Make a Reservation

It’s mr Tom

every year in June mister tom and ms joy an older couple from Mississippi will call I don’t know when but I do know that they call and this is a call to take. in their mid 60’s they have some blueberry plants around and just the two of them go out and pick just the ripe ones. the dedication of going through the garden and picking berries to sell to us it just warms my heart and after 10 years doing business together, i’m always a sure buyer. tom will show up with a polka dotted ice cream container with the juiciest tastiest berries I can get all season. immediately I call over to amelia ,my pastry chef, and say mr tom is coming Friday or Saturday or one of these days and he’s got the stuff. amelia starts thinking about a blueberry shortcake, not just berries on a biscuit with whipped cream but her thought pattern goes from berries to compote to soup questions of sweet biscuit or unsweet biscuit will the compote overwhelm and be too sweet if the biscuit is sweet too. we test and these are the lightest biscuits I’ve ever had. the secret is in the mixing I’m told. ice cream comes up hazelnut? Guinness?spice/ I don’t know I’m overwhelmed I get lost in my dream world of ripe berries work in a field dedication and unsurpassed talent. surprise me please i know it’ll be great  I have the faith. thank you for the work the talent and the products. its a great time to be in la. and enjoying the season’s bounty 

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Summer bounty in the house

Its always fun to sit with my chefs young and old alike and develop new menu changes. The more experienced can help the newer ones to form complete ideas and the younger ones always have some fresh ideas even if it’s only a part of a dish or an ingredient that they wanted to try working with. Summer is here and this season seems to I fluency everyone’s menu ideas than any other season. Granted our winter seems to produce ingredients that we generally have more of an attraction to cooking but here summer with its heat and humidity turns out to be the season that has the largest impact on the thoughts of the people in the kitchen. As they say , it’s damn hot in here”. Lighter style dishes and using the bounty of the season opens new ideas and areas in the mind that have shut down for 6 months. We got Creole tomatoes, okra, green beans, zuccinni, many types of squash, carrots and eggplants. But and thus is a big but by August the heat shuts down most crops and we start scrambling again. Ah well that’s the plight of the chefs who try to cook seasonally and locally. So while the veg and fruits are pouring in daily we get to work preserving in jars or pickling or drying( though this last method is tough in our wet environment, think drying berries underwater. Soon you’ll see hundreds of jars on our shelves again with peaches and blueberry Barbeque sauces, pickles both familiar and puzzling, jams jellies butters juices syrups mustards and any other type of condiments you can think of. Menu changes next week 6/23 and summer is in the house. I love it and can’t wait to get at it teaching old techniques and even learning new ones. Makes it so much easier when you have a glorious bounty to work with.  

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always good to see steve

Steve is a friend who drives around the south searching out the tastiest in season fruits and vegetables. Today he came in with Alabama peaches. Most were oh so Juicy and sweet with the perfume of summer in a wildflower field. Had to just couldn’t help myself grabbed my Kershaw from my belt and randomly selected one. Cutting in the juice poured down my hand and onto my arm. Gathered the cooks around and we had a remarkable tasting of one of Summer’s true treats. Peaches left on the tree to ripen. The stories started flying of grandmas and childhood. Cobblers and Jams. Pie and pickled. Pork chops, salads desserts making a menu isn’t hard when you start off with not only a beautiful product but one that evokes such emotional memory. Everyone said wow that is a good peach as juice dripped from chins and before we knew it 4 peaches were nothing put some seeds Without people like Steve we would be doomed to hard tasteless peaches left on the counter to soften but never developing the flavor that comes from tree ripening picking up the Flavours of a specific terroir sugar development perfume a sort of time travel to childhood and a time when to keep the kids out the house and burn some energy we were sent to pick peaches with the promise of the best peach pie and on the lucky days dare I say a la mode!!!! We all have our own time travel to a place that to us was perfection surrounded by family and love. Pie crust made the old way with ingredients and that extra something called love that just doesn’t show it’s wonderful face much anymore. It was beautiful and a great break from the wilderness and mountains of work that is a restaurant weekend. So here’s to Steve etter and all the Steve etters out there. Thank you for letting me visit even for a short time with my grandmother and a simpler time called childhood summer

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