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edibleLA SUMMER 2019

Issue No. 10

Sharing the Story of Local Food, Season by Season


outdoor issue


Open-Air Taste Marketplace • Block Parties Workshops • Cooking Demos Family Pavilion • Interactive Experiences slowfoodnations.org • #slowfoodnations


36 14 EDITOR’S LETTER p. 4

features 20


in every issue


Connecting with nature is the answer for these local food and beverage veterans—with recipes!











A chat with Tiffani Thiessen on gardening with her kids, plus a recipe for a Nectarine Caprese!

Brendan Brazier on fueling up with a vegan diet and saving the world one healthy venture at a time.

Meet the woman behind Gelateria Uli and the creamiest sorbets we’ve ever had!

departments 34




Remembering Helen Evans Brown and her influence on modern California cuisine.

Local bartenders share cocktail recipes featuring California rosés.


recipes 14 14 15 18 18 22 22 23 23 23 34 34 36 37 37 42




editor's note

NO. 10



Late last year, we participated in a dinner club downtown and were introduce to the exquisite sorbets at Gelateria Uli—not too sweet, not icy, but creamy like gelato and full of flavor. I met with Uli last month and am happy to include her as our summer cover story. We photographed her shopping at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, which is usually where she shops and heads for new flavor inspiration.

EDITOR IN CHIEF Shauna Burke CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Alexander Kristine Bocchino Shauna Burke Ryan Caveywoolpert Hayley Christopher Maite Gomez-Rejón Carolina Korman

To subscribe, We also had a chat with Brendan Brazier, a fellow plant-based eater and outdoorsman who co-founded Vega and is involved in an impressive array of other projects. Reading through that article (Plant-Based for the Win, page 24) inspired me to get outside and exercise as often as I possibly can this summer. Luckily, we live in the ideal locale for year round outdoor activities. This summer, we are making an effort to get out to shop at more and more farmers markets across the city. If you have a favorite, let us know! I, for one, am desperately trying to reduce my plastic usage in the kitchen and ditching conventional grocery stores can be one move in the right direction, although it seems like a truly plastic-free home kitchen will be a lot of work and take a lot of preparation. I’d love to hear from any readers who are trying this or have successfully gone plastic free. Happy Summer,




Shauna Shauna Burke Editor in Chief

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Reach out to me: edit@ediblela.com Instagram: @iamshaunaburke

Winner of James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Publication of the Year

COVER: Shopping with Uli Nasibova at the Santa Monica Farmers Market; © Carolina Korman

Every effort is made to avoid errors and misspellings. If you see an error, please notify us. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2019 Pulp & Branch LLC. All rights reserved.

Premium, Gourmet Plant-Based Cheese Non-Dairy Soy-Free Gluten-Free At Lassens, Erewhon or see full list of stores online. We ship!

Made in Ventura, CA

ReineVeganCuisine.com @EdibleLAMag



our contributors Our contributors tell us where to find their

FAVORITE BEAT-THE-HEAT TREATS IN LA Share yours with us on Instagram @EdibleLAMag #FeastOnLA and we’ll repost our favorites!

"Grom’s Cioccolato Extranoir sorbet [with Venezualen chocolate and chips] is my personal fave,” says contributing writer LISA ALEXANDER (PlantBased for the Win, p.24). “Lately I’ve been pairing it with strawberry granita or pear gelato. There’s something about chocolate and fruit that gets me every time, and Grom Malibu’s chocolate is the darkest, deepest, and most intense.”

“When I really want to kick back with a summer indulgence, I head to a really classic ice cream shop like Ample Hills Creamery in Los Feliz,” says contributing writer RYAN

CAVEYWOOLPERT (What’s in Season, p.8). “My favorites are the

Snap, Mallow, Pop or Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. It’s also a nice place to sit outside and relax for a minute or two.”

To beat the heat this summer, there is no better place to go than the subject our cover story, ”Gelateria Uli!” says contributing writer MAITE GOMEZ-

REJÓN (Helen Evans Brown and California Cooking, p.38). “Their gelatos and sorbets are out of this world,” she says.

“Listen, I feel like I’m supposed to say ‘ice cream’, but the truth is I can’t think of anything better than a really cold margarita,” says editor-in-chief and contributing writer SHAUNA BURKE

“When I need to cool down on a super hot, lazy summer day, I’ll head out to Popshop in Studio City,” says contributing writer KRISTINE

myself staying close to home and avoiding the parking lot that is PCH, I head over to Café Habana at the Malibu Lumber Yard and usually (read: every single time) order the cucumber jalapeño variety.”

and Avocado Vanilla artisanal ice pops are ridiculously good and I always try to take a few home to keep in my freezer for later,” she says.

Photo © Lindsay Moe

(L.A. in a Scoop, p. 28; The Last Bite, p. 40). “And since I often find

BOCCHINO (The Hospitality Industry Unwinds, p. 20; Sip on This, p. 34). “The Persimmon Pudding




what’s in season

SWEET SUMMER WORDS BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT PHOTOS BY CAROLINA KORMAN The best of summer, for me, will always be the sweet stuff—the berries, the melons, the tomatoes, the drip-down-your-hand stone fruits—basically all the ingredients we long for during the other three seasons. While most people are itching to get outdoors, I actually have a lot on my kitchen agenda this time of year, since this is when I wait for the peak picking time of all my favorites and transform them into jams, marmalades, sauces, pickles, or even just slice and dehydrate for snacking on later. Take advantage of this sweet season and pledge to preserve that which you might otherwise waste. Happy summer! 8








reading corner



These titles all have one thing in common: flavor! Summer is the season for big flavors, perfectly ripened fruits, grilling, and outdoor entertaining. Grab one of these cookbooks, all worthy of taking up precious counter space, and vow to try something new this season. For a sneak peek, find a recipe from each book in the pages that follow— make the recipe and show us on social media!

EAT LIKE A FISH MY ADVENTURES AS A FISHERMAN TURNED RESTORATIVE OCEAN FARMER Bren Smith (Knopf) Part memoir, part manifesto, in Eat Like a Fish Bren Smith—a former commercial fisherman turned restorative ocean farmer—shares a bold new vision for the future of food: seaweed. Through tales that span from his childhood in Newfoundland to his early years on the high seas aboard commercial fishing trawlers, from pioneering new forms of ocean farming to surfing the frontiers of the food movement, Smith introduces the world of sea-based agriculture, and advocates getting ocean vegetables onto American plates (there are thousands of edible varieties in the sea!). Written with the humor and swagger of a fisherman telling a late-night tale, this is a monumental work of deeply personal food policy that will profoundly change the way we think about what we eat. @EdibleLAMag



RASPBERRY HALVA BROWNIES (recipe on page 14) Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers By Nicole Rucker (Avery)




MAMA Phat (recipe on page 14)

POK POK Noodles: Recipes from Thailand and Beyond By Andy Ricker (Ten Speed Press)

