubbed (not peeled) 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice 1⁄3 cup water 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup pinch of ground cloves pinch of sea salt 1⁄8 tsp chili powder (optional) 1 Preheat the oven to 400°F 2 On a small baking sheet or baking dish, roast the beet until tender, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool slightly, then peel and roughly chop. 3 Meanwhile, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan and fit a steamer basket into the pan. 4 Add the carrots to the basket and steam until they are soft but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. 5 In a blender, combine the carrots and beets with the water, vinegar, maple syrup, cloves, and salt and blend until you have a thick, smooth purée. Pulse in the chili powder, if using. Taste for seasoning. ◆ -eLA
on vegetables... Chef Jeremy Fox, who first came to Michelin-star fame at Ubuntu in Napa - a vegetable paradise - is now here in LA at the helm of Rustic Canyon (rusticcanyonwinebar. com) in Santa Monica, among others. In his new cookbook, On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen (Phaidon, 2017), which was released in April, Fox treats these plants with the utmost respect and care. His thoughtful recipes are surely modern - some more approachable than others - and the book almost reads like vegetable poetry. A favorite is Fox's Carrot Juice Cavatelli with Tops Salsa and Spiced Pulp Crumble (see next page for recipe), which utilizes the entire vegetable, from the tops to the juice and pulp. Even the pages of condiments, like Fig, Pepper Skin, & Riesling Jam (great with cheese!) or the Miso Bagna Cauda (this is really versatile, but I love it on hot crusty bread!) are as beautifully inventive as they are craveworthy. -eLA 9
Photograph © Rick Poon
CARROT JUICE CAVATELLI, TOPS SALSA, & SPICED PULP CRUMBLE
Adapted from On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen by Jeremy Fox (Phaidon, 2017) serves 4 4 1/2 cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting 1 tsp kosher salt 1 cup carrot juice from orange carrots, pulp reserved Note: Start cooking the day before you intend to serve this. The carrot pulp and cavatelli dough will need overnight to dehydrate and rest, respectively. Make the Carrot Juice Cavatelli: 1 In a food processor, blend together the flour and salt. With the machine running, slowly add the carrot juice (you may not need all of it), until the dough comes together. You are looking for a texture similar to Play-Doh: elastic, pliable, and not sticking to your fingers when you touch it. If the dough is too dry, add more juice; too wet, add more flour. 2 Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with the heels of your hands for about 1 minute, until smooth. 3 Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. 4 Place the carrot pulp on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 135ºF overnight. 5 About 1 hour before you plan to make
the cavatelli, let the dough come to room temperature – this will make it much easier to work with. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Lightly flour a work surface. Working with one piece at a time - and keeping the rest of the dough covered – roll the dough into a long, thin rope, about 1/8" thick. Cut the rope crosswise into 1/4" pieces. 6 Using a cavatelli board, or the tines of a fork, gently but confidently roll the dough pieces against it. The cavatelli may not come out perfect right away, but soon the motion will find its way into your muscle memory. 7 Once the cavatelli are shaped, lay them in a single layer (not touching) on a baking sheet lined with a tea towel. Repeat this process until all dough has been shaped. These are best cooked when fresh, so if you are going to be cooking them the same day, you can just leave them out. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. 8 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season your water with salt so it tastes like the sea. Add the cavatelli and cook until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes.
CARROT PURÉE makes 1 cup 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1" cubes 6 tbsp grapeseed oil 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more as needed 1 In a bowl, toss the carrots with 2 tbsp of the grapeseed oil and the salt and set aside for about 10 minutes. 2 Transfer the carrots to a food processor and blend until broken up. Transfer the mixture to a saucepot, set over medium-low heat, cover, and cook, undisturbed, for 4045 min. You'll know it's ready when you can smear it with a spoon. 4 Transfer to a blender and blend on low, gradually increasing to high speed as you drizzle in the remaining oil. Blend until it reaches the consistency of mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
CARROT TOPS SALSA VERDE makes 3/4 cup 1/2 cup carrot tops, chopped 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp lemon juice finely grated zest of 2 lemons 1 In a bowl, combine carrot tops, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice (withhold this if not using salsa right away), and lemon zest and whisk thoroughly until combined. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. If storing for later use, don't add lemon juice until just before serving.
CARROT PULP CRUMBLE makes about 3/4 cup 2 cups carrot pulp (from 3 lbs orange carrots that have been juiced) 2 tsp granulated sugar 1 1/2 tsp Fox Spice (below) 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 Spread the pulp evenly on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 125° to 135°F for at least 8 hours, or until completely dry. You should get about 3/4 cup. 2 Transfer the pulp to a mortar and pestle and grind until you have the rustic texture of a fine breadcrumb. Transfer to a bowl and add the sugar, spice, and salt, and stir. Store in an airtight container indefinitely at room temperature. Stir in the olive oil until combined.
FOX SPICE makes 1/3 cup 2 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns 2 tbsp ground mace 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp coriander seeds 1 tsp whole cloves 1 Add all spices to a wide sauté pan and toast over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant - 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer spices to a spice grinder and process until finely ground. Store at room temperature in an airtight containerfor up to 2 months.
TO SERVE 3/4 cup Carrot Purée (below) 4 tbsp Carrot Tops Salsa Verde (below) 4 tbsp Carrot Crumble (below) aged Gouda cheese 1 While the pasta water heats up, gently warm the carrot purée in a small pan over low heat. Keep covered and warm until serving. 2 Using a sieve, scoop the cavatelli out of the pasta water and into a wide bowl. Immediately dress them with the carrot top salsa verde and toss to combine. Ladle in some of the starchy, seasoned pasta water, a little at a time, to open up the flavors and create a very light sauce that will coat the cavatelli. Don’t add too much water or it will make for a thin, diluted sauce. 3 Place dollops of the carrot purée on 4 warmed plates. Spoon the cavatelli on top and sprinkle the carrot crumble over the pasta and the plate. Shave ribbons of Gouda over the top and serve immediately. ◆ -eLA
contributors We asked our contributors to dish on their
FAVORITE OUTDOOR DINING SPOTS IN LA + share tips for when to go and what to get!
Where are your favorites? We want to know! Share on social media with #FeastOnLA
"Tacos Villa Corona, a small family-run taco shop in Atwater Village," suggests photographer ALAN GASTELUM (Local Heroes: The Soul of a School, page 14). "They now operate only a walk-up window (Papa's burrito is my go-to), which forces you to be adventurous in finding somewhere to eat, whether it's a curb on Glendale Blvd, heading to the park with my dog, or stopping at Proof Bakery for a cortado and freshly-squeezed OJ to enjoy at one of their tables."
