Page 1


Issue No. 4


Sharing the Story of Local Food, Season by Season





Member of Edible Communities

IN THIS ISSUE A twist on a classic—a gorgeous cranberry old-fashioned with local cranberry kombucha!

40 12 EDITOR’S LETTER p. 4

features 25


WILD BREAD The uber-passionate bakers at Lodge Bread Co in Culver City makes a 100% California loaf.








A DIY oven in Westchester brings a community together.


LOCAL HEROES Ron Finley—the gangsta gardener—empowers his South LA community, one garden at a time.



Local chefs share their favorite ways to use grains with these gorgeous seasonal recipes.


THE FOOD HISTORIAN Wheat: Why the West Was Wild






SIP ON THIS Local bartenders utilize local kombucha to create six sparkly winter cocktails.









A review of the film about the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement.



BEHIND THE BREW Meet David Chaney, head brewer at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co in Van Nuys BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT


editor's note

NO. 4

WINTER 2018 PUBLISHER Pulp & Branch LLC EDITOR IN CHIEF Shauna Burke CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa Alexander Shauna Burke Ryan Caveywoolpert Linda Civitello Deborah Luhrman Hannah Ray Taylor



I love bread. Love. And I was so excited to read our cover story about the passionate bakers at Lodge Bread Co in Culver City. This issue focuses on grains and bread—creating your own bread starter at home, whole grain recipes from local chefs, a community oven in Westchester, and lots more. If you have any desire to bake bread at home, I hope you’ll attempt your own bread starter. You can start from scratch, but you might also ask a fellow baker for some of their bread starter and save yourself some work. The bread starter in my kitchen has been with me for many years. It has taken a long cross-country road trip—being fed in hotel rooms with local flours and tap water from many different states. I’ve neglected it, abused it, and brought it back to life after a near-mold incident, but it has never stopped producing wonderful bread—and I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. Show us what you love about winter in LA by posting photos on Instagram, tagging us @EdibleLAMag, and using #FeastOnLA. We'll repost our favorites!

To Subscribe, visit ediblela.com or call (310) 579-9715 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES



Enjoy the season... With much love,




No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2017 Pulp & Branch LLC. All rights reserved.

Cover Photo © Melanie DeFazio

MAILING ADDRESS 27407 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90265

Shauna Burke, Editor in Chief edit@ediblela.com

Winner of James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Publication of the Year


20 recipe index food 12 Roasted Beet Niรงoise Salad 15 Lentils & Pomegranate with Roasted Beets 15 Beet Pesto on Crostini with Goat Cheese & Dill 20 Whole Grain Roasted Beet Mustard 20 Beet Stem Pickled Cauliflower 24 Fully Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes 42 Rye Fettucine Cacio e Pepe 43 Stout Gingerbread 43 Forbidden Black Rice with Ginger Chicken Meatballs 44 Saffron Jeweled Farro 44 Crispy Wild Rice Granola with Beets, Sour Cherry Mustard, Pickled Grapes, and Burrata

drink 39 The Lazy Dog 39 Pomegranate Smash 40 Bare Roots 40 The Pink Lady 40 Whitebucha 40 Cranberry Old-Fashioned

Need the perfect gift? Give a gift subscription for $28 ediblela.com/subscribe

edible NEWS

news & nibbles CONNECT WITH US @EdibleLAMag #FeastOnLA

WIN A COPY OF MATTHEW KENNEY’S PLANTLAB COOKBOOK! Enter for a chance to win a copy of the gorgeous new plant-based cookbook by Matthew Kenney of Plant Food & Wine in Venice. To enter: 1. Follow @EdibleLAMag on Instagram 2. Take this copy of Edible LA for a fun food adventure and snap a photo of the magazine at your favorite restaurant, brewery, coffee shop, bakery...you get the idea. 3. Tag @EdibleLAMag and include #edibleLAcontest


SAVE THE DATE! L.A. COOKIE CON & SWEETS SHOW When: FEBRUARY 10 & 11 Where: Anaheim Convention Center eastsidefoodfest.com

Bring your sweet tooth and join Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes, along with some of L.A.’s best sugar artists and pastry chefs, to sample sweet treats all day long.


It’s not often we get to meet the masterminds in the kitchen, let alone have an intimate chat after they serve their last dish for the night.

When: FEBRUARY 15 Where: L.A. Kitchen lakitchen.org

In collaboration with Edible LA, L.A. Kitchen brings you ‘Revealing The Power of Food’, an evening of open conversation revolving around our community, food, and memories. We aim to reveal the power of food by sharing chef ’s most personal stories and inspirations. The conversations will tackle some of the hard questions we now face as a community.

An evening in conversation with LA’s best chefs, change-makers and culinary leaders. All proceeds from event go towards L.A. Kitchen’s non-profit programs. site, and taste some fantastic wines.

Tickets are a $10 donation, which goes to support L.A. Kitchen’s non-profit programs. This is a unique chance to meet some of LA’s changemakers and hear their stories.


If there's a local event that should make our calendar, let us know! hello@ediblela.com

When: MARCH 7-10 Where: L.A. Live allstarchefclassic.com

A four-day culinary experience showcasing some of the world’s best chefs—like Jose Andres, Michael Voltaggio, Ludo Lefebvre, Gabrielle Hamilton, and many more!




our contributors We asked our contributors to share their

ULTIMATE BAKED INDULGENCE Share yours with us on Instagram @EdibleLAMag #FeastOnLA and we’ll repost our favorites!

"I’m totally into the small pastry cabinet at Lodge Bread Co. in Culver City,” says contributing writer LISA

ALEXANDER (Wild Bread, p. 27; Bake Your Own, p. 34). "The cookies are amazing! The miso chocolate chip is crisp and chocolate-y, and look no further for the perfect oatmeal cookie, this one with candied ginger and poppyseeds.”

CIVITELLO (The Food Historian, p. 48).

"The classic vegan cinnamon bun from Cinnaholic in Echo Park,” says contributing illustrator JEREMY

"I have to say the strawberry pop tart at Joan’s on Third is the ultimate,” says contributing writer RYAN

to choose from, but I’m definitely a sucker for the original. Vegan or not, I can’t imagine even the most discerning cinnamon bun connoisseur would rebuff this beauty!”

"It is basically childhood nostalgia wrapped up in flaky, buttery pastry. I’m so disappointed when they run out! Definitely get there early and grab one with your morning coffee!”

DELLAROSA (Mastering Bread at Home, p. 35). “They have a lot

Photo ©istockphoto/Mizina

"It’s always summer in France when I bite into a croissant—classic, blood orange, chocolate, or a sandwich— or their brioche or anything else at Breadologie Bakery in Granada Hills," says contributing writer LINDA

CAVEYWOOLPERT (Sip on This, p. 38; Behind the Brew, p. 50).

"My favorite baked in indulgence in LA is a toss up between Cofax’s blood orange donut and Proof Bakery’s vegan banana bread,” says contributing photographer ALAN

GASTELUM (Wild Bread, p. 27). “By far, it’s the best donut and totally

worth my thirty-minute drive over to Fairfax. The banana bread is more of a weekly indulgence. Only downside to both, is that they are seasonal and not available year-round.”

"I’m on a never-ending search for the perfect black-and-white cookie," says editor-in-chief and contributing writer SHAUNA BURKE (Mastering

Bread at Home, p. 35; Glorious Grains, p. 41). "My current go-to is the

black-and-white from Wexler’s Deli. It’s smaller than many others, which means I won’t be bouncing off the walls all day, and the white side has little specks of what seems to be real vanilla—imagine that!"