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RASPBERRY HALVA BROWNIES (continued from page 12) makes 12 brownies I’m not the kind of food person who describes edible things as sexy, that’s not me, but I will admit to feeling things for these brownies. I think you could use them to woo someone successfully. They are that good. INGREDIENTS 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing 1¼ cups (156g) all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder 1½ teaspoons kosher salt 10 ounces (283g) 72% cacao chocolate, chopped 1 ounce (28g) unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped ¾ cup (150g) packed brown sugar 1½ cups (300g) granulated sugar 5 large eggs 1 cup (125g) fresh or frozen raspberries 6 ounces (170g) vanilla halva candy, cut into ½-inch cubes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 x 12 x 2-inch baking pan and line the bottom and long sides with parchment paper, leaving a 1½-inch overhang at the sides. 2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside. 3. Fill a medium saucepan one-quarter full with water. Set over medium heat, and bring the water to a simmer. Combine the butter, 72% chocolate, and baker’s chocolate in a very clean heatproof bowl and place over the simmering water. Stir gently until the butter and chocolate are melted and completely blended. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and place it on a dry towel. 4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs. Beat vigorously with a whisk until the mixture is lighter in color and very creamy looking; you can use an electric mixer for this step if you want to. Add the chocolate mixture, and whisk to combine. Incorporate the flour mixture, mixing just until no dry bits remain. 5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the raspberries and halva candy over the batter and gently press them into the surface. Gently rap the pan on the counter to dislodge any air pockets in the batter. 6. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs still clinging to it, about 20 minutes more. (I prefer to underbake these brownies. They will continue to carry-over cook while they cool, and the center brownies will set up nicely and become fudgey and toothsome rather than cakey.) 7. Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan. Once completely cooled, carefully remove them from the pan by lifting the parchment paper at the sides. Cut into 12 brownies. Because of the raspberries, these brownies do not have the same shelf life as a standard bar cookie. They are best eaten within 3 days, but keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Note: Halva is a traditional confection from Middle Eastern cuisine that is made from sesame paste and sugar. In these brownies it has a softer, gentler peanut butter character. You can find halva candy in specialty food stores or online. 14



Reprinted from Dappled by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019, Nicole Rucker.

MAMA Phat (stir-fried instant ramen noodles with pork and cabbage) makes 1 plate (1 serving) I was meeting my friend Ajaan Sunee for lunch at Chiang Mai University when I first encountered this unassuming stir-fry. Ajaan Sunee, the college’s home ec professor at the time, took me to the school’s cafeteria, which students swarmed between classes. In particular, they crowded around a vendor renowned for her MAMA phat. The dish is typical college-kid fare—economical, simple, filling. It was a testament to this cook’s talent that she could inspire such enthusiasm for what is essentially a collection of the least expensive ingredients available—cabbage, carrot, onion, and briefly boiled instant noodles—tossed for a spell in a hot wok. Made with care, though, the dish transcends its status to become something I’d gladly eat any time. Compared to most versions, this recipe calls for a goddamn panoply of vegetables, all of which count as suggestions that you can take or leave. One of the great things about MAMA phat is that it’s a delicious fridge-clearer. Virtually any vegetable is welcome. The pork, too, can be swapped at will for shrimp, chicken, or tofu. Just don’t get fancy with the noodles. FLAVOR PROFILE Umami-rich, salty SUGGESTED KHRUANG PHRUNG Phrik Naam Plaa (Fish Sauce–Soaked Chiles) Phrik Naam Som (Vinegar-Soaked Chiles) Phrik Pon Khua (Toasted-Chile Powder) Sugar (preferably raw cane sugar) SUGGESTED UTENSILS Fork, spoon INGREDIENTS THE PORK 2 ½ oz pork loin, cut into 2 by ½ by ⅛-inch strips 12 g / 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed into small pieces in a mortar A few dashes of Thai seasoning sauce Dash of Thai fish sauce Pinch of finely ground Asian white pepper THE DISH 42 g / ½ cup roughly sliced (½-inch half-moons) napa cabbage 28 g / ½ cup bean sprouts 25 g / ¼ cup julienned (about 3 by ⅛ inch) peeled carrot 25 g / ¼ cup thinly sliced (¼ inch; with the grain) yellow onion 20 g / ¼ cup roughly chopped (2 inches) yu choy (stems and leaves) 1 (60 g) package Thai instant ramen (such as MAMA brand), seasoning powder and seasoning paste discarded 1 tbsp neutral oil, such as canola, soybean, or rice bran 1 egg, at room temperature ¼ cup Naam Sup Muu (Pork Stock) 1 tbsp Thai seasoning sauce 1 tbsp Thai oyster sauce

reading corner 5 g / 1 tsp granulated sugar Generous pinch of finely ground Asian white pepper 8 g / 2 tbsp sliced (¼ inch) green onion Suggested khruang phrung INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prep the Pork In a small bowl, combine the pork, garlic, seasoning sauce, fish sauce, and pepper. Mix well with your hands, then let marinate for 5 minutes or so. 2. Make the Dish In a small bowl, combine the cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot, onion, and yu choy and set aside. 3. Fill a large, tall pot with enough water to submerge a longhandled noodle basket and bring to a boil over high heat. Put instant ramen noodles in the basket (breaking the noodles slightly to fit if need be) and submerge the noodles in the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally with chopsticks to separate, until the noodles are tender, about 2 minutes. Firmly shake the basket to drain well and set aside. 4. Set a flat-bottomed wok over very high heat and heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the oil and swirl the wok to coat the sides. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry, constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping the ingredients, until the outsides of the pork are no longer raw, 5 to 10 seconds. Push to one side of the wok, then crack the egg onto the other side and cook until the white is nearly set, about 15 seconds. Flip the egg (it’s okay if the yolk breaks) and stir-fry, breaking up the egg slightly, until it’s just about fully cooked, about 10 seconds more. 5. Add the noodles and cabbage mixture and stir-fry until the vegetables are wilted and just tender, about 45 seconds. Add the pork stock, seasoning sauce, and oyster sauce and stir well. Add the sugar and pepper, stir-fry for 10 seconds, and turn off the heat. 6. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the green onion. Serve with the khruang phrung alongside. Reprinted with permission fromPok Pok Noodles by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode, copyright© 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, animprint of Penguin Random House.”Photography credit: Austin Bush© 2019