"Manuela (manuela-la.com) in the courtyard of the Hauser & Wirth arts complex Downtown," recommends contributing writer LISA ALEXANDER (Local Heroes: The Soul of a School, page 14). "A gorgeous mural (I call her Our Lady of the Tomatoes) presides over the organic garden. Drink a Rattlesnake Round Up cocktail as ivy drips overhead. Order grilled carrot salad with labne or yummy polenta with ragù and a fried egg."
"I'm loving Sawyer in Silverlake (sawyerlosangeles.com)," says sommelier and cocktail recipe contributor KRISTINE BOCCHINO (Marvelous Mocktails, page 18). "Their back patio is awesome for both brunch and dinner. At brunch, the root vegetable and duck confit hash is unbeatable and for a light, twilight dinner I would go for the smoked trout salad with horseradish crème fraÎche to start, followed by the Spanish octopus dusted with za'atar."
"Go to Bamboo Restaurant (bamboorestaurant.net) in Culver City's 'Little Brazil' during the summer," suggests food historian, teacher, author, and contributing columnist LINDA CIVITELLO (The Food Historian, page 35). "Tall stands of the namesake plant block Venice Boulevard and pleasant servers keep the fresh sugarcane mojitos flowing. The two spiced and sautéed—not battered and fried— soft shell crabs with plaintains, rice, and beans will leave you with takehome."
"I love to have an early Sunday brunch on the patio at Eveleigh (theeveleigh.com) in West Hollywood," says chef and contributing writer RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT (Marvelous Mocktails, page 18; Behind the Line, page 34). "I always start with the 'Wake Me Up' shot (lemon, ginger, and cayenne), which definitely lives up to its name," he says, "and whole-heartedly recommend their avocado toast and soft scramble."
"The patio at Plant Food + Wine (plantlab.com) in Venice is one of my favorites for lunch and I always make sure to start with the cashew raclette and grilled bread," says editor in chief and contributing writer SHAUNA BURKE (Accomplishing the Impossible, page 12; Crazy for Artichokes, page 20). "For unparalleled views without the ritz or the price tag, I also love to stare at the ocean from Malibu Farm (malibu-farm.com) on the pier. You can't go wrong with anything on the breakfast menu." 11 11
ACCOMPLISHING THE IMPOSSIBLE HOW A PLANT-BASED BURGER MIGHT JUST HELP SAVE THE PLANET BY SHAUNA BURKE
he Impossible Burger (impossiblefoods.com) has popped up very slowly at just a few select restaurants across the nation, so when it made its Los Angeles debut at Tal Ronnen’s famed Crossroads Kitchen (crossroadskitchen.com) in West Hollywood, we marched out with the team to give it a try. What arrived at the table, topped with all the appropriate accoutrements and even adorned with a cute little flag, sure smelled, looked, tasted, and even felt like a real beef burger - except it's made entirely of plants! The patty was nicely seared on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside, and even “bled” when squeezed. This begged the question: why would vegans and vegetarians want a plant-based burger that bleeds like animal meat? In the moment, it didn’t even occur to us that perhaps this burger wasn’t made with vegans and vegetarians in mind. Perhaps the Silicon Valley chefs and food scientists who created the Impossible Burger made it with meat-lovers in mind – and maybe, just maybe, something like this could be part of the solution to the urgent issue of climate change and creating a 12
more sustainable food system. We already know that the beef industry leaves a huge environmental footprint (it sure takes a lot of land,
“TODAY WE RELY ON COWS TO TURN PLANTS INTO MEAT. THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.” – PAT O. BROWN, M.D.,
PH.D, FOUNDER OF IMPOSSIBLE FOODS
water, and food for cows to turn into the beef that ends up on dinner plates) and with a growing population comes an even greater demand on our resources that would seemingly never end. So if a plant-based burger could look and feel like the real thing, could it really turn even some of the most diehard American carnivores into part-time vegetarians? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see, but these technological advances in plantbased food look awfully promising.
Impossible Foods already has more than just a burger in mind - they are working on making other types of meat and dairy - like chicken, pork, fish, and yogurt - entirely out of plants by attempting to recreate the flavors, textures, aromas, and even the nutrition of their animal-based inspirations that the world is so attached to. The team at Impossible Foods researches every aspect of why meat is the way it is, hoping to achieve almost exactly the same product - all the way down to how it looks, feels, and smells while raw - just made entirely from plants.
WHAT'S IN A BURGER So, what exactly goes into an Impossible Burger? It seems to be made predominantly of wheat (sorry, gluten-free folks!), coconut oil, and potatoes. According to the company's website, "the plant-based Impossible Burger delivers bioavailable protein and iron comparable to conventional beef. It has no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics." When making a comparison to the average American beef burger, one could argue that the words
WHAT IS HEME? did you know? 'heme' comes from the Greek word haima, meaning 'blood'
"no cholesterol" are enough of a reason to give this burger a shot!