What's in Season Now Produce






BEETS In Season: November through March What to Look For: they should feel heavy for their size with fresh—not wilted—greens

Photo ©istockphoto/sorendls

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t argue that beets are stunningly gorgeous, with a rich red color that brightens up any hazy winter day. They are earthy, sweet, and savory like no other. The following pages feature root to tip recipes to utilize every ounce of your farmers’ market haul.

ROASTED BEET niÇoise SALAD This isn’t a traditional Niçoise salad, but it’s certainly close enough. Typically you’d find olives, tomatoes, and anchovies in the mix, but this version feels like a heartier entrée salad during cooler winter months Every single element of this salad can be made in advance, meaning it is the perfect choice for a dinner party, picnic, or dinner on a busy weeknight.

serves 4

about anything! Achieving a perfect, jammy-centered boiled egg is much easier than it seems.

for the dressing INGREDIENTS 1 clove garlic pinch of kosher salt 2 tbsp shallot, minced 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil freshly ground black pepper, to taste INSTRUCTIONS Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and pinch of salt until it becomes a smooth paste. If mortar is large enough, continue making the dressing by adding shallot, lemon juice, and mustard, then whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth and well combined. Season with freshly ground back pepper and salt, to taste. (Note: If your mortar is not large enough to assemble the dressing, simply scrape the garlic paste out into a clean bowl and continue from there. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, use a good knife to very finely mince and scrape the garlic and salt together to form a paste.)

STEP ONE Bring a large saucepan of water to a gentle boil over mediumhigh heat. STEP TWO Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower 6-8 large eggs into the water, one by one. STEP THREE Set a timer for 7 minutes. Be sure the water maintains a gentle boil. STEP FOUR Fill a large bowl two-thirds of the way with ice, then fill with cold water. Set aside. STEP FIVE When the timer goes off, use the slotted spoon to carefully transfer the boiled eggs to the ice water. Chill the eggs until you can handle them easily. If you want them warm, chill the eggs for about 2 minutes. If you want the eggs completely cold, continue chilling them for 8-10 minutes.

for the salad Peel and enjoy! INGREDIENTS 4-6 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and trimmed 8 oz haricot verts, blanched 4 large 7-minute eggs, quartered 8 fingerling potatoes, boiled and cut in half lengthwise 4 small red beets, roasted, peeled, and quartered 4 small to medium radishes, thinly sliced 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest 2 tbsp scallions, thinly sliced INSTRUCTIONS To assemble the salad, add spinach, haricot verts, potatoes, beets, radishes, lemon zest, and scallions to a large bowl. Toss gently with the prepared dressing, then top with quartered eggs. Serve immediately.

There is nothing wrong with a good hard-boiled egg, but a softer egg sure can be a showstopper when lovingly placed atop a gorgeous salad - or noodles or a grain bowl or just 12



Photo ©istockphoto/robynmac


Photo ©Darren Muir/Stocksy United

Photo ©Nadine Greeff/Stocksy United

LENTILS & POMEGRANATE WITH ROASTED BEETS Roasted beets can be easily found at many grocery stores, but I’ll often roast a big bunch of beets after grabbing some at the Saturday farmers’ market and will have a few left over by the end of the week. This is super simple to whip up— requiring nothing more than adding everything to a food processor—and especially appropriate for entertaining or an outdoor weekend brunch.

serves 4-6 INGREDIENTS 3 cups cooked lentils 1 small shallot, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp orange blossom honey sea salt, to taste 4-6 roasted red baby beets, thickly sliced 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as mint and basil, roughly chopped INSTRUCTIONS In a large bowl, whisk pomegranate molasses, olive oil, honey, and salt until well combined. Add lentils, shallot, pomegranate seeds, and herbs. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Gently fold in the roasted beets and garnish with additional herbs if desired.

BEET PESTO ON CROSTINI WITH GOAT CHEESE & DILL Roasted beets can be easily found at many grocery stores, but I’ll often roast a big bunch of beets after grabbing some at the Saturday farmers’ market and will have a few left over by the end of the week. This is super simple to whip up— requiring nothing more than adding everything to a food processor—and especially appropriate for entertaining or an outdoor weekend brunch.

serves 4 INGREDIENTS 4 red beets, roasted and quartered 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 thick slices rustic bread, lightly toasted 4 oz goat cheese 1 heaping tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped INSTRUCTIONS Add beets and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse five times. Continue adding remaining ingredients and process until smooth and well combined, but not completely puréed. Spread beet pesto evenly over each slice of toasted bread, then top each with one ounce of goat cheese and a sprinkle of fresh dill. @EdibleLAMag



Photo ©Pixel Stories/Stocksy United


A few local sommeliers share their favorite wine and beet pairings. -eLA

2015 Chanin Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir Santa BARBARA COUNTY “For beets, I like to go with something lean and bright with a touch of earthiness to play off the earthen flavors found in root veggies,” explains SAMANTHA JOHNSTON, sommelier and wine director at Toscana and Nerano. “I love the wines from Gavin Chanin. Gavin has two projects, Lutum and Chanin, both focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Central Coast. I love his Pinot Noirs from both projects, and I pour one by the glass at both Toscana and Nerano. I love that they have vibrant acidity, and a mix of ripe and tart fruit flavors: pomegranate, cherry and rhubarb, intermingled with herbaceous green notes and hints of spice. And they’re just darn tasty!”

2013 Black Sheep Holus Bolus Syrah Sta. Rita Hills “I recently made a rack of lamb crusted with toasted pistachios and olives, along with a roasted beet and cauliflower purée, and pairing it with this Syrah made every element sing,” says KRISTINE BOCCHINO, beverage director at Lunetta in Santa Monica. “It may sound a little geeky, but it’s so fun to find those magical wine and food pairings.”

2016 Tatomer Meeresboden Grüner Veltliner Santa Barbara County “Meeresboden translates to sea floor or, more specifically, ocean soil, and this gorgeous wine from the hillsides of Santa Barbara County boasts a bit of salty minerality, deep earthiness, and bright acidity—perfect with roasted beets and goat cheese,” says editor-in-chief and Certified Sommelier SHAUNA BURKE. “If beets are anything, they’re earthy, and need an equally earthy wine to stand up to those flavors and aromas.”




reading corner








Rodolfo Guzmán (Phaidon)

Making phenomenal coffee a memorable part of your global adventures may not always seem like a must-do, but flipping through this indispensible guide may have you second-guessing the food and beverage priorities on your next trip. Listing over 600 locations in 50 countries, you may even discover a hidden gem in your own backyard. -eLA

Guzmán opened Boragó in Santiago, Chile over a decade ago and is well-known for his wildly imaginative and unique cooking style, bringing Chilean ingredients to life in the most exciting way possible. Get a glimpse into his process and drool at the thought of attempting some of these recipes at home. -eLA

KAUKASIS A CULINARY JOURNEY THROUGH GEORGIA, AZERBAIJAN, & BEYOND Olia Hercules (Weldon Owen) In this gorgeous cookbook, Olia Hercules takes readers on a culinary journey through the Caucasus—the region on the border of Europe and Asia, between the Black and Caspian Seas—which is rich with history and enviable food traditions. If nothing else, the striking images and stories are worth the buy. -eLA

get the recipe for ZAHIR’S stoned chicken on ediblela.com

reading corner

Whole-Grain Roasted Beet Mustard

Beet Stem Pickled Cauliflower

makes 6 half-pints

makes 6 pints

The deep wine color and earthy aroma of this mustard makes my mouth water every time I pull it out of the cupboard. It is perfect for a quick snack or party hors d’oeuvres, and I love to slather it on fresh-baked bread and top it with goat cheese. Roasting the beets brings a balanced sweetness to the spicy whole-grain mustard seeds, while the balsamic vinegar gives it a wonderful depth. Your bread will forever thank you!