TOSTADAS DE ATÚN O TRUCHA (tuna or trout tostadas) My tuna tostada is composed of layers: a smoky chipotle mayonnaise spread over the shell, topped with slices of silky tuna, briefly marinated in ponzu, capped with a scattering of crispy fried leeks and a single perfect slice of avocado. The success of this dish depends on choosing top-quality fish, of course. At Contramar, we only serve it when sustainable tuna is available, so it’s not always on the menu. In San Francisco, I’ve substituted a locally farmed trout, although the rest of the recipe is unchanged. You can also make these with hamachi, kampachi, or albacore. But in my opinion, raw tuna and trout are especially beautiful for their deep pink color. Whatever fish you use, make sure that it’s sashimi-grade and slice it as thinly as possible against the grain. For the fried tostada shell, it’s ideal to have stale corn tortillas because fresh tortillas curl up in the fryer. In Mexico, you always see people drying out their old tortillas, either to feed to the pigs and chickens or to use in chilaquiles and tostadas. If you know you are going to want to make these tostadas for a party, then plan ahead and leave your tortillas out for a day or two first. Place

them in a single layer on a baking sheet with another baking sheet on top of it to keep them flat as they dry out. If you go the extra step of first making tortillas from scratch solely for the purpose of making tostadas, be sure that they’re quite thin: no more than 1⁄8 inch / 3mm thick. A thicker tortilla will be difficult to get crisp in the fryer. This is finger food, so I like my tostadas to be fairly small. To make smaller (than 6-inch/ 15cm) ones, simply, cut your tortillas in half and then fry them. MAKES 8 (6-INCH / 15CM) TOSTADAS INGREDIENTS 1 thick leek, white part only, thoroughly washed and sliced into 1⁄8-inch / 3mm-thick rounds 2 cups / 480ml rice bran oil, safflower oil, or any vegetable oil with a high smoke point 8 stale corn tortillas 12 oz / 340g sashimi-grade tuna, trout, or other fatty fish, thinly sliced against the grain 1 Tbsp olive oil 1⁄4 cup / 60ml soy sauce 1⁄4 cup / 60ml freshly squeezed orange juice 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Mayonesa con Chipotle (page 62) 1 avocado, cut in half, pitted, peeled, and cut into 8 to 16 slices Maldon sea salt or another finishing salt Lime wedges INSTRUCTIONS 1. First, place the leeks in a bowl of cold water and separate the rings. Remove any green rings and reserve these for making stock. Transfer the white rings to a dish towel to dry out for at least 15 minutes so that they’re completely dry before frying. 2. Meanwhile, warm the rice bran or safflower oil in a large heavybottom saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat (you want the oil to be at least 2 inches / 5cm deep) to 350°F / 180°C. You can test the temperature with an instant-read thermometer or by submerging a wooden spoon in the oil, which will be immediately surrounded by little bubbles if the oil is at the right temperature. 3. Line a plate with a brown paper bag. Fry the tortillas one at a time, for about 2 minutes each. While the tortilla is frying, use a pair of chopsticks or two forks to hold down the two edges so that the tortilla doesn’t curl up. Once the tortilla is golden, remove it from the oil and let it drain on the plate. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and let them all cool for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You want the tortillas fully cool or else the mayonnaise will melt. 4. Using the same oil in which you fried your tortillas, fry the leeks: Decrease the oil temperature slightly to 300°F / 150°C. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer before adding the leeks; if the oil is too hot, the leeks will turn dark and become bitter. Drop in the leeks and constantly move them around while they fry so they cook and color evenly. The instant you see the leeks turning golden, remove them with a slotted spoon and set them on the plate to cool completely. 5. While the tostadas and leeks are cooling, marinate the fish: Place the fish in a bowl and drizzle it with the olive oil so that the citrus and soy sauce don’t bite into the fish and give it a gray cast. After lightly coating the fish with olive oil, immediately add the soy sauce and orange juice, toss, and let sit for 5 minutes. 6. Once the tortillas are cool, spread 1 tsp of the mayonnaise on each one. That may seem like very little, but you don’t want it to be thick and ooze out from under the rest of the toppings. On top @EdibleLAMag



TOSTADAS DE ATรšN (recipe on page 15) My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions By Gabriela Cรกmara (Lorena Jones Books)




Smoked Strawberries with Strawberry Water and Basil (recipe on page 18)

Charcoal: New Ways to Cook with Fire By Josiah Citrin and Joann Cianciulli (Avery)

reading corner of the mayonnaise, distribute the sliced fish in one layer. Scatter with the fried leeks and top with the avocado. Just before serving, add a pinch of the finishing salt. I like to serve these tostadas 4 per plate, to be passed around, with lime wedges on the side. Reprinted with permission from My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictionsby Gabriela Cámaraand Malena Watrous, copyright© 2019. Published by Lorena Jones Books, animprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Marcus Nilsson© 2019

the remaining 1 Tbsp salt over the fish and stir. Add the celery, serranos, and manzano and mix. Drain the onion and add to the bowl. Pour the lime juice over everything, sprinkle with the cilantro, and drizzle with the oil. Right before serving, add the finishing salt. Serve immediately with the tortilla chips to scoop up the fish. Note: Ceviche is at its prime the day it is made, so don’t make more than you intend to serve and eat. Reprinted with permission from My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictionsby Gabriela Cámaraand Malena Watrous, copyright© 2019. Published by Lorena Jones Books, animprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Marcus Nilsson© 2019

SMOKED STRAWBERRIES WITH STRAWBERRY WATER AND BASIL serves 4 Dessert may not be the first thing you think of when you are cooking outdoors, but these sexy smoked berries lend a sweetearthy finish to any summer meal. After a quick smoke in either a traditional smoker or charcoal grill rigged with hardwood chips or chunks, the fruit mellows out and is primed to release its natural juice when you gently cook it over simmering water. A consommé of sorts, the liquid that is released has intense strawberry flavor with an unexpected hint of smoky infusion.

CEVICHE CONTRAMAR This ceviche has a little bit more going on than the standard ceviche, with the addition of minced celery, manzano chile, and cilantro. Instead of cutting the fish into strips, you cut it into cubes. You don’t want the cubes to be too tiny but just the right size to put in your mouth without having to cut them, since this is a dish often served in a large bowl for people to scoop up with tortilla chips. makes 4 to 6 servings INGREDIENTS 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise 1 tsp sea salt, plus 1 Tbsp 1 1⁄2 lb / 650g sashimi-grade firm-fleshed white fish, such as halibut or mahi-mahi, filleted and cut into 1⁄2-inch / 12mm cubes 50g / 1⁄2 cup minced celery 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, veins removed (or not, depending on how spicy you want this to be), and sliced lengthwise into very thin strips 1 manzano chile, stemmed, seeded, veins removed (or not, depending on how spicy you want this to be), and sliced into thin rings 1 cup / 240ml freshly squeezed lime juice 1⁄2 cup / 10g cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped Drizzle of fresh cold-pressed olive oil Pinch of Maldon sea salt or another finishing salt Tortilla chips for serving INSTRUCTIONS 1. Place the onion in a bowl of cold water with the 1 tsp salt and let soak for 5 minutes, then drain. 2. In a bowl large enough to hold all of your ingredients, sprinkle 18 ediblela.com @EdibleLAMag

INGREDIENTS 3 pints fresh strawberries, stemmed and tops trimmed Juice of 1 orange (about ¼ cup) 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 6 large fresh basil leaves Vanilla ice cream, for serving ¼ cup store-bought granola 3 applewood or maplewood chunks or 3 large handfuls (about 1½ cups) chips, plus a vegetable grill basket INSTRUCTIONS 1. Place 2 pints of the quartered strawberries into a grill basket. Prepare and preheat the grill to 250°F, following the grill-smoking method on page 000. Distribute the wood chunks or chips around the coals and close the lid. Adjust the vents to maintain 250°F. 2. Put the grill basket of strawberries on the grate and close the lid. Smoke for 30 minutes. The strawberries will shrivel slightly and take on a smoked fragrance. Remove the berries from the smoker and set aside. 3. Create a double boiler to gently cook the smoked strawberries. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Put the smoked strawberries, ¼ cup cold water, the orange juice, sugar, maple syrup, and 3 basil leaves in a metal or glass heatresistant bowl and set over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch. Mix gently with a spoon, taking care not to smash the strawberries. Gently cook for 30 minutes to extract the natural juices from the strawberries. 4. Place the remaining pint of quartered strawberries in a medium mixing bowl. Strain the smoked strawberry liquid into the bowl and discard the pieces of smoked strawberries. Hand tear the remaining 3 basil leaves and add to the strawberries; toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least for 15 minutes or until ready to serve. 5. To serve, spoon the macerated strawberries, including the liquid, into dessert bowls or martini glasses. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkle granola on top. ◆

We’ve got three words for you:

Marco. Pierre. White.