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., and founder of Impossible Foods, changed the course of his career in order to address the issue of climate change - in particular, to find a way to make the global food system more sustainable. According to the company, the Impossible Burger uses 25% of the water, 5% of the land, and emits 13% of the greenhouse gases emitted to make a beef burger from cows. California is certainly a state that could benefit from impressive figures like this, but these are reductions that could really potentially change the world. The bottom line, of course, is whether or not those many diehard American carnivores can actually wrap their heads around the idea of a plant-based burger substitute. How many years of convincing might it take? ◆
Heme is a an iron-containing molecule - and an important component in a protein called hemoglobin - that helps deliver oxygen to cells and is a contributing factor in giving beef its red color and meaty flavor. Plant-based heme protein is the magic that gives the Impossible Burger its “bleed” and its beef-like aroma, feel, and taste. Left: Chef Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen; Right: Impossible Burger Ingredients; ©Impossible Foods
The Soul BY LISA ALEXANDER PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAN GASTELUM
of a School
AN ENVIRONMENTAL HIGH SCHOOL TAKES ON AN URBAN FARM ALONGSIDE THE LOS ANGELES RIVER
os Angeles River High School (lariverschool.com) has been around for six productive years now. Its principal, Kristine Puich, dressed in black with high boots, gold hoops in her ears, and a chattering walkie-talkie swinging at her belt, strides on ahead during my tour. “You’ll like this,” she says. The bracing wind tears down a central corridor, its curve mimicking the banks of the river just over the way. We go through a chain-link gate, past the football field, and end up in an area landscaped with rocks and concrete steps; students are hunched over pads as they focus on their work. “This is our science and art teacher, Reies,” she says, introducing me to a lively guy in a hoodie with a big smile. Reies Flores turns out to know or thing or two about plants. And it’s here, at the most far-flung edge of the campus, that he's relied on the help of the students - and his considerable talents to create a rare urban farm. The first thing I see: Cabbages. Broccoli. A stalk of oversized kale that resembles a Dr. Seusslike tree. The flash of mallard plumage. The bustle of a gaggle of geese. Neat paths covered in mulch, which were donated by the city. A large greenhouse and worm and compost bins. The garden occupies about an acre in the crux of the I-5 and Route 2 in Glassell Park. Scruffy and peaceful, it’s adjacent to the former Taylor Yard, a Southern Pacific Railroad facility, and trains still roar on by. The students are enthusiastic about the experience, seeming to love being outside caring for the garden and the animals. One student says she sees everything in a different way now. Before this class, she knew vegetables, but now she’s experienced making contact with the seeds and plants and actually seeing and paying attention to how they grow. Another student tells me how she’ll incorporate a garden into her own life once she graduates and goes out into the world. Flores grew up not far from here in Northeast LA. His favorite time as a child was spending time with grandma in her kitchen. She’d cook and tell stories about her childhood in the 15
20s in Zacatecas, Mexico, on what we would now call an organic sustainable farm. He met his wife, also a teacher, at Irving Middle School, then ended up starting his own farm when his daughter was born, since he wanted to feed her food that he knew was safe from pathogens. Luckily for Flores, he landed at the LA River High School where principal Kristine Puich (herself relocated from Oakwood School) is all about encouraging creativity in her educators. She loved Flores’ urban farm experience, suggested he develop the unused plot, and then went to work getting an environmental California Partnership Academy (cde.ca.gov) grant and the necessary certifications to make it all real. Here, the kids are an integral part of the mix. Each small group is responsible for its own garden bed. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” Flores says. “Honors students and ESL students and special interest students - they can all feel equally happy here. There’s no buy-in for the garden. It’s automatic and right away.” The students take the produce home and sometimes even the animals, too (ducks are popular; the geese, not so much). Like many Americans, these kids, too, have gotten fuzzy about how food actually makes its way onto dinner plates. Some of the students couldn’t believe that broccoli actually bloomed (it does - brassica oleracea goes to seed and attracts a lot of beneficial insects.) “It’s really grounded the kids,” Puich says. “They’re calmer now. More focused on their academics. And the
only shift we’ve made is the farm.” In the 90’s there were a lot of agriculture programs in LA Eastside public schools, but it became politically troublesome. Some felt that the kids were being pushed, unfairly, into these more vocational schools and so many of the programs were halted and the students were encouraged to go to college instead. Now the programs are starting to return, but reframed as a more technical pathway of producing well-rounded, environmentallyaware graduates who may end up in agriculture and urban development. Next up in the school’s agricultural pathway is an urban farm-to-table cooking class. “We’ll be using the produce in stir-fries and soups, as well as dairy and eggs. Pretty much everything,” Flores says. In addition to the edible plants, there are the vociferous geese — endangered breeds like Pilgrim, great watchdogs who love to sound an alarm, as well as blueeyed Embdens and a gorgeous Sebastopol with a frizzle of curly feathers resembling Farrah Fawcett’s long-ago bangs. The geese, the very intense geese, crowd forward hissing and honking as I beat a retreat. “They’re protecting a nest,” Flores says. There’s also a long, low coop for the brace of Mallard, Muscovy, Russian Black and Whites, and Swedish blue ducks, as well as a separate enclosure for the equally talkative roosters. The fluffy yellow chicks were warmed inside the greenhouse for months, but now they’re
feathered adolescents, milling about in the yard. Along the back of the property, a drift of orange and grey pigs (yes, a drift — one learns a lot of animal collective nouns on an LA Unified farm!) crowd against the gate. The biggest and most curious, Cheeto, props his hooves on the wood to get a good look. His snout is much bigger than expected, round and pulsing. I feel unnervingly scanned and then, just as quickly, discarded as an inedible lifeform. These kunekune pigs are from New Zealand. “They used to clean up the scraps in the Maori villages,” Flores says. Here they perform a crucial function for the community, enthusiastically eating all the meatbased waste (except, luckily for them, the pork) from the five school cafeterias, while the vegetable-based waste is shunted to the chickens, the worms, and the compost bins. A new herd of sheep has just come to live in a pen by a lot full of school buses. The next purchase will be a miniature Dexter cow. Flores plans to teach the kids how to milk cows and make butter, cheese, and yogurt. The sheds and gates are also recycled, constructed almost entirely out of wooden pallets from the football field. An elevated orchard wraps along the backside of the lot. Preparations are in the works for more edible beds here as well, closest to the river and alongside a native swale area, a riparian tract that holds moisture and thrives with indigenous breeds such as willow and cattail. Juncus grass with its spiky green leaves has grown here as far back as when the Tongva, a local Native American tribe, used it to
roof their huts. Whole systems agriculture like this uses natural spaces to attract wildlife and they in turn are good for the garden. Herons, egrets, and hawks, both Cooper’s and Redtails, regularly land for a pit stop. The Mallard ducks, the wildest of the bunch, sometimes take off for a spin around the land. The end goal here at LA River High School is to set up a program that will be seen as a necessity to deal with waste and avoid the landfill. The school has so far accomplished this with five public schools on their campus. The next frontier would be the district and on from there. The big idea is to recycle things to help grow other things and eventually get to producing absolutely zero food waste. Standing here on the banks, the tended plants and animals on one side and the wild scruff of a river making a comeback on the other, it all makes a whole lot of sense. Just then those geese get to honking and Flores grins. “Train’s coming,” he says. ◆
sip on this
MARVELOUS MOCKTAILS It'd be a mistake to overlook the mocktail. Teetotalers and imbibers alike can appreciate a great cocktail sans alcohol - especially in the middle of, say, a workday lunch or a blazing hot afternoon sunning by the pool. After all, it takes just as much skill and creativity to craft these virgin tipples as any other cocktail on the menu. - and there is nothing more refreshing on a warm spring day.
©Pixel Stories/Stocksy United
BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT
THAT'S MY JAM Kristine Bocchino, tasting room supervisor at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village (fourseasons.com/westlakevillage) prefers to use her homemade apricot jam for this mocktail, but says a good organic store-bought variety will do just fine here.