TIP: If you do not have leftover beet stems, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of fresh shredded beets. However, this will bring more of a beet flavor to your pickles than the beet stems do.

INGREDIENTS 2 pounds beets (about 5 medium beets) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled 8 tablespoons mustard seeds ½ cup mustard powder 1 cup balsamic vinegar, divided

In this recipe, the red color in the beet stems escapes into the brine and gives a pink aura to the cauliflower. This technique also works nicely with red chard stems. These bright brassicas add exotic color to any pickle plate.

INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 400°F. At the food preparation station, wash the beets and cut off the stems, saving the stems for the Beet Stem Pickled Cauliflower recipe. Wearing gloves, slice the beets in half from stem to top. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the beets cutside up on the paper and drizzle with the olive oil. Rub the olive oil into the skins, flip the beets, and rub the other side. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Roast until slightly brown, about 25 minutes. Turn the beets over, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, add the garlic, and roast another 25 minutes, until fork-tender. While the beets are roasting, soak the mustard seeds in a medium bowl with 4 cups of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and set the seeds to the side on a towel. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard powder with ½ cup of water until smooth. Once the beets are done and cool enough to handle, cut into 2-inch chunks on the parchment paper. In a large, nonreactive saucepan, place the roasted beets, roasted garlic, soaked mustard seeds, ó cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup water, mustard powder mixture, and the remaining tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Turn the heat off and let sit for 5 minutes. Place the contents into a food processor and pulse 15 times, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula. Run on high for 4 minutes and slowly drizzle in the remaining ½ cup balsamic vinegar. At the filling station, keep the jars and mustard hot while filling each jar. Use a funnel to spoon the sauce directly into the jar, while pressing out air pockets, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Remove any additional air pockets, wipe the rim, and secure the lid. Place the jars in the water bath, covered by 1 inch of water. Once the water is boiling, process for 10 minutes. 20



Beet stems are a natural food coloring that can be used for pickling and other kitchen projects. Red beet stems will also add a wonderful orchid hue to your pickle without bringing in a beet flavor.

INGREDIENTS 2 pounds white cauliflower (from 2 medium heads) 1 cup beet stems (reserved from preceding recipe) 1 large lemon 4 cups white balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns ½ teaspoon coriander seeds ½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds INSTRUCTIONS At the food preparation station, wash the cauliflower, beet stems, and lemon under cold running water. Cut out the stems and leaves from the cauliflower and dice the stems and leaves into 1/4-inch pieces. Using the tip of a paring knife, break down the florets into 1-inch pieces. Dice the beet stems into 1/4-inch pieces. Slice the lemon into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the white balsamic vinegar, 3 cups of water, salt, and spices in a large, nonreactive saucepan and bring the brine to a boil over high heat. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and steep for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower pieces and beet stems to the brine. Return to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let it sit for 5 minutes. At the filling station, keep the jars and brine hot while filling each jar. Pour the brine through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-resistant pitcher. Then spoon the spices from the strainer into the bottom of the jars before adding the cauliflower and topping with brine. With a slotted spoon and a funnel, scoop the hot cauliflower and beet stems into the jar. When the jars are about halfway full, add a slice of lemon against the side of each jar, ensuring visibility. Continue to fill each jar with cauliflower, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Use the pitcher to fill the jar with brine, leaving ½- inch of headspace. Remove the air pockets, add more brine if necessary, wipe the rim, and secure the lid. Place the jars in the water bath, covered by 1 inch of water. Once the water is boiling, process for 10 minutes.

PRESERVATION PANTRY MODERN CANNING FROM ROOT TO TOP & STEM TO CORE Sarah Marshall (Regan Arts) We’re into just about anything that cuts down on food waste, and Marshall’s beautiful collection of recipes and ideas on preserving our best local produce is not to be missed. Since beet stems and greens are so often discarded, we’re sharing one of our favorite recipes—Beet Stem Pickled Cauliflower—from the book here. -eLA



reading corner

PLANTLAB CRAFTING THE FUTURE OF FOOD Matthew Kenney (Regan Arts) If you haven’t yet dined at Kenney’s Plant Food & Wine on Abbot Kinney in Venice, go now—the patio is gorgeous and the food is inventive, unique, and exquisite. You’ll most likely want to grab this cookbook the moment your meal ends, and recipes like the loaded sweet potatoes below are staples for any home cook, vegan or otherwise. -eLA


reading corner



Curry Leaves. Lime. Coriander Yogurt. Pickled Fresno Chilies. serves 4 BAKED MINI SWEET POTATO INGREDIENTS 8 mini sweet potatoes, whole 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted 2 scallions, sliced 1 inch piece ginger, sliced 1 Makrut lime leaf 3 fresh curry leaves 4 sprigs cilantro 1 lime, cut into 3/4-inch slices 1 tablespoon sea salt INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and toss to coat the sweet potatoes. Wrap each sweet potato in aluminum foil and bake them on a baking sheet for 1 ½ hours, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.


CORIANDER YOGURT INGREDIENTS 1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked ⅔ cup water ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 2 teaspoons salt INSTRUCTIONS Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use, or up to 5 days. PICKLED FRESNO CHILIES INGREDIENTS 1 cup rice vinegar 2 tablespoon agave 1 teaspoon salt 3 fresno chilies, sliced into ⅛-inch rounds INSTRUCTIONS Mix rice vinegar, agave, and salt in a bowl. Add the fresnos to a glass jar and pour the rice vinegar mixture on top. Cover the jar and refrigerate for 4–6 hours. TO SERVE ¼ cup coriander yogurt 2 tablespoons micro herbs (garnish) 1 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced (garnish) Cut cooked sweet potatoes in half. Place 4 sweet potato halves on a plate, cut-side up. Top with ¼ cup coriander yogurt, pickled fresno chilies, micro herbs, and thinly sliced scallions. Fully Loaded Baked Sweet Potato recipe reprinted from PLANTLAB. Copyright © 2017 Matthew Kenney (Regan Arts). Photograph by Adrian Mueller. Whole-Grain Roasted Beet Mustard and Beet Stem Pickled Cauliflower recipes reprinted from Preservation Pantry. Copyright © 2017 Sarah Marshall (Regan Arts). Photographs by Caleb Plowman. ◆

edible NATION

Evolution of Organic A review of the film about the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. BY DEBORAH LUHRMAN


TOP: Rick Gaudet in New Mexico by Michael Ableman; BOTTOM: Jean-Marie Herman in Sonoma County, Calif. by Michael Ableman

ong-haired, shirtless young people plant rows of vegetables, music from the Grateful Dead fills the air and garden guru Alan Chadwick intones a dire warning in the opening scenes of the brand-new documentary, Evolution of Organic. The uplifting and entertaining film, narrated by actress Frances McDormand, traces the organic sector from its counter-culture roots in the 1960s to the present day, telling the story of its unexpected growth and some of the missteps along the way—with songs by Country Joe, Bruce Springsteen and even the Banana Slug String Band all getting airtime before the closing credits roll. Evolution of Organic is an independent production made over the past two years by Mark Kitchell, a San Francisco-based filmmaker known for documenting social change movements. His previous work includes the Academy Award-nominated film Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire, which documents the environmental movement. “I was envious of people who were already making films about food and ag, like Food, Inc. and Symphony of the Soil. I saw that this was a story that really had legs and the most mojo of any social movement right now,” Kitchell said about his inspiration for the film. “People love organic and are passionate about where their food comes from and how it’s grown.” Filming took Kitchell throughout Northern California. His first stop was the EcoFarm conference in Pacific Grove in January 2015. It doesn’t take long to begin spotting local folks in the film, such as Steve Pedersen of High Ground Organics, Joe Morris of Morris Grassfed Beef, Tonya Antle of the Organic Produce Network, Jim Nelson of Camp Joy Gardens and Amigo Bob Cantisano, the heart and soul of EcoFarm. Kitchell is a skilled archivist who fills the screen with historic clips and amusing photos of the barefoot, bare-breasted hippie origins of the organic movement. @EdibleLAMag ediblela.com 25