ACF National Convention: Orlando August 4-8, 2019 Register at ACFChefs.org/Events • Enter code MPW

get outside

The Hospitality Industry Unwinds Connecting with nature is the answer for these local food and beverage veterans—with recipes to boot. BY KRISTINE BOCCHINO


he hospitality industry is no doubt a wonderful place to cultivate a passion for creativity, but life in this field can also come with many temptations and pitfalls due to often very long hours, stress, and pressures on the job. Choosing a career in hospitality, especially kitchens, can leave many subject to substance abuse, depression, and a myriad of other mental and physical health issues—commonly a severe lack of sleep, healthy exercise, and nutritious eating habits. In recent years, many in the field have recognized the adverse effects of what are often extreme working conditions and have taken measures to find a better balance. One of the most common, and certainly inexpensive, outlets is understanding and embracing our connection with nature, whether through foraging, beach walks, hiking, or otherwise. Some industry hiking meet-ups have been gaining popularity and I recently had the chance to join in on one—through our gorgeous Santa Monica Mountains—which gave me the chance to chat with some industry veterans about how they get away from the LA grind and what it has meant to their overall health and well-being. Emma Roberts, manager of The Draycott in Pacific Palisades, is currently in the midst of the 52-week Challenge for the second year in a row. The goal: hiking 52 different trails in Los Angeles County within 52 weeks. “I had trouble following through on fitness regimens before [I started] hiking,” Emma tells me. “It’s a confidence-builder as well as a way to clear my mind. Better than any therapist could ever do!” she says. Private chef and nutritionist Hayley Christopher of Haystack Kitchen began hiking back in the days when she was a line cook. After facing long hours in a hot kitchen at a heighted state of stress, Hayley took to the outdoors as her outlet, and has been enjoying it ever since.




Photos Š Kristine Bocchino




Beverage consultant Rick Bamieva has taken his love of the outdoors a few steps further. “My wife and I have been foraging since we were kids. After years of exploring, studying, and talking with experts in the field, my goal now is to lead teams of LA bartenders on local expeditions,” he shares. “I specialize in superfoods, locally foraged ingredients…and just in Laurel Canyon alone, you can find things like fennel, elderflower, milk thistle, black sage, nasturtiums, and sticky monkey. My mission is to help educate the public, through bartending, about the local vegetation and how we can use it to greatly improve our health in the most sustainable way. Those of us living in Los Angeles understand that we have a major homeless problem…what better way to combat this very serious situation with education about native superfoods that can feed the hungry,” Rick says. As we hit the halfway point on our hike, the group decided to stop for a break and whip out some healthy treats prepared by chef Hayley and her Haystack Kitchen team. Hayley’s cacao bars, beet dip, and chickpea granola (recipes follow) were the perfect boost of energy to get us all back down the mountain, and also super simple to prepare and pack up for the trek. Emma shared two light and refreshing low-alcohol cocktails—easy to make ahead of time and pack in a lightweight, insulated backpack—one featuring California vermouth and the second featuring an Italian aperitivo (recipes below) and I brought along some of my favorite canned spritzes. It was such a unique and refreshing way to unwind with friends and fellow industry professionals and inspired me to plan to do the same all summer long.


Note: For any reader who may want to go out searching for wild botanicals, it’s essential to have an experienced local guide with you for the sake of safety, since there are so many look-alikes out there.





This dip isn’t just tasty, it’s packed with antioxidants & loaded with nutrients to fight inflammation, boost immunity, increase energy— perfect for a midday snack post-hike! makes 2 cups INGREDIENTS 8 ounces red beets, roasted and peeled ½ cup toasted walnuts, plus more for garnish 1 garlic clove 2 tablespoons flax seeds 1 orange, zested and juiced 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses 8 fresh mint (or basil) leaves 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste pomegranate seeds, to garnish prepared fresh vegetables of your choice, for dipping

This granola is a great addition to breakfast and lunch—a great source of iron and is rich in protein and vitamin B. This unique blend promotes steady energy and increased satiety so you feel fuller longer.

Photos © Hayley Christopher

INSTRUCTIONS Place all ingredients except olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Stream in olive oil to desired consistency and season with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh veggies or crackers. Muhammara will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

makes about 3 cups INGREDIENTS 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried 2 teaspoons Haystack Wellness Spice Blend 1 tablespoon honey or light agave ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and divided 2 tablespoons *FSA or ground flax seeds ¼ cup warm water 1 cup rolled oats ⅓ cup chopped nuts (pistachios, cashew, almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds) 1 tablespoon Chia seeds (optional) pinch of Salt ⅓ cup dried fruit (cherries, goji, raisins, or currants) INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss chickpeas with spice blend, honey, and half the coconut oil. Scatter on prepared baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325°F. To prepare granola, stir FSA (or flax meal) with water. Combine with remaining ingredients and roasted chickpeas, tossing to coat evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through until toasted. Turn the oven off and allow to cool and crisp in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit, if using. Store in airtight container for 5-7 days. *FSA is equal parts flax, sunflower, and almond ground fine. This mixture is a great source of omega-3, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Add it to smoothies, granolas, baked goods, salads, or morning oatmeal.  