INGREDIENTS 2 tsp organic apricot jam 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz thyme syrup (recipe follows) 1/2 oz pitaya (dragonfruit) purée soda water 1 dried apricot with a small slit cut into one side , for garnish 1 sprig fresh thyme
THYME SYRUP INGREDIENTS 16 oz filtered water 2 cups organic cane sugar 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Add jam, lime juice, thyme syrup, and one ounce of soda water to a shaker with ice. Shake hard until very cold. 2 Double-strain into a Collins glass filled with oversized ice cubes or spheres. 3 Top with soda water, then gently spoon the pitaya purée on the top of the cocktail. 4 Garnish with a whole dried apricot on the rim of the glass and a sprig of thyme.
PINEAPPLE GINGER BEER Eric Alperin, co-owner of The Varnish (213hospitality.com) Downtown, shares this wildly refreshing recipe for a flavorful springtime sipper.
INGREDIENTS 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1 oz fresh pineapple juice 1 oz ginger syrup (recipe follows) crystallized ginger, for garnish lemon wedge, for garnish
1 Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. 2 Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. 3 When cooled, pull out the sprigs of thyme and chill the syrup in an airtight container until ready to use.
TO PREPARE COCKTAIL
Stir vigorously to combine.
1 liter (roughly 34 oz) 675 g (roughly 24 oz by weight) superfine sugar
METHOD 1 Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake very quickly. 2 Strain into a frozen Collins glass filled with fresh ice 3 Garnish with crystallized ginger and a lemon wedge
8 oz filtered water, warm or at room temperature 1 cup honey
METHOD 1 Whisk honey and water until honey is completely dissolved. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
I've been very into chamomile recently - its earthy, floral sweetness lends itself to cocktails of all kinds and is especially refreshing as a simple glass of iced tea on a warm day.
This is sort of like a mojito, but the tonic water adds a ton of flavor to something that might otherwise be a bit boring. If using traditional, sweeter tonic water, you may want to first prepare the mocktail without honey syrup, then taste - it may be sweet enough without adding anymore sugar.
INGREDIENTS 4 oz brewed chamomile tea, chilled 3/4 oz honey syrup (recipe follows) 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 3 sprigs fresh mint sparkling water
METHOD 1 Add mint, honey syrup, and lime juice to a shaker tin and muddle. 2 Fill shaker with ice and chamomile tea, then shake well until very cold. 3 Strain over ice and top with sparkling water.
HONEY SYRUP INGREDIENTS
INGREDIENTS 4 oz low sugar tonic water, such as Q tonic water 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz honey syrup (see above recipe) 12 leaves fresh mint lime wheel, for garnish sprig of fresh mint, for garnish
METHOD 1 In a heavy-bottomed rocks glass, muddle mint with lime juice and honey syrup. 2 Add ice to glass, then fill with tonic water, and stir. 3 Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of fresh mint. â—†
Local chefs and bartenders share their best artichoke recipes, so go out and grab these thistles while you still can! BY SHAUNA BURKE
Photo Â©Tatjana Ristanic/Stocksy United
rowing up, I vividly remember my mom making steamed artichokes with melted butter - it felt like such a treat. My official job was to snip any prickly tips from the bottom outer leaves and to scoop out the choke (the furry stuff in the center of the heart) with a teaspoon before we dropped them into the steamer. To this day, eating whole artichokes still feels like a treat and I try to get my fix as much as I can during peak season, which is March through June. The following recipes vary in difficulty, with a few artichoke liqueur-based cocktails to sip on as you work.
STUFFED ARTICHOKES makes 4
Chef Ted Hopson of The Bellwether (thebellwetherla.com) in Studio City says, “stuffed artichokes will always remind me of my childhood growing up in an Italian household! It’s one of those traditional dishes that gets passed down from generation to generation and everyone’s version is slightly different...No matter what the variations are, there always seem to be great memories attached.”
INGREDIENTS 4 artichokes 1 cup dried breadcrumbs 8 oz olive oil 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 3 oz proscuitto scraps, minced (or any type of salumi) 1 pinch red pepper flakes 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, minced 4 lemons, zested 2 lemons, juiced 10 garlic cloves, minced kosher salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste
METHOD 1 Using a serrated knife, cut off the artichoke tops, leaving approximately 2/3 of the bottom. 2 Blanch the artichokes in salted boiling water for 10-15 min, depending on their size, until tender. Remove with a large slotted spoon and allow to cool. 3 Preheat oven to 350°F. 4 While the artichokes are cooling, mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and allow breadcrumbs to absorb and saturate. 5 Once the artichokes are cool enough to handle, gently spread open the tops of the artichokes and stuff them with the mixture, making sure to get in between all the layers and leaves. 6 Place artichokes in a baking pan, cover with foil, and bake for about 15 min.
1 cup mayonnaise 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1/4 tsp whole-grain mustard
METHOD 1 Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
BABY ARTICHOKES WITH AGED RICE PORRIDGE, MUSTARD GARUM, AND VERJUS BUTTERMILK NAGE serves 6
Jonathan Whitener, chef/owner of the wonderful new-ish Here's Looking at You (hereslookingatyoula.com) shares his gloriously sophisticated ode to artichokes. This recipe takes some time, but is well worth the effort! Stuffed Artichoke, The Bellwether
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F, remove foil, and continue to bake for until 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.
STEAMED ARTICHOKES WITH OLD BAY AÏOLI makes 4
Jennifer Rush, Owner of Blue Plate Santa Monica (blueplatesantamonica. com) serves up these delicious steamed artichokes at the Oysterette.
INGREDIENTS 4 Large artichokes, trimmed and leaves cut back to resemble a flower 1 cup olive oil 1 cup red wine vinegar 12 peppercorns 1 bay leaf Spike seasoning, to taste
METHOD 1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add oil, vinegar, and spices. 2 Boil artichokes for 45 minutes - or until tender - and drain thoroughly. 3 Serve with drawn butter or Old Bay aïoli (recipe follows).
OLD BAY AÏOLI INGREDIENTS
BABY ARTICHOKES INGREDIENTS 24 baby artichokes, cleaned and trimmed in acidulated water (add fresh lemon juice to a big bowl of cold water to keep artichokes from turning brown) 1/4 cup olive oil 1 large onion, 1/8-inch slices 1 tsp kosher salt 1 black lime, crushed 1 large carrot, 1/8-inch wheels 2 celery stalks, cut 1/8-inch on the bias 3 cloves garlic 1 cup dry white wine 2 cups water 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 stems fresh parsley 1 bay leaf
METHOD 1 In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and sweat the vegetables until tender. Deglaze with white wine. 2 Add the herbs, spices, and water. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 30-40 minutes until the artichokes are just al dente. 3 Cool artichokes at room temperature. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt to taste.
MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS 1 cup whole-grain mustard 21
easy artichoke gratin
3 cups artichoke cooking liquid 1 tsp French butter 2 tbs mustard vinaigrette cooked baby artichokes buttermilk nage fresh thyme leaves, for garnish 1 In a saute pan, reduce 3 cups of the artichoke liquid by almost half, then swirl in one teaspoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of the mustard vinaigrette to create a sauce. 3 Add artichokes and some of its garnish and bring up to a simmer — adjust with more cooking liquid if it gets too thick. 4 In a small serving bowl, spoon in porridge and top off with artichokes and sauce. 5 Using a hand blender, foam up the buttermilke nage in a bowl and spoon it over artichokes. 6 Garnish with a few fresh thyme leaves.
EASY ARTICHOKE GRATIN
I love this recipe just because I can utilize frozen artichoke hearts year-round. It's a very simple recipe and I've even been known to chop up leftovers for spooning on crusty toasted bread, drizzled with more olive oil.
3 Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve in a saucepan.
1 Whisk all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
VERJUS BUTTERMILK NAGE INGREDIENTS 2 cups white verjus 2 cups buttermilk 1/4 cup shallots, sliced 1/8 tsp soy lecithin 1/8 tsp kosher salt
METHOD 1 Combine all ingredients in a lidded saucepan and cook on low heat, lid on, until shallots are soft. 2 Add the mixture to a blender and blend on high until very smooth.
AGED RICE PORRIDGE 1 cup Carolina Gold rice, such as Anson Mills 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup fortified chicken stock 1 burnt fresh lemon peel 1 bay leaf 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
METHOD 1 Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and simmer for 5 minutes to reach a creamy porridge consistency. 2 Adjust with water as needed, for consistency. Add salt to taste and set aside.
TO ASSEMBLE & SERVE
METHOD 1 Preheat oven to 425°F. 2 Add olive oil to a skillet over med-high heat. Sauté the artichokes until lightly golden brown, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, cooking just until the garlic turns lightly golden, about 1 minute. 3 Deglaze the pan with white wine, being sure to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetable broth and gently simmer until the liquid has reduced a bit, 3-4 minutes.
Photograph © Davide Illini/Stocksy United
2 tbsp garum (fish sauce), such as Red Boat 2 tbsp mustard oil 2 tbsp persimmon vinegar 2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil 1 lb frozen artichoke hearts, thawed 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup white wine 1/3 cup vegetable broth 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest 2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped 1 tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4 Remove from heat, then add parsley, basil, and lemon zest. 5 Transfer artichokes to a baking dish and set aside. 6 In a small bowl, mix butter, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese together, then sprinkle the mixture over the artichokes. 7 Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are nicely golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. NOTE: I recommend a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt prior to serving.
1 Add all ingredients to an ice-filled mixing glass, stir well, and fine strain into a Nick & Nora glass. 2 Twist lemon peel over the top of the cocktail, then garnish with burnt thyme and lemon peel.
CYANARA SUCKER makes one cocktail
Cyanara Sucker, Pedalers Fork
CHEERFUL CYNAR Cynar (pronounced "CHEE-nar") is an Italian bittersweet liqueur, or amaro, made from many different plants but is made mostly from artichokes! Sure, you could try your hand at making your own artichoke liqueur at home, but the existing concoction is pretty near perfection if you ask us. Grab a bottle and shake (or stir) these up tonight!
MERO MERO makes one cocktail
Jason Eisner, beverage director at plant-based favorite Gracias Madre (graciasmadreweho.com) in West Hollywood, makes his own artichoke liqueur and cherry liqueur for this cocktail, but both can easily be substituted with popular store-bought varieties.
INGREDIENTS 1 oz Mezcal Espadin 1/2 oz Tequila Reposado 1/2 oz Cynar 1/2 oz Luxardo Cherry Liqueur 1/2 oz Punt e Mes 2 dashes orange bitters orange peel, for garnish
METHOD 1 Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice, and stir very well. 2 Strain into a single rocks glass over one large rock of ice.
3 To garnish, cut a swath of orange peel and twist to express the orange oil over the top of the cocktail.
THE NIGHT MANAGER makes one cocktail
Laurel Hardware (laurelhardware.com) recently opened a new Mezcal Bar within their existing West Hollywood location and bartender Dustin Shaw's bittersweet mezcal concoction sure hits the spot after a long day!
INGREDIENTS 1 oz Los Nahuales reposado mezcal 1 oz Four Roses Small-Batch bourbon 1/2 oz Modern Times Black House Blend cold brew coffee 1/2 oz Fernet-Branca 1/2 oz Cynar 1/2 oz agave nectar 1/4 oz St George absinthe 3 drops Cocktailpunk Alpino bitters fresh lemon peel, for garnish sprig of fresh thyme, for garnish
Eliza Till, bar manager and mixologist at Pedalers Fork (pedalersfork.com) in Calabasas, crafted this simple and dangerously refreshing cocktail, perfect for springtime sipping on their patio!
INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz Barr Hill gin 1/2 oz Cynar 1/2 oz Aperol lemon wheel, for garnish sprig of fresh thyme, for garnish
METHOD 1 Add all ingredients to a highball glass, fill with ice, and top with a splash of soda water. 2 Garnish with a lemon wheel and thyme sprig.
CARCIOFO SPRITZ makes one cocktail
A play on the traditional spritz, but just slightly more bitter. A great, easy cocktail for entertaining and a great way to use up a bottle of Cynar sitting around the house.