He describes how the efforts grew from an act of rebellion to the beginnings of “foodie-ism” with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse-style chefs looking for ingredients that tasted better, then on to government regulation, mainstream supermarkets and the conversion of big conventional farms to organic. “We can’t have all just little hippie farms. If we are going to really have major change, we need these large-scale conventional farmers to see the light, to succeed and to push the envelope,” Cantisano says in the film. The film maintains there are now two strains of organics: the industrial organic sector which provides food—much of it from our region—for supermarkets across the country, and the organic movement, which is still alive on small family farms that sell through CSAs and farmers’ markets. Looking towards the future, Kitchell sees great hope in carbon farming through organic agriculture and regenerative grazing: Plants grown using these regenerative methods capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the air and process it through photosynthesis into little stores of carbon, which travel down through the roots and into the soil to feed the micro-organisms, rather than polluting the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. “All the film is leading up to our big breaking story of carbon farming, which is potentially the biggest solution to climate change,” he says. “It is all tied into soil and microbes and putting carbon back into the ground where it belongs. This gives organic a new sense of purpose.” Evolution of Organic will be screened at 300 locations over the next year; watch the film’s website, evolutionoforganic.com, for the schedule. It will also be available for streaming on Amazon, Netflix and iTunes in 2018. ◆ TOP RIGHT: John Jeavons of Grow Biointensive, courtesy of John Jeavons; BOTTOM: Sunburst Farm near Ojai, Calif. by Mehosh Dziadzio provided courtesy of Sunburst






t’s six o’clock in the morning at the bakery when that life-sustaining smell hits me. It’s yeasty. Heavily yeasty—as if you’ve crawled inside a loaf of fluffy, wildly fermented whole grain bread. The music is rockin’ as Alan feeds a tall plastic container of levain. Next to him are three more bins of Lodge Bread Co.’s beast, the natural starter that has been with them since he worked with bakers/owners Or Amsalam and Alex Phaneuf at the same West Hollywood restaurant. The beast is nameless, unlike some famous starters that are often imbued with an almost occult sheen. “For me it’s more of a science thing,” Alan says. “It’s a culture, like bacteria. A political power. A government.” The starter has doubled in two hours—a moist, sizzling blob as active as the original goop of the universe. Lodge bakes a dark, wet loaf that sells out every single day from their bustling bakery on West Washington Boulevard in Culver City. Alex, Or, Alan, and the team of bakers have committed to making a one hundred percent California whole grain loaf of unsifted hand-milled flour day in and day out, and they’re doing it exceedingly well—well enough for the James Beard Foundation to recognize them as semifinalists in the 2017 category of Outstanding Baker. Lodge is one of a handful of bakeries in a growing and passionate movement to bring back local heritage and ancient grains. The bakers rotate so they can each mill their own flour, shape and proof their loaves, and finally put them in the oven. “Hands on from start to finish,” Alan says. Lodge also uses 2,500 pounds of flour per week and it’s been challenging to find all those California wheat berries to grind. As Alan tells me, “It’s definitely been a process.” I find out why at the Gourmandise School’s Grain Conference in Santa Monica this past fall—the brainchild of Clemence Gossett and Sabrina Ironside. The top floor of the




Santa Monica Place shopping center has been repurposed for farmers, millers, artisan and home bakers, and pretty much all bread-obsessed folks out there to attend seminars and workshops with some of the industry’s best—including the owners of Lodge Bread. The keynote speaker, Dave Miller, teaches attendees that the California grain movement exists because Monica Spiller raided the USDA Seed Bank back in the late nineties. After getting about a dozen different packets of seeds—Durum-Iraq, Ethiopian Blue Tinge, IndiaJammu, Sonora—she convinced California farmers to grow them. Problem was, those tiny little packets only contained about twentyfive seeds, so it’s no wonder it’s taken years to grow enough grain. Everyone seems to agree that the process has been slow. Painfully slow. Alex tells me how Lodge started in his backyard in Mar Vista. “We hand-mixed bread for about a year and sold it wholesale to customers and restaurants. It was an easy way for us to cut our teeth in the business.” In person, Or and Alex finish each other’s sentences with the easy back and forth and camaraderie of old friends and partners. Alex appears to be the front man, obsessed and detail-oriented, while Or seems more laidback and even-keeled. They both have great tattoos. I find myself staring at the wheat stalk on Or’s forearm—a finely etched masterpiece straight out of a 19th century botanical print. On the table in front of them are huge 900-gram loaves, dark with big ears and a fabulous smell. One of Lodge’s first steps was to make a phone call to Central Milling, a massive operation out of Utah. They were told that the right type of flour wasn’t available, so that forced them to get samples and start messing around. “We were beyond fortunate at that point to have people tell us not to make white bread,” Alex says. “Coming from a chefing background, you’re always looking for a source of gratification… sourcing specific flours for loaves was immediately key for us and we thought that would give us an edge and allow us to stay fresh and excited…we were leaving a world of making thirty different types of food in one day to making one loaf of bread. It was a unanimous decision to try to make exclusively whole grain loaves with unsifted flours, preferably off a mill that was our own.” It’s been three years since they decided to go for it full throttle with a one hundred percent California whole grain loaf. According to Alex, they only started getting it right about three months before our conversation this past fall. Even finding one farmer to get wheat was difficult. They tried cold-calling farms, going straight to dusty answering machines which nobody checked. They went back to Central Milling, asking for California-grown wheat, preferably of single origin, and miraculously they were paired with a farm that worked out great for a while. “That was the only source to get us wheat from California,” Alex says. “But what it did for the bakery was unforeseen. It was invigorating to everyone who worked here, no matter if it was a barista, our pastry chef, our bakers. The cashier working at the front saw how much passion we were putting into our little slogan that we finally have a California loaf.” Eventually they found their way to T&A Farms in Santa Barbara County. A voluble couple, Therese McLaughlin and Adam Novicki, grow wheat in Cuyama Valley. They are obviously thrilled with the joy they’ve brought to the bakers in the room at the Grain Conference. Within minutes, the audience is talking up the bags of flour they’ve managed to nab and arguing over fields and years like vintages of fine wine. The T&A story is romantic—from the fifty-year-old John Deere combine which Adam and Therese bought from a Mennonite farmer and learned to drive and repair on YouTube, to how the whole process tested their marriage which, from the looks of it, survived swimmingly. They credit people like Or and Alex, who bought their product, for their own learning curve.