ROSATO SPRITZ makes 4 cocktails

INGREDIENTS 8 ounces Ramazzotti Aperitivo Rosato 8 ounces East Imperial grapefruit tonic 8 ounces sparkling wine ½ grapefruit cut into wedges 4 grapefruit twists 1 large gallon bag of ice cubes INSTRUCTIONS Keep ingredients separate until ready to drink. Add all ingredients to a pitcher filled halfway with ice, then add grapefruit wedges. Serve in ice-filled tumblers and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

HIGH POINT makes 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS 4 oz Lo-Fi sweet vermouth 8 oz coconut water 2 leaves from a citrus tree, for garnish 1 quart-size bag filled with crushed ice INSTRUCTIONS Combine in an airtight cooler filled with ice. When ready to serve, pour into travel cups or emptied coconut shells. Garnish with citrus or citrus leaf. ◆


These energizing bliss bites are super simple to make and a tasty treat for guilt-free indulgence. A sweet that satisfies craving and gives a healthy mood-boosting energy. makes 6 bars or 15 bites INGREDIENTS ½ cup raw cashews ½ cup raw pistachios 4 dates, pitted ¼ cup flaked coconut 2 tablespoons moringa powder* 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional) for the cacao drizzle: ¼ cup cacao powder 4-5 tablespoons coconut oil 1 tablespoon honey INSTRUCTIONS In a food processor - pulse cashews, pistachios, dates, coconut, moringa powder, and coconut oil until finely chopped and mixture forms a ball. Form mixture into 1”-size bites and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop in the freezer to set up and chill, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare cacao coating by melting coconut oil and honey in a microwave (or over a double-boiler). Stir in cacao powder, reheating if needed until mixture is silky smooth. Working with one bite at a time, dip into cacao coating, allow excess to drain off. Set aside to cool and harden at room temperature. Bites will keep in the freezer for a month or fridge for about 2 weeks.




local heroes

PLANT-BASED FOR THE WIN A local athlete and entrepreneur is on his way to save the world, one venture at a time. BY LISA ALEXANDER


rendan Brazier is extremely fit. Loping toward me in a t-shirt and shorts, it’s not like it hits you in the face, it’s more of a subtle kind of I’ve got this fit, which makes sense, since the guy is a former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. It’s that obsession, in fact, that determination to figure out how to do an impossible thing, that gave him the idea for Vega, a blockbuster plant-based protein powder (among other things, nowadays) that’s the title sponsor for Ironman in Kona this year—this is after Amazon sponsored last year and Gatorade the year before that. Brendan is also one of the world’s leading authorities on plant-based performance nutrition as well as the author of the bestseller Thrive and the creator of a bunch of techie health apps. These days he’s all about making the world a better place. After an hour talking with him, or maybe learning from him is more accurate, I’d say we’re lucky to have him on the case, especially in these precarious times. But how did this mild-mannered Canadian end up on the top of the fitness juggernaut? The music’s too loud in the Venice restaurant, so we head to the back seat of my car to find out. I quickly discover that Brendan is curious and far-reaching and fitnessobsessed and, maybe most importantly, he’s all about paradigmshifting how we all think about food. Take birthday cake: “It’s your birthday. I baked you a cake,” 24 ediblela.com @EdibleLAMag

“You didn’t have cake? Come on. Treat yourself,” or “Eat some cake!” Perfect example. It’s your day, your special day, and here you are, gifted with, no guilt-ed with, a sugar and fat bomb which supplies a momentary high or happiness before it crashes you into a miserable funk. Brendan would have a lot to say about that, I think. It starts with how it would be best to stop thinking about food as a treat or a comfort, and really see it as nourishment. We’re good. We’re alive. We’re worthy. We deserve to ingest nutrients that regenerate us. His philosophy stems from when he was living in his mom’s garage in North Vancouver, trying to figure out how to make a career as a triathlete. “I looked at a bunch of things that I thought could help boost performance, different training methods, different technologies…really anything I could find that would increase my odds of having this career,” he says. It certainly takes stamina and talent to succeed as a professional triathlete. What most people don’t realize is that it also takes extreme focus and strategy. What separates Brendan from the pack is that he watches and cares for himself, noticing on a cellular level what works and what doesn’t. Brendan quickly realized it was all about recovery, or how fast you can get your body to recover and renew itself after intense exercise.

Photo © Alex Salinas




Photo © 24 Hour Fitness

A workout breaks down tissue that your body rushes to weren’t as sore. It was so tangible that he ended up calling the guy he repair and—a good thing—your body always overcompensates. heard on the radio—Charlie Chang—and, almost immediately, they That’s how we end up stronger after repeated exercise. Which brings were finishing each other’s sentences. By the end of the meeting, he us to the important point: your body thrives, yes, thrives on topand Charlie decided to take Brendan’s drink to the people, and so quality nutrients to regenerate. As Brendan tells me, “your body is Vega was born. literally made up of what you eat.” And, another plus, the more you But how does this all work for the average Jane, perhaps work out and repair, the newer your cells are, and that’s how you someone like me who loves good food but doesn’t need to go all lower your biological age. crazy-ass obsessive? According to Brendan, succeeding at intense endurance Easy, Brendan tells me. If you don’t support your cortisol, sports is not so much about skill, but about how much time you’re you’ll slump into adrenal fatigue—hence the need for sugar and willing to put into it, as well as that caffeine, to jack ourselves back up crucial paradigm shift: thinking of “I think the big takeaway is [eating] plants, and before we spiral down again. A vicious food as fuel. To figure this out, he used eating socially. And what I mean by that is not cycle of modern life (never mind himself as a guinea pig, testing pretty that few of us have the energy or necessarily with other people, but with other sports) much every diet— high and low carb, inclination to fix. Vega seemingly puts high and low protein—before he got to people in mind…thinking about, ‘what impact its drinkers on the path to regenerate plant-based. And he didn’t even do that did the production of the food I’m about to eat cells by giving the body what it needs. right, at first. Most days, Brendan goes to Gold’s have on the planet?’ and what impact did have it Gym. “I was just loading up on lots “It’s the mecca… definitely a lot of starch and really not high-quality on those who produced it?” of characters.” He also bikes and runs in protein, essential fats or B vitamins or Topanga State Park, close to where he Omega threes or anything like that,” he says. This realization led to lives, way more than most of us do. He’s fully vegan. And then there’s even more trial and error, and research too. He was listening to the the saving-the-world thing too. According to Brendan, it’s all about radio one day when this guy came on, talking about a mysterious the food. root called maca that apparently reduced cortisol in the body. “I think the big takeaway is [eating] plants, and eating “He described many of my symptoms,” Brendan says. “Sugar and socially. And what I mean by that is not necessarily with other people, starch cravings late at night, not sleeping as well, waking up still but with other people in mind…thinking about, ‘what impact did feeling tired, craving sugar and caffeine.” Brendan wasted no time the production of the food I’m about to eat have on the planet?’ and adding maca to a blender drink for optimum recovery. That’s when what impact did have it on those who produced it?” the magic happened. He felt great. He slept deeper. His muscles He calls it the nutrient-to-resource ratio, a way of looking 26



introduced to their line of alcoholic “good drinks” on the shelf at Whole Foods Markets and was so impressed that apples were the first of very few ingredients, and yet there was also zero residual sugar. Much like the Vega story, he reached out and clicked with founder Mark McTavish and, before they knew it, they were partners in a new line of fermented juice that will have fun natural ingredients like mushrooms. “There’s one that’s called ‘Relax’,” Brendan shares. “It’s the first one we’re bringing out that will have reishi and valerian root. It’s just a relaxing thing, helping to reduce cortisol. My role is to contribute the functionality.” He also tells me he hadn’t had alcohol in fourteen years, but after trying 101’s Tipsy Buddha—matcha and fermented juice— he experienced “this incredible focus.” Later that day, I check out 101 Cider House for myself and find that it’s wildly imaginative in its labeling and concoctions. The flavored sour cider ranges from Scrumpy (“complex barnyard”) to Black Dog, which contains blood oranges and lavender plus activated charcoal to obliterate hangovers. Other flavors have nopal cactus, Thai basil, spirulina, crushed bananas, and pears. With no carbs and loads of naturally occurring probiotics, the idea is that you can knock one, or two or three, back and still feel good. In the U.S., companies can market a beverage as cider as long as it contains at least 50% apples. McTavish’s brew is 100% free-pressed raw apple juice from local California fruit, with added natural ingredients. Brendan adds the know-how to kick it up a nutritional notch. Next step is the cider house they plan to open in the LA River area. This burgeoning creative hub seems perfect somehow, an iconic part of Los Angeles that’s newly regenerated and hosting a different kind of high: a buzzy drink that makes you feel great and is good for you too. Sounds to me like saving the world, one venture at a time. ◆