INGREDIENTS 1 oz Cynar 4 oz Prosecco or sparkling wine 1 oz soda water orange wheel
METHOD 1 Pour Cynar into a wine glass, then fill with ice. Add sparkling wine, stir well, then top with sparkling water and drop the orange wheel right into the glass.◆
STORY & ILLUSTRATIONS BY JEREMY DELLAROSA
just to name a few. If a recipe exists, chances are someone, somewhere is putting marijuana in it. What’s more, edibles are bound to take on an entirely different life in Los Angeles. As anyone from LA will tell you, whatever “thing” happens to be trending o it finally happened. Like a game of dominoes, at any given time – and, let’s face it, marijuana has been California, long known as one of the bluest states trending in this city since the infancy of its popularity – in the nation, has followed suit behind its left-coast there is the thing and then there is the chic version of the neighbors - and a handful of other states - in legalizing thing. Don’t be fooled by played-out ideas of a dreadlocked, recreational marijuana. And no matter how you patchouli-scented marijuana culture. Old labels no feel about it, at this point in the evolution of longer apply. Many of these goodies are getting this issue, resistance is quickly becoming the high-end boutique treatment. Just look at tantamount to opening an umbrella under Lord Jones (lordjones.com). This Los Angeles the shadow of a tidal wave. Whether we manufacturer of fine artisan candies and like it or not, it’s happening. Frankly, states chocolates - and even body lotions - boasts like Colorado and Washington have shown a product line reminiscent of a scene from that, regardless of all the reefer-madnessWilly Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and like paranoia, nothing supremely awful is are produced to be as scrumptious as they likely to happen. In fact, much of what has are healing. And don’t forget about all of resulted has been extremely positive. the considerations being made for those Legalization, for any state, means a pesky dietary restrictions, but who would whole new sector of industry, which means expect anything less from this city? One new jobs, new business opportunities, and an thing is for sure: in one of the single greatest influx of progressively-minded entrepreneurs multicultural concentrations on the planet, and tourists alike. Not to mention all that all of which have left their culinary mark, useful, useful revenue. But positive progress there are countless opportunities for edibles notwithstanding, let’s get down to the tasty, to expand into the food-iverse. THC-laden subject at hand: the many faces of It is worth noting that, edible marijuana. even with all of the interest in the product, The product is changing - no doubt about and all of the possibilities surrounding it, that. With wildly different strains of cannabis engineered the actual number of establishments that will be able to produce a variety of effects, the high has become all but to open their doors to the cannabis-loving public remains customizable. In the wake of legalization, edible marijuana to be seen. The ins and outs of the law – referred to as the products are almost looking to become an industry all their Adult Use of Marijuana Act – are too intricate for this article own. At the very (for more, check least, they are a far the California "DON'T BE FOOLED BY PLAYED-OUT IDEAS OF A out cry from that dry NORML website’s DREADLOCKED, PATCHOULI-SCENTED MARIJUANA Guide to AUMA tin of haphazardly constructed pot at canorml.org) CULTURE. OLD LABELS NO LONGER APPLY." brownies from but as many are those long-gone aware, some of the high school days. But at their best, edibles represent a stipulations on marijuana dispensaries are still based on massive swath of culinary concoctions that could make laws enacted with the legalization of medical marijuana Julia Child herself tremble with intimidation. The standards in California several years ago, which might bottleneck - brownies and the like - still exist, but the bar has certainly industry hopefuls at the door. Then, of course, there is been raised for innovators of new and delicious treats. the looming federal issue. Let’s not forget that regardless Pizza sauce, jams, jellies, smoothies, and fortune cookies, of states passing legalization – California being one of
the freshest among them – federal law still says “NO” and many extant pot-based businesses are keenly aware of that fact. Take LA company Kushy Punch (kushypunch.com), producer of a delicious rainbow of THC and CBD gummies for consumers of both recreational and medical products. As is explicitly stated on their website, “we risk our lives and the livelihoods of our families in an industry that is still federally illegal.” Nevertheless, they see their venture as philanthropic, providing the masses with “nature’s cure – perfectly balanced and packaged for consumption.” In any case, with few exceptions thus far, the edible marijuana movement has been mostly relegated to retail. Where edibles have the most room for growth – and probably the most legal jargon to navigate – is in the hospitality industry. Some think that the confines of the law will keep those branches from growing, while others think that cannabis will make its way into everything from restaurants to bars to convenience stores. There are others, still, who don’t waste time speculating, and are taking matters into their own hands. Enter The Herbal Chef, Christopher Sayegh (theherbalchef.com). In the spring of 2016, Sayegh hosted a private, multi-course pop-up dinner featuring cannabisinfused dishes, and has plans to open LA’s first cannabisbased restaurant, Herb, in Santa Monica at the end of the year. But the business model isn’t based on regular meal service and doesn’t depend on lunch or dinner rushes. Rather, the restaurant will operate on a limited-reservation basis. Guests will be offered a choice of three, five, or ten course meals, with or without wine, and will be required to make reservations through an online service well in advance. They will also be provided with what essentially amounts to a medical card, which is required to participate. So, what about flavor? On a list of the most important qualities of food, immediately after the basic need for sustenance, would be flavor. Flavor is likely the single most important principle driving the past decade’s meteoric rise of food, eating, and chefs into the public consciousness. Yet, for all of the publicity and attention that edible marijuana is receiving, there seems to be little talk of it. Rather, the real emphasis seems to be on the effects of the product. As Chef Sayegh puts it, “the taste of cannabis is not a pleasant one,” but that doesn’t mean this is just another high. Chefs like Sayegh offer up a perfect example of the level of sophistication 26
that edible marijuana products are reaching for. He isn’t interested in catering to "the munchies". Instead, his menus at Herb will feature incredibly sophisticated dishes that utilize isolates of the cannabis plant called terpenes, which are basically the essential oils of the plant that provide a given strain’s distinct aroma and help define its particular effect. Rather than just getting blitzed and stuffing their faces, Chef Sayegh and his staff of well-trained, focused cooks – no slacker-stoners here – will use their terpene infusions and meticulously sourced ingredients to provide guests with a carefully crafted experience. “We don’t have servers,” says Sayegh, “we have guides.” Chef Sayegh hopes to use Herb to forge a path for the future of cannabis in food service, building a foundation for businesses to come. It’s not easy being a pioneer and this isn’t bound to be any easier. But Sayegh’s resolve is solid and there is certainly no lack of support surrounding him. As this is being written, the current administration is ramping up their language regarding drug enforcement and, although the cannabis movement is becoming ever stronger, it is still just fragile enough to be undermined by any serious federal efforts. However this will affect the future of this industry, we shall see. But no matter what happens, pressure and influence from the cannabis movement is building behind the floodgates. Within that, edible marijuana is poised to change the entire culinary landscape of Los Angeles and beyond. Let’s hope it’s allowed to. ◆
WASTED. Food waste gets the respect it deserves. BY SARAH HENRY