“We were in uncharted waters,” Therese says. “But they were in a little deeper…it’s because of these guys and our other friends in the baking community that we kept saying ‘okay, yeah, we’re going to [grow these heritage grains].’ And now I realize that what we’re eating is [real] food. That’s a revelation to me. I grew up on Long Island where bread was white and sliced.” T&A’s flour was gorgeous, but the process was still unpredictable. “You’d get twenty pounds of a certain flour and have the best three weeks of your life and then you couldn’t get it again,” Alex tells me. It’s only been recently that Lodge mills a consistent supply of rye, spelt, ancient grains, and locally-grown Yecora Rojo in their very own mill, not necessarily having to rely so much on others. Back in the bakery, Alan tells me to step back, “It’s going to be loud.” And it is—the oven belching steam onto hot stones inside sounds like a train gearing up to leave the station. Alan’s ready to launch the bread he shaped and proofed the day before. The loaves sit wiggling in their little baskets ready to be upended on the loader, a conveyer belt that magically pulls down from the wall like a Murphy bed. He deftly lines up the uncooked loaves, scoring them with a swift calligrapher’s stroke, and then pushes them into the oven to be cooked at 491 degrees. Another burst of steam and I’m pretty much convinced that no one could do this at home. “Sure you can,” Alan says. He tells me cast iron Dutch ovens work the same way, trapping the moisture inside so the bread steams itself and develops a hard crust, similar to professional ovens. As Alan and I are talking, Julia, a woman with blonde, piledup hair, bright leggings, and a nose ring, slips past. She starts to tell me about her circuitous path to making dozens of miso chocolate chip cookies per day. A degree in business marketing. Graphic design. Then finding her way into the pastry program at Manhattan Beach Post and

Fishing with Dynamite, where they won a James Beard Award in 2014 for their key lime pie. It’s a familiar refrain when you talk to bakers who, I’m beginning to realize, have a signature personality. Strongwilled. Intense with a dollop of renegade. Next to me is a pan of colossal sourdough cinnamon rolls, whorled and toasty brown as they wait to be bathed in luscious icing. Then there’s the oat poppy seed and candied ginger cookies ready to be popped into the oven. And the stacked coffee cakes, crumbly and moist with a thick vein of espresso caramel running through. “They’ve been so amazing here…and are open to anything I want to try,” Julia says. “They’re all so passionate and excitable. Such a joy to work here.” Later in the day, the dining room and patio fill with customers who are all happily devouring the bread-centric menu— their fluffy, tender pita bread is the star of the glorious fat pita, stuffed with roasted vegetables and tahini, and don’t forget the perfect, bubbly pizza crust, the mandatory and delicious avocado toast, and that pastry cabinet up by the register, and on and on and on... The shelves that were once spilling over with the day’s bake empty completely and Alex looks around with obvious but quiet pride. “We’ve all built this together,” he says. ◆

Learn how to make awesome loaves at home with Lodge’s bread classes Sign up at lodgebread.com






estchester is a neighborhood of neat houses and welltended lawns—the kind of place where residents can still go next door to borrow a cup of sugar. The Holy Nativity Episcopal Church sits in the center of this residential area, a low-slung building with a riot of feathery flowers outside. The church functions as a community center with a yoga studio, garden, and spaces for environmental activism and Zen meditation. It’s also a place where you can fire your loaves. Westchester Bakers, a group of passionate and self-declared “bread-heads”, came together two years ago to build their very own oven in the church’s backyard. First up in the build was acquiring local clay for cob, a hand-molded material made from sand, clay, and water versus adobe which is poured into bricks. Eric Knutzen, one of the founders of LA Bakers, steered the group towards a basement excavation at The Museum of Jurassic Technology. For the next two weeks, they transported clay, mixed and glommed it onto a form in the backyard of the church. The finished oven looks like a dropped napkin, its curvaceous folds standing up on their own. Silver-haired Paul Morgan is one of the group’s chief fire whisperers. “The oven’s still growing and cracking,” he says. He heats it up seven hours before a bake—temperatures inside reaching 800 degrees. The oven is called a black oven, which means the fire burns in the same place as the bread. Black ovens like this have been used since Neolithic times, five inches of mud gathering heat from the flames. When the embers are raked out, the temperature goes down gradually. First up are pizzas, then the bread. “You can put a pig in there,” Paul tells me. “It’ll cook all night and then in the morning the oven will be 300 degrees.” Potatoes




roast in four minutes flat. Bread cooks in twelve. The group is equally passionate about sourcing heritage and ancient grains. Some have their own home mills, while others meet at The King’s Roost  in Silverlake to get their flours ground. They’re also eager to develop relationships with farmers like Mai Nguyen, one of the founders of the California Grain Campaign. She works the land in Santa Rosa, as well as Petaluma and Sebastopol. with heritage drought tolerant grains. “We think about bread all the time,” says Dana Morgan. In addition to selling bread at farmers’  markets, Dana teaches a seedto-loaf class to fourth graders at Playa Vista and other elementary schools. This past year, she and the kids planted nine square feet of Yecora Rojo wheat, then tended and harvested it before they baked it into one loaf of bread. The Reverend Peter Rood tells me he feels like the “chief midwife of creative things” at his church. He is also plainly thrilled, telling me that “it looks like a maverick group of bread-heads here, but one of the things we have in common is that we are drawn to simple things. What could be simpler than bread?” Westchester Community Oven Pizza and Bread Bakes When: 12:00pm for pizza; 2:00pm for bread on the second Saturday of every month. Where: The Garden of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church,  6700 West 83rd St, Los Angeles Bring your own dough and toppings. ◆

(continued on page 37)


A Few of Our Favorite Tools


Baking bread at home is not as daunting as it may seem—after all, if ancient people could figure it out with much less sophisticated technology, anyone can master baking a great crusty loaf at home.

Get Yourself a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Black Walnut Dough Whisk Zatoba; $17.95 zatoba.com

One of the best kept secrets in at-home bread baking is this: using a Dutch oven creates steam—which is essential for that great crust—that is typically only achieved in professional bakery ovens. Place your loaf in the Dutch oven, pop on the lid, and allow to bake just as you normally would.

Go to Grist & Toll or a local mill

It may seem easy just to go to the grocery store and purchase regular ol’ all-purpose flour, but the quality and age of that flour can certainly be questionable. Using high-quality, freshly milled flours will result in a more complex loaf—and I doubt you’ll ever turn back. Grist & Toll (gristandtoll. com) in Pasadena is a great local source, selling small-batch, whole grain milled flours from locally-grown wheat.

Black Walnut Bread Lame Zatoba; $24.95 zatoba.com

Create Your Own Bread Starter

Turn the page to find out how we began a bread starter at home. Alternatively, ask a baker friend for some of their starter, which will definitely cut back on some of that initial work and waiting time, and care for it yourself from that point forward. Bread starters will last a lifetime, if properly cared for!

Have Patience

Baking bread is obviously a bit more complicated than microwaving a frozen burrito or frying an egg, but the process is relatively simple as long as every home baker remembers to have patience. Mixing…kneading… rising…punching down…rising again…baking. It takes time. And the end result is entirely worth it.

Organic Floursack Towels Dean & DeLuca; $24 deananddeluca.com

Learn From the Pros

Professional bakers have usually been through it all—and their advice for home bakers is indispensible, especially if you are tackling bread at home for the very first time. A couple of our favorite places to learn new things: The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories Santa Monica; thegourmandiseschool.com Lodge Bread Co. Culver City; lodgebread.com ◆

Modernist Bread modernistcuisine.com





Photo © Brett Donar/Stocksy United


sip on this




Gabriel Castillo, bartender at The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice, created a gorgeous cocktail that simply screams “LA”. An impressive combination of green juice (use your own or a trusted local brand), jalapeño-infused tequila, CBD oil, and wild blueberry kombucha. Enjoy on a lazy Sunday, with brunch or a good book.

One of my favorite cold-weather ingredients—the pomegranate—shines in this fresh, crisp, wine and kombucha cocktail by Aleks Berry of Stanley’s Wet Goods in Culver City.