Photo © Melissa Schwartz

at the amount of nutrition—vitamins, mineral, phytochemicals, antioxidants—that exist in any given food in relation to the environmental spend—land, water, fossil fuel. The goal is to get as much nutrition as possible while being mindful of things like CO2, methane, and nitric oxide emissions. “I’m working with a group called Pinto in New York that’s actually using that ratio to grade foods.” The problem, really, is information overload. We have doctors and dietitians and nutritionists and celebrities touting the way to go, and yet all the information is conflicting and every day we read scientific studies that seem to cancel out the dietary mandate of the month before. Pinto has built a comprehensive nutritional database of over 100,000 food items that we Americans consume. The idea is that you should be able to look up pretty much anything and also find out if it’s lactose-free, vegan, keto-friendly, paleo, gluten-free, and so on. It’s the personalization of the food label or a stellar way to get conscious of how we choose what we eat, as well as labeling for nutrient density. “Unfortunately you can have food now without nutrition,” Brendan says. “Which [in the past] would’ve been a paradox.” He’s also proud of his work with Tulsi Gabbard, a Congresswoman from Hawaii who’s running for president in 2020. “She’s very enthusiastic, as I would hope any presidential candidate is, in trying to fix the system… like farmers unfortunately have to grow a lot of corn, wheat, and soy for animals which they’re not very well-paid for because it’s so inefficient. If we can get the free market really working and stop taxpayer subsidies going to artificially lower the cost of meat…. food that’s produced more efficiently will be as affordable as it ought to be,” Brendan tells me. But Brendan isn’t all work and no play. His newest venture, Pulp Culture, will be a line of hard-pressed juice made in collaboration with 101 Cider House, a local producer of delicious, small-batch, organic hard ciders. Brendan tells me he was first




around town

L.A. IN A SCOOP How Uli Nasibova is becoming the city’s master gelato maker. WORDS BY SHAUNA BURKE PHOTOS BY CAROLINA KORMAN


met with Uli downtown on a hot day in Los Angeles. Walking into her gelato shop felt like a refuge from the craziness outside. There she was, standing proudly behind the counter, multitasking by handing samples to customers and dealing with a repairman while she greeted me and invited me back into the kitchen for a chat. Uli Nasibova is the petite, plucky, passionate woman behind Gelateria Uli, currently occupying two locations—one downtown in the historic Spring Arcade building and one on West Third Street just a few blocks from The Grove. Our staff first discovered Uli at the DTLA Dinner Club where she served an exquisite persimmon sorbet—one that almost no one believed wasn’t a rich, creamy gelato or ice cream. I didn’t stop hearing about how amazing it was, so I made it a point to head out to her shop to try it for myself. The sorbets definitely grabbed my heart, especially the dark chocolate, and the texture is just incredible. I realized I needed to learn more about the woman behind the sorbet. Being born in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea, didn’t exactly set Uli up for a life of making creamy Italian gelato, although she did grow up in a family that made everything from scratch 28



and shopped strictly at local markets or bazaars. They plucked their own chickens right in their small apartment, never ate store-bought or processed foods or desserts, and never drank any soda. When she came to the United States in 2001, Uli ended up in Colorado studying mathematical economics and French literature before landing a job in finance. Eventually, as so many do, she became burned out and began searching for her great calling—enter gelato and also, perhaps, the subtle art of perfection. Uli is the first to say she has a tendency toward precision, wanting to get something just right and not willing to take any shortcuts. “When I first started making gelato—and I’m a very obsessive and impulsive person—and I’m not superstitious or religious at all, but it truly felt like magic was sprinkled in the air and I knew I was supposed to be making gelato for the rest of my life,” she tells me. The texture really is everything. “That’s my obsession,” she admits. “My sorbets have like six simple ingredients, so it’s not as if I’m using crazy chemicals to achieve this texture…it’s just my obsession… to get my sorbets to feel like you’re eating something creamy like ice cream or gelato,” she says.

Simples Tonics




“We ended up with these sultry, luscious, bursting-through-the-skin persimmons and, when I can count on people like that, farmers who know how to treat an ingredient, that’s what allows us to make the best sorbets,” she says. “My sorbets are all water-based, so truly it is the ingredient that shines through in the end.”

While she speaks passionately of the process she goes through to perfect a creamy sorbet or a rich gelato, Uli mostly praises her carefully sourced ingredients. For that gorgeous persimmon sorbet, Uli walked over to the Pershing Square Farmers Market and sourced persimmons from Verni Farms. “Lebanese people just know how to ripen persimmons…they’re picked green and placed in a shed for two or three weeks to fully ripen…when we made that sorbet, [the persimmons] were like a day from being rotten,” Uli tells me. “We ended up with these sultry, luscious, burstingthrough-the-skin persimmons and, when I can count on people like that, farmers who know how to treat an ingredient, that’s what allows us to make the best sorbets,” she says. “My sorbets are all water-based, so truly it is the ingredient that shines through in the end.” Almost everything is sourced from weekly trips to various farmers’ markets, but for other ingredients—like ube (purple yam), passion fruit, or ripe persimmons, for example—Uli figures out where to find the best and will seek it out, wherever it is. “Finding the best version of an ingredient is the most 30



important step,” she says. As we stand behind the counter, she hands me spoon after spoon until I try just about every flavor in the case. My favorite, hands down, is the blueberry sorbet and I think my eyes rolled back into my head as I attempted to explain my feelings about the flavor (otherworldly) and, of course, the texture. “These are Blue Powder blueberries from Murray Family Farms—the flavor is so rich it’s almost plum-like,” Uli realizes. Looking into the case at any sort of ice cream shop has always mesmerized me, with colors abound, and the diversity at Uli’s is no different. About one-third of the flavors on offer are the staples, the signature flavors—like the truly phenomenal chocolate sorbet or sea salt caramel, one-third of the case are seasonal flavors—like the blueberry sorbet or the peach, and the last third of the case are the LA-inspired flavors, which pay homage to the many neighborhoods of our city—think horchata, Thai basil, saffron, black sesame, ube, roasted poblano, and lots more on rotation. One that sticks in my memory is the latkes and applesauce gelato that debuted last Hanukkah, which Uli tells me was actually a pregnancy craving brought to life. “I didn’t