ood waste fighter Ben Simon, who founded the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland in 2011, turned a kernel of an idea into a full-fledged campus movement—with chapters at 150 colleges and counting across the country. The former head of the largest student-run waste-prevention program in the United States has witnessed a sea change in consumer and media awareness on a subject previously relegated to snoozeville status. “I’ve seen a huge spike in interest in the subject of food waste in the past five years,” says Simon, who now lives in Northern California and co-founded Imperfect in 2015. The start-up sells so-called ugly fruits and vegetables to San Francisco Bay Area consumers in CSA-style boxes, as well as through a partnership with local Whole Foods Market stores. “When I first started it felt like there were about 10 people focused on this topic. Now it’s hard to keep up with
all the new players, innovations and research on the subject. It’s an exciting time. There’s real momentum.” That’s reflected in Imperfect’s business plan: The company championing cosmetically challenged fruits and vegetables wants to service customers beyond California by the end of 2016; it hopes to be in most major American cities by 2018. On the East Coast, Hungry Harvest currently offers a similar service to the residents of Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. It’s not just start-ups, nonprofits and idealistic students jumping on the food waste prevention bandwagon. In July 2016, Walmart— America’s largest grocery store chain— piloted a program “I’m Perfect,” selling blemished and dented Washington state apples in 300 Florida stores. This on the heels of the company’s “Spuglies” campaign, which found a market for Russet potatoes roughed up by Texas weather. Both Whole Foods and Walmart have been targeted in Change.org petitions calling the stores out for tossing or turning away funkylooking produce. Celebrity chefs around the globe have also taken up the cause. There’s top chef Massimo Bottura, of the award-winning Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. He led an effort to reclaim surplus food from the Athletes’ Village at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year to feed hungry residents of that city’s impoverished favelas. New York restaurateur and “Top Chef ” judge Tom Colicchio has taken to Capitol Hill with other finedining chefs to lobby legislators on the matter. This spring, Democratic Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine introduced The Food Date Labeling Act, designed to regulate food expiration labels in an attempt to reduce food waste. Colicchio and his restaurant brethren point to the staggering amount of food that’s wasted in American homes and seek 29
to educate policymakers and the public on how to prevent it. Fellow New Yorker Dan Barber turned his Blue Hill restaurant into the pop-up wastED in 2015, serving fish heads, pockmarked potatoes, whipped chickpea water, burger patties fashioned from juice pulp, and dumpster-dive salad to diners eager to eat well in the name of food waste prevention. Meanwhile, global media concerns like The Huffington Post have focused on food waste as a worthy cause to cover extensively. And international companies, such as the design and innovation consulting firm Ideo, are crowdsourcing ways to tackle the issue. Educational events featuring menus filled with ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste are drawing eaters and attention. The Salvage Supperclub, for instance, has hosted dinner parties in garbage dumpsters in Brooklyn, Berkeley, San Francisco and Tokyo. Food waste is having a moment. And combating the problem is no longer an unfun undertaking. Case in point: witty marketing efforts in Europe, such as the popular program by the French supermarket Intermarché. The grocery chain made ugly hip and hiked sales with its Inglorious fruits and vegetables campaign celebrating produce oddities. The United States is following suit. For example, Giant Eagle stores in Pittsburgh are singing the praises of misshapen potatoes and awkwardly sized apples in its Produce with Personality campaign. Humor, it turns out, may be a much more effective weapon than guilt in the war against food waste. “People are playing with fun, creative ways to empower people to think about food waste and act,” says Simon. “It’s a good time to capitalize on that energy. This is no longer an invisible issue. With this kind of snowballing effect, there’s the real possibility for significant change to take place.”
TOO GOOD TO WASTE
ellow food waste warrior Dana Gunders agrees. “Food is simply too good to waste,” says Gunders, a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food never gets eaten.” Her message to home cooks is clear and succinct: Just. Do. Something. We aren’t single-handedly responsible for the country’s food waste crisis and we aren’t single-handedly going to solve the problem, either. But we can all do a better job, says Gunders, of managing our own excess at home. Her focus is waste prevention, not food recovery, and she practices what she preaches. She learned the hard way that beets weren’t her thing: She’d roast them, wrap them and store them in the refrigerator, and promptly forget to eat them. So for now that root vegetable is off Gunders’ grocery list. Gunders sees ways to avoid food waste at every stage of the food supply chain: from the farm to the fork to the landfill. “Given all the resources demanded during food production, it’s simply critical that the least amount possible is needlessly squandered on its way to our plates,” she says. While it might be convenient to point the finger at Big Ag or Big Business or Big Food Service Providers, the reality is that regular eaters—people like you and me—account for a significant amount of food waste. We are all to blame or, put more gently, we can all be part of the solution. ◆
BEST USED Food Saving Kitchen Tips for Home Cooks
1 GIVE EGGS A CHANCE. They can last three to five weeks in the refrigerator regardless of the expiration date. Try this quick test: Place an egg in a cup of water. If it sinks, it’s good to eat. If it floats it belongs in the compost bin. 2 STORE FRESH BASIL LIKE FRESH-CUT FLOWERS. Keep at room temperature with stems in a glass of water; refresh daily. 3 KEEP WHOLE TOMATOES ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER. They do best away from direct sunlight, stem end up. This retains the fruits taste and texture, too. 4 SUB IN SOUR PASTEURIZED MILK. It can fill in for buttermilk in pancakes, waffles or baked goods that call for curdled dairy. 5 SOAK WILTED GREENS. Put kale, chard, collards, lettuce, spinach and arugula in a bowl of ice water for five to 10 minutes to restore crispness. 6 SEPARATE BERRIES. They do best when stored in a single layer in an aerated container or on a cloth-lined tray covered loosely with another cloth. 7 SAUTÉ LETTUCE OR MIXED SALAD GREENS BEFORE THEY GO OFF. Yes, cooked salad greens can be delicious in butter or olive oil with salt, garlic and red pepper flakes. 8 ADD PEELED BROCCOLI STALKS TO SALADS. They provide extra crunch and sweetness. 9 USE SLIGHTLY OVERRIPE AVOCADOS. They add creaminess in smoothies and mousses. 10 INFUSE VODKA. Think softening fruit, citrus peels, fresh herbs, ginger, cucumbers or chile peppers; mix in cocktail of your choice. Cheers! Source: Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook (Chronicle Books, 2015)
1 PLAN AHEAD. Use a grocery list to limit impulse buys. Buy less, and buy more often. Factor in no-cook nights. Donate excess to a local food pantry or food recovery service before it goes bad.
4 UNDERSTAND EXPIRATION DATES. “Sell by,” “use by,” “enjoy by” and “best before” dates generally indicate when a manufacturer feels a food item is at its peak quality. These labels, largely unregulated, are typically not an indication of food safety. Trust your eyes and nose when it comes to what is still good to eat. Exceptions to this rule include deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses, smoked seafood: In these cases, do follow the “use by”dates.
2 STORE FOOD PROPERLY. Potatoes, onions and garlic belong in a cool, dry spot, not the refrigerator. Separate fruit and vegetables in the fridge. Dark leafy greens last longer wrapped in a paper towel or cloth.
5 TAKE A FRIDGE INVENTORY. Replenish perishables as you use them up, move older produce to the front of the fridge or top of the crisper when stocking new groceries so you’ll see them before they go bad.