INGREDIENTS 6 fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz agave nectar 2 oz jalapeño-infused tequila (recipe below) 1 oz green juice (any locally-bottled brand will work) 2 drops Ojai Energetics Biologix CBD oil (optional) 4 oz Kombucha Dog wild blueberry kombucha TO PREPARE COCKTAIL Combine blackberries, agave nectar, and lime juice in a shaker tin and muddle. Add tequila, green juice, and CBD oil (optional). Fill tin with ice and shake hard, then strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a few blackberries and a pineapple leaf. JALAPEÑO-INFUSED TEQUILA INGREDIENTS 1 750ml bottle tequila 6-7 fresh jalapeños, sliced INSTRUCTIONS Combine tequila and jalapeños in a lidded glass jar, secure the lid, and shake. Allow to sit for 24 hours. Once the tequila is infused, strain through a fine mesh strainer into the original bottle or clean lidded glass jar.

INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish 3 leaves fresh mint, plus more for garnish 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 2 dashes Scrappy’s grapefruit bitters 2 oz Mas Peyre “Le Demon de Midi” Rancio Sec wine 4-6 oz Boochcraft grapefruit hibiscus heather kombucha TO PREPARE COCKTAIL Add pomegranate seeds, mint, lime juice, and bitters to a shaker tin and muddle. Add ice and wine, then shake hard and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with kombucha and garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.

BARE ROOTS Dave Whitton of Downtown’s Prank Bar crafted this flavor bomb of a cocktail utilizing lemon and pineapple juices along with a spicy ginger kombucha—perfect for a crisp winter evening. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz blanco tequila 1/2 oz agave nectar 3/4 oz oz freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 oz fresh pineapple juice 2 dashes Angostura bitters 4 oz GT’s Gingerade kombucha pinch cayenne pepper, for garnish candied ginger, for garnish

TO PREPARE COCKTAIL Add tequila, agave nectar, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and bitters to a shaker tin. Fill with ice and shake, then strain into an ice-filled Collin glass. Top with kombucha and garnish with a dash of cayenne pepper and candied ginger.

THE PINK LADY Julien Antoni Calella, bartender at The Tasting Kitchen in Venice, adds a spin to a classic gin cocktail by topping it with a favorite local apple kombucha. The Bitter Truth’s chocolate bitters are preferred, but can easily be substituted with Angostura bitters. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz London Dry gin 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 oz simple syrup 1 dash The Bitter Truth chocolate bitters 2 oz Health-Ade Kombucha pink lady apple TO PREPARE COCKTAIL Combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a shaker tin. Add a few ice cubes and short shake (about ten seconds). Strain into a an ice-filled Collins glass and top with kombucha.

WHITEBUCHA For all the beer lovers, I think the shandy is a very underappreciated cocktail. Two ingredients and big flavor—it’s hard to go wrong. Venice Ale House offers Kombucha Dog kombucha on draft, not to mention an entire menu of various beer and kombucha combinations. This one is best enjoyed on a sunny winter day in LA. INGREDIENTS 12 oz El Segundo Brewing Co White Dog IPA 4 oz Kombucha Dog kombucha TO PREPARE COCKTAIL Fill a pint glass with chilled beer and top with kombucha.

CRANBERRY OLD-FASHIONED A classic old-fashioned almost never disappoints and a generous splash of GT’s cranberry kombucha is a very season-appropriate way to spice up this time-honored tipple. INGREDIENTS 1 brown sugar cube (or 1 tsp Demerera sugar) 2-4 dashes Hella Bitters ginger bitters (or Angostura bitters) 1 1/2 oz bourbon 1 oz GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha Maraschino cherry or cranberry, for garnish Orange peel, for garnish TO PREPARE COCKTAIL Place sugar in the bottom of a rocks or old-fashioned glass, saturate sugar with bitters and muddle until sugar is nearly dissolved. Add bourbon and a large ice cube, then stir well to dilute and chill. Top with kombucha and garnish with a cherry or cranberry. Twist fresh orange peel over the cocktail and place on top to garnish. ◆ 40



The Lazy Dog cocktail at The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice


Photo © iStockphoto.com/egal


Rye Fettuccine Cacio e Pepe Michael Fiorelli, executive chef/partner at Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach, makes fresh pasta using rye flour to add a wonderful earthy layer to a classic dish. Use locally milled flour, if you can find it. serves 4 for the pasta INGREDIENTS 2 cups rye flour 2 cups all-purpose flour 4 large eggs 10 egg yolks Salt, to taste INSTRUCTIONS 1 Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on medium-low speed just until a rough, crumbly dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 15-20 minutes until the dough is smooth. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. 2 Roll out the dough according to the directions on your pasta machine. (Chef’s note: “I roll my dough out on the fifth setting... it is the right thickness—not quite thin enough that you can see your hand through it, so there’s a little bit of chew. I recommend a fettuccine cut for this recipe as it is thick enough to stand up to the

sauce and standard with a home pasta machine cutter.” for the cacio e pepe INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cups finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving 4 tbsp unsalted butter 4 servings of rye fettuccine (recipe above) Extra-virgin olive oil INSTRUCTIONS 1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 2 In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and black pepper; mash with just enough cold water (a splash) to make a thick paste. 3 Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes, until it’s tender but still has a bite to it—remove it about 30 seconds before it is perfectly cooked as it’ll continue cooking. 4 Have a large skillet waiting on the stovetop. Over medium heat, add 1/2 cup of the cooking water and the butter to the pan. As soon as the water and butter have emulsified into a sauce, add the pasta, followed by the cheese and pepper paste. 5 Pull the pan off of the heat and stir vigorously with tongs until the pasta is well coated. Add a splash of olive oil to finish the sauce. Note: The sauce should be creamy and cling to the pasta, but not watery. To serve, sprinkle each portion with more pecorino and pepper, to taste.

Rye Fettucine Cacio e Pepe, courtesy of Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach

Stout Gingerbread Shannon Swindle, pastry chef at Craft Los Angeles, amps up runof-the-mill gingerbread with rich stout beer, bittersweet molasses, and gorgeous aromatic spices. Pair it with the same beer you use in the recipe!

Stout Gingerbread, courtesy of Craft Los Angeles

yields two 9”x5” Loaves

INGREDIENTS 2 cups stout beer 2 cups molasses 1 tbsp baking soda 1 ½ cups grapeseed oil 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp fine sea salt 6 eggs 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated 4 cups Rouge de Bordeaux wheat flour 1 tbsp baking powder 4 tbsp ground ginger 2 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon 2 tsp Korintje cinnamon ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg ½ tsp ground allspice ½ tsp ground black pepper ¼ tsp ground cardamom INSTRUCTIONS 1 Preheat oven to 350°F (300° convection) and grease two 9”x5” loaf pans. 2 Place the beer, molasses, and baking soda into a large saucepan, and heat just until foamy. Set aside. 3 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugars, oil, fresh ginger, all spices, salt, and baking powder. 4 Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 5 Add the flour, and mix well. Then add the molasses and beer mixture in several additions, scraping the bowl and paddle well after each addition. (The batter will be very runny once all the liquid is added.) 6 Bake in prepared loaf pans for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is firm to the touch.

Forbidden Black Rice with Ginger Chicken Meatballs Akasha Richmond of AKASHA Restaurant in Culver City makes stunning forbidden rice the star of this dish, using aromatic cardamom and ginger to bring everything to life. Both the rice and meatballs are stellar enough to stand on their own, but together they simply shine.