Tasting berries with Murray Family Farms at the Santa Monica Farmers Market

think it was that crazy, but apparently some people did...I liked it!” she laughs. Anyone can go to her website (gelateriauli.com) to suggest a flavor. If she picks yours, you’ll get a free pint. “Sometimes people suggest flavors with five or six crazy ingredients…but I just prefer cleaner flavors—I want to be able to taste and feel whatever the ingredient is, so we are never going to make anything too complicated that takes away from the integrity of an ingredient,” she tells me. Recipe development has been pushed to the back burner since having her second child, but Uli says, a few times, that creating recipes is her favorite part of the job. “It takes a little bit of an art but also takes a lot of science. It has to be balanced to achieve the right texture,” she explains. So she gets to hang on to some of her past profession and fiddle with numbers and formulas, it seems. When I ask her about expansion, mostly for selfish reasons because I want her to open a location west of the 405, Uli looks pretty satisfied with her two locations and current situation—the first opened in 2014 and the second in 2017—but wants to focus on her burgeoning wholesale business, for which she has landed some impressive clients. “I’m very focused on quality and, with two locations, keeping the quality up takes so much of my time. Now I have competing priorities: two kids, a husband, a dog, me—although me is usually last,” Uli laughs. “I need to make the most of my very limited time right now. I’m proud of what I’ve done already and I want to keep this good thing going. I’ve also built such an incredible team that represents me,” she says.

Speaking of her team, Uli tells me how much she loves to teach new employees and watch them grow as creators and innovators themselves. “It’s so important to be able to invest in your employees... and be able to trust everyone,” she says. “It feels good to be able to just go home if I need to and know the shops are in good hands.” Last year, she closed the shops for a day and took a company-wide field trip up to Murray Family Farms where the goal was “to learn more about organic farming and how we source our ingredients.” Uli wants the atmosphere at her shops to be familial and for everyone to be on the same page, which of course will be crucial if she does decide to expand further one day. She’s also doing her part to give back to the community in fun ways. Uli has implemented a pint recycling program (if you bring in seven empty pint containers, you get a free pint of your choice!) to avoid them ending up in landfills. The shops are also donating proceeds from their doggie gelato and pup-sicles to local pet rescues. A third location seems imminent, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. She tells me, “the goal is to represent the frozen dessert of LA, period. When people visit LA, I want them to come to Uli’s.” As I head back out into the world with my cup of blueberry sorbet, slowly melting down my hand in the summer heat, all I can seem to do is envision that same bright future. ◆

LEFT: Uli picking peaches at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market RIGHT: A pint of Uli’s gelato, photo by Ryan Feng




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sip on this

NEVER LOSE THE PINK HUES Drinking a pink-hued cocktail hasn’t necessarily been the cool-kid thing to do, but the versatility and range of modern rosé wines make them a fantastic cocktail ingredient for creative bartenders to play around with. These creative libations, created by local bartenders, are easily stirred up at home for summer gatherings or enjoying warm nights by the ocean.


PRETTY AND BASIC Adam George Fournier, bar manager at NoMad downtown, shares this large format ‘cocktail for 6’ served at the beautiful Giannini Bar, which is not only delicious, but a great showstopper for at-home entertaining. INGREDIENTS 5 strawberries, chopped 1/4 ounce saline solution 3 ½ ounces fresh lime juice 3 ½ ounces Aperol 5 ¼ ounces Génépy 5 ¼ ounces black pepper syrup 10 ½ ounces rosé wine (reserve 9 ½ ounces of the remaining wine in the bottle to finish the drink) 12 strawberries, for garnish 3 bunches mint, for garnish lime wheels, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS 34 ediblela.com @EdibleLAMag

Combine ingredients in an airtight container and shake to marry the flavors. Pour 6 ounces of the cocktail mix back into the wine bottle with the reserved 9 ½ ounces of rosé. To assemble: line the bottom of a large beverage dispenser with fresh mint. Top with crushed ice, filling the container half way. Place the lime wheels in a ring around the dispenser, propping them up on the ice. Pour the pre-mixed cocktail into the vessel to the half way point, then fill the rest of the container with crushed ice. Top with fresh raspberries and mint. Tip the wine bottle of remaining cocktail mix upside down and push the neck of the wine bottle into the crushed ice.

ROSÉ CANSECO Being that Otium is located downtown at The Broad, it’s no wonder that cocktails here tend to have a thoughtfully artistic twist to them. Chris Amirault, Otium’s bar director and proprietor of consulting company Equal Parts Hospitality, masterfully blends sweet, tart, herbal and earthy in this work of culinary art.

Pretty and Basic at DTLA’s NoMad Hotel; photo by Kristine Bocchino

Draycott Rose cocktail at The Draycott in Pacific Palisades; photo by Emma Roberts

INGREDIENTS 1 ounce Roku Japanese gin 2 ounces rosé wine ½ ounce fresh lemon juice ¼ ounce vanilla syrup (add a touch of vanilla beans to a classic simple syrup) ½ ounce Beijing strawberry yogurt dollop of coconut air

80 grams (about 2.8 ounces) vanilla syrup 20 grams (about 0.71 ounces) fresh lemon juice 2 grams (about 0.07 ounces) sucrose esters (available at specialty stores)

INSTRUCTIONS Add first 5 ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake hard to chill and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a dollop of coconut air


COCONUT AIR INGREDIENTS 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) Marina coconut liqueur 36



INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients and blend until light and fluffy with an immersion blender.

At the sparkling new-ish The Draycott at The Village in Pacific Palisades, Clint Locker and his team serve this beauty, flavored with a hint of tart pomegranate and balanced by a hint of organic cane syrup. INGREDIENTS 1 ounce Reyka vodka

½ ounce rosé wine ¾ ounce pomegranate juice ¼ ounce fresh lemon juice ¼ ounce organic cane simple syrup rose petals, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients and until well chilled. Strain into an old fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Lay two organic rose petals on top for garnish

CALIFORNIA SUMMER At Coin & Candor in Westlake Village, bartender Chris LaRuffa fully embraces summer with this light, refreshing patiopounder. Sipping a cool rosé cocktail like this while lounging on the newly unveiled outdoor patio overlooking the majestic waterfall and grounds of a Four Seasons Hotel sounds like the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon.

Feisty Rabbit cocktail by Jason Sorge

INGREDIENTS 2 ounces Bedrock ‘ode to lulu’ rosé wine 3 muddled strawberries 1 ½ ounces Hangar One vodka ½ ounce Cointreau ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and finely strain over crushed ice in a Collins glass.