3 EAT IT ALL. Carrot tops work in salsa verde. Grapefruit peels can be candied. Potato skins make crisps. Veggie scraps add flavor to stock, as do animal carcasses. Stale bread transforms into breadcrumbs. Parmesan rinds add fatty flavor to a pot of beans. ◆
6 KEEP A KITCHEN WASTE DIARY. Use ◆
FOOD WASTE PREVENTION TIPS ◆ your phone to track food for a couple of weeks or fill out a wasted food form, then adjust shopping lists and cooking habits as needed.
7 LEARN TO LOVE LEFTOVERS. Pasta, rice, beans, a cooked chicken, roasted veggies can all be reimagined into new dishes. Make it a point to take leftovers for lunch. Designate a night for foraging in the fridge. 8 CONSIDER PORTION SIZE. Keep careful tabs on how much you cook. Watch for plate waste at home and when eating out. 9. Befriend the freezer. Store extra pasta sauce, a half loaf of bread and leftovers in the freezer for future use. Label and date containers of sauces, soups and stews—which all freeze well—to jog your memory down the track.
9 GROW YOUR OWN HERBS. It’s easy to do, requires little space, and herbs are rarely sold in portion sizes designed for home cooks. Failing that: Turn excess herbs into pesto, chimichurri sauce or herbed butter before they turn to mush in the bottom of the crisper bin.
Source: Dana Gunders
the food historian
"The jail door stood open"... Baking powder wars in Los Angeles BY LINDA CIVITELLO
n November 1903, police arrested two Los Angeles grocers. The charge: selling adulterated food. The product: baking powder. Baking powder?! This chemical leavening shortcut that nobody thinks twice about today was first patented in 1856. It quickly replaced time-consuming yeast in almost all baked goods and unleashed a century-long cutthroat food fight for control of the national market. Los Angeles, with more than $400,000 worth of baking powder on the shelves, was a prize. A tip from someone connected to the Royal Baking Powder Trust had led to the arrests. By 1900, Americans were purchasing 140 million pounds of baking powder. Royal’s problem was that its share of this huge market was only 20 million pounds because Royal was expensive. Royal’s baking powder was based on cream of tartar, a byproduct of wine production, imported primarily from France and Italy. The competition’s baking powder was based on an inexpensive mineral from the United States, sodium aluminum sulfate, or “alum.” Royal came up with a simple marketing concept to counteract its sliding market share: declare its products pure and its competitors products toxic. Then get laws passed that made its competitors’ products illegal. This would create a grassroots pure food movement and would pressure the United States Congress to pass a national law that prohibited alum baking powders. In 1899, Royal kicked off its plan with a guarantee: it bribed the Missouri legislature to have "alum" baking powders outlawed. Then it went through the country trying to do the same, state by state. In December 1903, the two arrested Los Angeles grocers went on trial. They were accused of violating the 1895 California law, “An Act to Provide Against the Adulteration of Food and Drugs.” The defense strategy was two-pronged. First, make it clear that business competition was behind the arrests, with the intent to force consumers
“to purchase the product of the Royal Baking Powder Company, the Baking Powder Trust, at a price of forty-five to fifty cents a pound, instead of sixteen cents a pound, which is the price of the so-called alum powders.” Second, the defense hammered the point that baking powder was not food and therefore could not be adulterated. The difficulties in prosecuting new food technology became apparent in this lawsuit. The court struggled to define baking powder. It asked, “Is baking powder a substance which is fed upon to support life by being received within and assimilated by the organism of man? Is it eaten for nourishment? Does it supply nourishment to the animal organism? It is nutriment or aliment?” Judge Chambers agreed with the defense attorneys that baking powder was not food. On Wednesday, January 6, 1904, the Los Angeles Herald trumpeted: “BAKING POWDER MEN GO FREE.” But the alum baking powder companies were not finished with Royal. In 1904, four California state senators were about to introduce a pure food bill. Based on the Missouri law, it would have outlawed alum baking powders throughout California. Instead, all four senators just happened to get caught taking bribes with marked bills in a different matter. Someone, it seems, had tipped off detectives in Sacramento, who had initiated a sting. The senators were in jail; the anti-alum bill was defunct. In 1906, the national Pure Food and Drug Act went into effect and dashed Royal’s dreams: it did not outlaw “alum” baking powders. Chemical additives in food are routine in the twenty-first century but they were new in the nineteenth. The Los Angeles court case helped to make baking powder one of the first products that broke down the dam for the chemical flood in foods, and made American food not farm-to-table, but factory-to-table. ◆ Photo: Civitello's latest book, Baking Powder Wars: The Cutthroat Food Fight That Revolutionized Cooking (University of Illinois Press, 2017). 33
BEHIND THE LINE WITH STENSLAND SMITH
SOUS CHEF AT BREVA INSIDE THE FIGUEROA HOTEL (opening soon) BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT
FAVORITE DAY-OFF RECIPE
Shrimp gumbo with Andouille sausage serves 4
INGREDIENTS 1/2 lb Andouille sausage, 1/4-inch slices 4 tbsp unsalted butter 1/4 cup all-purpose four 1 1/2 lbs 16/20-count shrimp 2 quarts shrimp stock 1 cup yellow onion, diced 1/2 cup celery, diced 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced 2 tbsp garlic, finely minced 1 large bay leaf 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes, drained steamed white rice, for serving (optional)
Photo Â©Vera Lair/Stocksy United
METHOD 1 Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and sear sausage until golden brown. Remove sausage using a slotted spoon and set aside. 2 Add onions, celery, and bell pepper, garlic, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes 3 Reduce heat to low and sprinkle flour into the pot, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk to make a roux. Continue stirring until it reaches the color of dark chocolate 4 Add tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and shrimp stock. Continue cooking on medium heat until liquid has reduce has slightly thickened 5 Add sausage and shrimp and allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes or until shrimp is pink and firm. Turn off heat. Serve immediately with steamed white rice
SMITH'S LOCAL FAVORITES COCKTAIL
TACOS AL PASTOR, LEO'S TACO TRUCK, LOS ANGELES
EVERYTHING AT L.A.RSIAN BARBECUE GRILL FILIPINO FOOD TRUCK, LOS ANGELES
MITSUWA MARKETPLACE, SANTA MONICA
POST-SHIFT BAR OF CHOICE THE LINCOLN, VENICE
BREAKFAST SPOT RUTT'S HAWAIIAN CAFE, CULVER CITY 34
PISCO SOUR AT THE TASTING KITCHEN, VENICE
SANDWICH THE GODMOTHER, BAY CITIES ITALIAN DELI, SANTA MONICA
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