1 tbsp green cardamom pods 2 cups forbidden black rice 3 cups water 1 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS 1 Rinse rice in cold water. 2 In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the butter or ghee over medium heat, then add shallots and ginger and cook for five minutes. Stir in rice and cardamom pods; sauté and coat with butter or ghee for two more minutes. 3 Add water and salt, stir, and bring to a boil. 4 Cover, lower heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Garnish with scallions. for the meatballs


for the rice

2 lbs ground chicken, preferably dark meat or ½ white and ½ dark 1 1/2 tsp sea salt 3 tbsp finley fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1 tsp fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated 1/2 cup red onion, minced 2 tbsp sambar masala (available online or at Indian grocery stores) 4 tbsp canola oil Cooking spray



serves 6-8

2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee ½ cup shallots, sliced 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 2 In a large bowl, combine chicken, salt, ginger, turmeric, onion,

and sambar masala until well mixed. 3 Shape into 38 meatballs, about one ounce each. 4 Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on each side, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through. Serve over rice.

more precision, but conversions can be easily found online.

Saffron Jeweled Farro

INGREDIENTS 150g pistachios, chopped 100g puffed wild rice (recipe below) 50g baked/dried kale 100g unsalted butter 74g maple syrup 20g saba (available at many Italian grocers) 18g pistachio oil 2 sheets nori

Cody Dickey, executive chef at Carbon Beach Club at the Malibu Beach Inn, serves this gorgeous, aromatic salad either warm or cold, but always adds a generous amount of good olive oil and fresh herbs right before serving. This is the perfect recipe to toss ahead of time for an outdoor lunch.

serves 4 for the wild rice granola

serves 6 INGREDIENTS 2 1/2 cups farro, rinsed until water runs clear 6 cups vegetable stock 1/2 tsp saffron threads, diluted in 1 tbsp hot water 3 cups tomato sauce 3 tbsp garlic, chopped 3 tbsp shallot, chopped 3 tbsp grapeseed oil 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped, plus more to garnish 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish Zest of 2 oranges Zest of 1 Meyer lemon 2 tsp orange blossom water 1 tbsp crushed dried rose buds 1/4 cup orange segments 1 tbsp pepper flakes (preferably Aleppo or Calabrian) Salt, to taste olive oil, for serving INSTRUCTIONS 1 Heat oil in a large pot over low heat and sweat garlic and shallot translucent. 2 Add tomato sauce and farro, continuing to cook for 1 minute. 3 Add warm vegetable stock and saffron. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until just cooked. (Farro should still be chewy, but not too hard. the grain should just start to split in the middle.) 4 Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Allow to cool in the liquid (this will help to absorb more of the liquid as it cools). Once cooled to room temperature, drain excess liquid. 5 To the bowl, add pomegranate, mint, parsley, citrus zests, orange blossom water, rose buds, orange segments, pepper flakes, and salt, to taste. Mix well. 6 Before serving, top with a generous amount of olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs.

Crispy Wild Rice Granola with Beets, Sour Cherry Mustard, Pickled Grapes, and Burrata Nestled in the mountains between Malibu and Calabasas, Saddle Peak Lodge has long been known for its meat and game, but executive chef Adam Horton shares a lighter, meatless recipe— bursting with color and layers of flavor from each element. Note: a typical kitchen scale should have the option to weigh in grams, for 44



INSTRUCTIONS 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. 2 Combine pistachios, kale, and nori in a food processor and pulse 10-15 times, until sandy in texture. 3 Add butter, saba, maple syrup, and pistachio oil to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature until just warm. 4 Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (such as a Silpat). Combine pistachio mixture, butter/syrup mixture, and puffed wild rice in a large bowl and turn out onto the baking sheet. 5 Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once while baking, until lightly browned and dry to the touch. 6 Remove from oven and immediately season lightly with salt, to taste. Once cooled, granola may be stored in an airtight container for up to one week. PUFFED WILD RICE INGREDIENTS 1 quart neutral oil, such as canola 2 cups wild rice INSTRUCTIONS 1 Add neutral oil, like canola, to a saucepan until it comes up the side 2-3 inches. 2 Using a candy or oil thermometer, heat oil to 400°F. 3 Use a mesh strainer to add rice to hot oil—in small batches—and use the strainer to scoop the rice out as soon as it puffs and floats to the top. This happens very quickly, so be prepared to work fast. Puffed rice will last one week in an airtight container. for the sour cherry mustard INGREDIENTS 220g dried tart cherries 180ml (about 6 oz) red wine vinegar 110g granulated sugar 30g mustard seeds, toasted 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise 125g Dijon mustard INSTRUCTIONS 1 Combine all ingredients except mustard in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. 2 Carefully transfer the hot liquid to a blender and allow to cool about 10-15 minutes. 3 Being sure to vent the blender for steam, blend for 1-2 minutes on high speed until very smooth. 4 Fold in Dijon mustard and mix until no streaks remain. Mustard

will keep for 2-3 months in the refrigerator. for the pickled grapes INGREDIENTS 1 cup green grapes 236 ml (about 8 oz) white wine vinegar 118 ml (about 4 oz) water 112g sugar 15g salt 2 star anise 1 cinnamon stick 20g mustard seeds 3 cloves 2 bay leaves (fresh, if possible) INSTRUCTIONS 1 Add all ingredients except grapes to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature. 2 Strain liquid through a sieve and discard solids. 3 In a large bowl or container, pour liquid over grapes to cover and top with a lid. Allow to sit overnight for pickling liquid to properly infuse grapes. Grapes will last up to one month in the refrigerator.


Paso Robles Wine Country

for the roasted beets INGREDIENTS 4 bunches baby beets, trimmed 2 tbsp olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste INSTRUCTIONS 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. 2 Add beets to a baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper, to taste. 3. Roast in the oven 30-45 minutes or until fork tender. 4 While hot, use a towel to peel beets by rubbing the skin away from the flesh. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight and slive into quarters to serve. To serve: 1 Using a brush, paint sour cherry mustard around the inside edges of 4 white bowls. 2 Cover bottom of bowl with about 1/2 cup of granola. 3 Place 3-4 dollops of burrata cheese (about 1 tbsp each) on top of granola. 4 Toss beets with a light coating of sour cherry mustard, then place beets in between the dollops of burrata. 5 Place pickled grapes in between beets. 6 Garnish with fresh herbs, such as basil and chervil. ◆

Kandarian Organic Farms—found at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market—is a wonderful source for ancient grains, not to mention the indispensible grain education offered by owner Larry Kandarian! FOURSISTERSRANCH.COM

Ron Finley—the gangsta gardener—at the #savethegangstagarden fundraiser in Malibu, courtesy of Hannah Ray Taylor.