California Summer cocktail at Coin and Candor at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village; photo by Harley Wyatt Potter

LADY IN RED My take on a French spritz incorporates blood orange and bubbles, two things I can’t live without on a hot, Los Angeles Summer day. G.H. Mumm Brut Rosé is a beautiful complement to a light, floral aperitif such as Lillet. INGREDIENTS 3 ounces G.H. Mumm Brut Rosé Champagne 1 ounce Lillet Blanc ½ ounce fresh blood orange juice ½ ounce simple syrup ½ ounce fresh lemon juice orange twist, to garnish INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients except Champagne into a shaker with ice. Shake and finely strain into a chilled coupe or Champagne glass. Fill with Champagne and garnish with an orange twist. BLOOD ORANGE ROOIBOS SYRUP INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp blood orange rooibos tea 8 oz hot water (190°) 8 oz granulated sugar

Rosé Canseco cocktail at Otium in DTLA; photo by Chris Amirault

INSTRUCTIONS Steep tea in hot water for about ten minutes, then strain the tea and stir in sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool, then transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator. ◆




Helen Evans Brown & California Cooking

the food historian

A culinary historian reflects on the often forgotten works of Helen Evans Brown and their influence on modern California cuisine.



he season of outdoor grilling, sun kissed tomatoes and juicy peaches is here. California farmers’ markets are bursting with color; the state’s produce is its shining star and we can thank Helen Evans Brown (1904-1964) for teaching the world about West Coast foods. A food expert and prolific author, Brown was born in Brooklyn and moved to Pasadena in the late 1930s, immediately falling in love with the state’s relaxed lifestyle, glorious bounty and multicultural influences. Brown contributed regular food columns to such publications as Woman’s Day, House & Garden and Ladies’ Home Journal. She was also the food editor of Sunset Magazine but is best known for her 1952 publication of West Coast Cook Book. If Brown’s reputation as a cooking and food goddess began in the mid 1930s, West Coast Cook Book solidified her reputation

as the authority of the West Coast food scene in the 1950s and early 1960s. Her book would become a classic regional American cookbook and her vision laid the foundation of what became known as “California Cuisine.” In West Coast Cook Book, Brown’s push for using local, fresh and seasonal ingredients – regardless of whether they were available in the grocery store – was revolutionary especially at a time when in most of the country, fish came frozen in sticks and apples and potatoes were among the few fresh supermarket staples. She recommended the use of items such as figs and loquats that grew in people’s back yards at a time when few Americans had ever even tasted fresh cilantro, and garlic was viewed as suspicious. Thanks to Brown, the country’s palate became bolder, teriyaki and soy sauces became pantry staples, and tortillas became Southern California’s sourdough. Brown also transformed cookbook writing into a scholarly yet accessible endeavor by giving historical context to her recipes. In her chapter on charcoal grilling and barbecuing she writes that the 19th century California Dons grilled meat as a part of every festive gathering in their Ranchos. On fruits, she says that Henry E. Huntington gave the avocado a “boost on its road to fame” in his San Marino farm (now the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens). In addition, she is certain that the pomegranates and prickly pears grown in the San Gabriel Valley have no equal. Praising wines, Brown thanks Junipero Serra for introducing Spanish grapes to Southern California via Mexico and emphatically states that, “good food is nothing without good wine.” When celebrated Oregon-born author, cooking instructor and personality, James Beard, read West Coast Cook Book he wrote Brown a fan letter, forging a lifelong friendship that was both personal and professional. (Beard regarded Brown on a level with M.F.K. Fisher.) The two authors were like siblings, admonishing and encouraging each other. (Over 300 of the letters they exchanged were published in the 1994 book Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles.) In 1955, Beard and Brown co-authored The Complete Guide of Outdoor Cookery, with recipes for grilling “on the deck of your yacht,” at a campfire on the beach or in your camper’s galley kitchen. Detailed illustrations for making all types of grills – makeshifts, portable and wheeled – are also featured. And nothing screams California summer louder than the smell of grilled meats permeating the air. As in the West Coast Cook Book, The Complete Guide of Outdoor Cookery includes loads of fresh herbs, garlic, and the use of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Simple grilled flank steaks are printed alongside luxurious Chateaubriand tenderloins “wonderful for a fancy outdoor party.” Charcoal-grilled fruits are offered as accompaniments to meats or as simple desserts. In a nod to inclusivity, frijoles refritos (refried beans) are a side dish for the “bellies of all Mexicans and those of us who adore Mexican food.” Peking duck and roast pork with fresh ginger and Chinese mustard (“a mix of dry mustard and beer”) are an acknowledgement of California’s Asian population. Beard’s influence of French cuisine comes across in galettes and compound butters; chowders and stews are likely inspired by Brown’s east coast upbringing. And although most of the recipes in The Complete Guide of Outdoor Cookery are as modern today as they were then, some of Beard and Brown’s side dishes scream 1950s (of note: lima bean casserole). Asbestos gloves were recommended to use while manning the grill because of their resistance to heat, and the book’s preface proclaims that charcoal cookery “is primarily a man’s job and that a woman, if she’s smart, will keep it that way.” (A statement as dated as using asbestos for protection.) There’s something nostalgic about the smell of an outdoor barbecue because of its association with friends, relaxation, summer, and in the words of Helen Evans Brown and James Beard, sharing “a bottle of chilled rosé wine, preferably a California one.”◆




Photos © Rebecca Sanabria


Tiffani Thiessen on Gardening with Her Kids Mother, actress, Long Beach native, and author of Pull Up a Chair: Recipes From My Family to Yours, chats with us about getting her kids outside and into the garden. BY SHAUNA BURKE

You have a lovely garden space and chicken coop. When you’re home, does your family spend a lot of time outdoors? TT: Thank you! We feel really lucky to have the space we have. If the weather is nice you can almost always find us outside with the kiddos and our pups. Do you find that your young kids are excited to join you and help out in the garden or is it more like a chore to them? How do you make it fun season after season? TT: Both Harper and Holt have always naturally enjoyed being out in the garden. It fascinates them being able to watch things grow and then helping us harvest. They love to pick and eat right from the garden. Are there specific tasks or responsibilities they love to take on? TT: Harper loves to help pick fruit from the fig tree. She climbs to the top and tosses them down to us. Holt is all about picking the blueberries. Though we are lucky if any of them make it in the basket instead of his mouth, ha! Do they have a say in what grows? TT: We love to switch it up from season to season. But we always make sure to have their favorites in each! Are your children adventurous eaters and willing to try new things that you’ve grown together? TT: Holt is a bit more adventurous than Harper, but she is getting better about at least trying things. I would absolutely say that growing things helps with that. What’s typically ready to pick during the summer in your garden? TT: It truly depends on what we decided to plant that year. This year we are doing assorted tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, squash, apples, nectarines, plums, and peaches.

Flip the page for Tiffani’s Nectarine Caprese Salad recipe!

What’s a favorite summer recipe you enjoy making together, with some ingredients from your garden? TT: Nectarine Caprese Salad from [my cookbook], Pull Up A Chair, is always a good one! It is fresh and really lets the produce shine. You can also easily switch out the nectarines with a different stone fruit if you wanted to. @EdibleLAMag




Tiffani’s Nectarine Caprese Salad INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar kosher salt 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges 3 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges 8 ounces burrata cheese 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn 10 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced freshly ground black pepper flaky sea salt, for serving INSTRUCTIONS In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegars and a pinch of kosher salt. Continue to whisk as you slowly stream in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside. Arrange the tomato and nectarine wedges in an alternating pattern on a serving platter. Place the burrata on top and sprinkle with the basil and mint. Drizzle everything with the vinaigrette and finish with some pepper and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately. ◆ 42



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