local heroes

Ron Finley & His Food Revolution Empowering a South LA community, one garden at a time. BY HANNAH RAY TAYLOR


on Finley, a guerilla gardener from South Central LA, is a man on a mission. Inspired by the utter lack of food equity in Los Angeles—not to mention nationally and globally—and his frustration by living in a food desert, Finley has transformed the parkway (that little strip of land between the sidewalk and front yard) in front of his home, along with his entire backyard and swimming pool, into a thriving urban farm. Working with The Ron Finley Project (ronfinley. com), he has ultimately inspired his own community to become more mindful about food and nutrition by showing them how to grow their own food and take control of their health. As Finley explains during his wildly popular TED Talk, there are over twenty million Americans living in food deserts, which are areas where there is little to no access to affordable, fresh, healthy food. These food deserts are generally low-income communities, where there tend to be more fast food restaurants and dialysis centers than there are grocery stores. What began as a

response to his own frustrations—having to drive forty-five minutes just to get some organic fruits and vegetables—has rapidly evolved into a full on food revolution. Finley understands food inequality as being directly linked to racial and socioeconomic injustice in this country and seeks to empower his community, one new gardener at a time. He and his team have even been working to build gardens in local schools, such as Dorsey High School in Crenshaw, by teaching students the value of getting their hands dirty and feeling the satisfaction of eating what they’ve grown. The Ron Finley Project is very active beyond the garden, hosting events like Da FUNction at Vermont Square Library in South LA—a community event that celebrates the arts, diversity, and sustainability. This past fall, Finley spoke on a panel discussing food equity—along with longtime healthy food advocate Alice Waters—at The Underground Museum in Arlington Heights. Joining them on the panel were the passionate team behind Tropics, founded by Daniel Desure and Thomas James, which is a unique juice bar and meeting place, offering affordable,

healthy food options to the people of South LA, as well as free morning meditation led by Jesse Fleming. Another organization featured at the event was SÜPRMARKT LA, a pop-up market founded by Olympia Auset, which offers affordable organic produce to communities that may not otherwise have access to it. Evoking change is certainly not always easy. When the City of Los Angeles issued citations for growing food on the city-owned land in front of his home, Finley not only fought back—with the help of his community—but also played a big role in amending those rules, ultimately benefitting the entire city. While the city may not make it easy for him to succeed, Finley has been getting by because of his many supporters, whether it’s organizing fundraisers, creating shareable media to spread the word, or small donations from near and far. The importance of supporting organizations like these is clear—a growing number of school gardens, low-income families continuing to gain access to healthy foods, and continuing inspiration for all those working to make nutritious food available to all. ◆ @EdibleLAMag



Illustration © iStockphoto.com/Pobytov

the food historian


Why the West Was Wild BY LINDA CIVITELLO


hen we think of the Wild West, wheat does not immediately spring to mind. Yet there it was: on Tuesday, May 11, 1880, a shootout at Mussel Slough between wheat farmers and the Southern Pacific railroad ended in seven dead. The Octopus: A Story of California, was Frank Norris’s 1901 ode to the wheat farmers, depicted as innocent victims of the railroad. The Southern Pacific’s version is that the “farmers” were really squatters and land speculators, duped by a flim-flam man who promised them railroad land at a rock-bottom price. Although the fight was over land, the wheat was worth fighting over, too. The main variety of wheat grown in California in the 19th century was Sonora, prized for its “exquisite flavor and delicate texture,” according to Native Seeds/Search in Tucson. Adapted to the Sonoran desert, which straddles the Mexico-Arizona border, Sonora wheat was drought resistant and dry farmed. Now, most commercial wheat in California uses irrigation. One of the factors that led to the decline of Sonora was the introduction of wheat with a higher yield. As the number of acres planted in wheat in California dropped, the amount of wheat per acre produced rose from half a ton per acre to 2.5 tons per acre. Wheat production in California peaked in the late 1880s, with 3 million acres of wheat, literally “amber waves of grain.” Since 2000, California has averaged less than half a million acres of wheat. In 2017, only 413,000 acres were planted in wheat, and only 11,000 of those were in southern California. Sonora is grown in such small quantities that it is unnamed, buried in the category of “other.” In The Octopus, Norris used wheat as poetic justice. The railroad’s corrupt agent falls into the hold of a ship and is smothered by “a veritable cataract of wheat” cascading down on him in a graphic six-page scene. But Norris also saw wheat as

a symbol of resurrection, and waxed rhapsodic about it: “There it was. The Wheat! The Wheat! In the night it had come up. It was there, everywhere, from margin to margin of the horizon. The earth, long empty, teemed with green life. Once more the pendulum of the seasons swung in its mighty arc, from death back to life. Life out of death, eternity rising from out of dissolution.” In 1881, one year after the Mussel Slough shoot-out, the Women’s Cooperative Printing Office in San Francisco published What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking, one of the oldest cookbooks written by an African-American woman. Little was known about her until Dan Strehl, one of the founders of the Culinary Historians of Southern California, and a librarian at the main downtown Los Angeles Public Library, discovered that Mrs. Fisher was a professional cook, a mulatto born in South Carolina in the 1830s. The mother of eleven children, Mrs. Fisher’s post-Civil War travels took her through Missouri, where she might have been hired as a cook on a wagon train to get passage to San Francisco. “WAFFLES FOR BREAKFAST: Two eggs beat light, one pint of sour milk, to one and a half pint of flour, one teaspoonful of soda sifted with the flour, one tablespoonful of butter, teaspoonful of salt, well mixed, and then add the eggs. Always have your irons perfectly hot and well greased. In baking, melt butter before mixing in flour. Place them in a covered dish and butter them on sending to the table.” – Abby Fisher, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking (1881) Chances are excellent that the flour Mrs. Fisher used was Sonora. Sonora wheat flour is available locally from Grist & Toll and Roan Mills, among others. ◆








ELA: Which one beer made you fall in love and want to brew? DC: Stone Brewing’s Ruination which has since been replaced with Ruination 2.0— and I miss the original. ELA: Do you still homebrew or microbrew? What do you currently have brewing? DC: I do still homebrew, but it isn’t very often these days. I would be making something with chili peppers in it—I have a weird love for spicy beer. ELA: What’s your favorite style of beer to drink? DC: If I had to pick, it would probably be a pretty close tie between ESB and IPA. I really enjoy a good lager also. ELA: Do you have a favorite hop variety? DC: El Dorado.


Pork Chops with Coleslaw

paired with Stone Delicious IPA or a big, hop-forward IPA to help balance and complement the sweetness of the pineapple and teriyaki sauce.

serves 4

INGREDIENTS 4 ½-lb boneless thick-cut pork loin chops 1 cup teriyaki sauce 1-1 1/2 cups pineapple juice 1 tbsp minced garlic 4-8 sliced pineapple rings kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste INSTRUCTIONS 1 In a medium bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce, pineapple juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix well. 2 Place pork chops and about two-thirds of the sauce in a one-gallon plastic bag and allow them to marinate for at least one hour, or overnight. Reserve the leftover sauce. 3 Preheat oven to 350°F. 4 Place pork chops on a baking sheet, pour the marinade over them, and bake for about 30 minutes. Flip the chops over, pour the reserved marinade evenly over them, place 1-2 pineapple rings on each chop, and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. COLESLAW 1 bag premade coleslaw mix 1 cup mayonnaise 1-2 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup diced pineapple 1/4 cup white wine vinegar INSTRUCTIONS Combine mayonnaise, garlic, black pepper, pineapple, and vinegar in a large bowl and whisk until just combined. Add the coleslaw mix and fold in until evenly coated. ◆ 50



CHANEY'S LOCAL FAVORITES BREAKFAST SPOT I am a big fan of Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena—always a great selection of beer, plus a traditional full English breakfast.

STREET FOOD L.A. street dogs, usually found on carts throughout downtown.

BEER BAR The Glendale Tap in Glendale is probably my favorite— they always have new and interesting beer on tap so I get whatever sounds the most intriguing at the time.

HOMEBREW STORE The Home Wine, Beer, & Cheesemaking Shop in Woodland Hills

COCKTAIL BAR I do enjoy a good rum cocktail—usually Tiki drinks at The Tonga Hut in North Hollywood.

raised with care

The ingredients are simple: Our all-natural* pork, beef and lamb are raised by small, independent family farmers committed to sustainable and humane practices to deliver the finest tasting meat. No Antibiotics or Added Hormones**— Ever • All Vegetarian Feeds No Confinement • Raised Outdoors or in Deeply Bedded Pens


*Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients. **Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in pork.

Profile for Edible LA

Edible LA | No. 4  

Winter 2018

Edible LA | No. 4  

Winter 2018

Profile for ediblela