A Very Bazaar Evening, Indeed: Julianne Explores The Bazaar by José Andrés

The not-so-mellow month of May is going strong for LA Times Food Bowl in Los Angeles. Patrons of this month long festival are indulging in all things food and beverage, including various markets, tastings, workshops and even documentary screenings, that are taking place in multiple locations all over LA and surrounding areas.

I checked out one of the finer, more avant-garde events, the A Very Bazaar Evening, hosted by The Bazaar by José Andrés, at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills. Friend to Girls on Food Meagan and I explored this spot together, which is famous for modern tapas.

Culinary Director José Andrés is a Michelin-Starred and James-Beard Award winning chef, often credited with bringing the small plates (tapas) and trend to the US. If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with him, please do yourself a favor just watch videos of him on Youtube.

Head Bartender Billy Yoder

This intimate event was set in their tapas bar, Rojo at The Bazaar and featured many different tasting stations. In addition to modern takes on classic tapas and wine, many stations explored creations through avant-garde techniques, which Chef José Andrés is famous. This event was a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

“At Bazaar by José Andrés, we want you to see the process”, Head Bartender Billy Yoder told me, as he infused smoke into his A Fire in Jerez cocktail. This cocktail with Whistle Pig Rye, San Emilio Sherry, lemon, rosemary, applewood smoke is right up my alley since I love smokier cocktails.

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Hollywood Bowl’s 2017 Summer Season Preview and Julianne’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Shows

I’ve been living in LA since 2013, but I’m still considered a newbie. There’s so much to do, so much to see, my bucket list is endless. One of those items is to see a live show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.

The view from the stage

The Hollywood Bowl, the iconic amphitheater, is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the host to hundreds of musical events each year. I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming when I received an invite, on behalf of Girls on Food, for their summer season preview held last night. While it wasn’t a musical performance, there was a DJ spinning tracks from their summer line up.

The craziest part of this event was- I had no clue it was actually going to happen in the famous shell! I imagined we’d be in the seating, not participating as the starring act on stage!

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The District By Hannah An: All About The Noods

Beverly Hills/Grove gets a bad rep among Angeleno’s “foodies”, and I believe a lot of it has to do with higher prices, a serious lack of parking and food that doesn’t always feel inspired. I’ve been seeing many posts on The District by Hannah An, a higher-end Vietnamese restaurant, so I decided to pop in for their brunch.

 

The District by Hannah An
8722 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
http://thedistrictbyha.com

Restaurant ownership runs in Hannah An’s blood. Hannah, is among one of 5 sisters who run House of AN, a restaurant group with spots all over California. When I entered, through what appeared to be 19th century panel doors, The District felt as if Lisa Vanderpump had opened a Vietnamese restaurant. Hannah An shares a specific eye for elegance with Vanderpump. Not only is the ambiance romantic but it does have a strong colonial Vietnamese influence as well including wood block walls, high ceilings and Eidson lights, which separates it from the other Beverly Hills/Grove spots.

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Come With Us to Watch Martha Stewart Bake at Macy’s in Garden City, NY!

Image via Muzul.com

Ready to learn some new baking tips? Well, it doesn’t get any better than this! Myself (and the rest of Girls on Food) are so excited to join our idol and Culinary Council member Martha Stewart, for a special baking demonstration at Macy’s at Roosevelt Field, in Garden City, NY, where she will share tips from her latest book, A New Way to Bake!

When: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 at 6 pm

Where: Macy’s at Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Home Department, Lower Level, Garden City, NY 11530

Price: FREE! RSVP here to ensure a spot and receive a $10 Macy’s gift card when you check in!

Image via Amazon.com

Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you! I can’t wait, I’m such a huge fan of her cookware and bakeware. The quality is great, and I love all the colors she uses; especially that teal one! We all know I have a big sweet tooth, so I’m hoping she demos one of her scrumptious looking cakes! Especially the Citrus Mousse Cake with Buttercream Frosting. Hint, hint Martha!

There’s still room for you to attend! Check out their Eventbrite page here for info on how to secure tickets. Also, starting Wednesday, April 19th, if you make a Martha Stewart Collection purchase of $50+, you’ll receive receive a copy of her new book, and a chance to meet Martha and have her autograph it for you!

We’ll be live on our Instagram feed and providing stories, so be sure you’re following us!

  • This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Queen of the Waterfront: A Cocktail Recipe With Bumbu Rum

While fictional characters like Long John Silver, Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook pop into our minds when we think of pirates, did you know that in real-life, there was actually a New York-based female pirate named Sadie Farrell?

Although we don’t condone piracy, or any acts of violence here at Girls on Food, the story of Sadie and her gangs of New York history is a fascinating read

When our friends at Bumbu Rum asked me to come up with a cocktail recipe for our readers, I decided to use the underworld of late-1800’s New York as inspiration (Pirates of the Caribbean has inspired too many cocktails). 

Bumbu Rum is small-batch, hand blended and uses all-natural native Caribbean spices called “Bumbu”. Bumbu Rum has complex flavor notes including a butterscotch and banana aroma with a subtly sweet but tobacco-leaf pop in the finish. 

Since these flavors work well with festive, citrus flavors, I decided to pair it with calamansi juice. Traditionally calamansi juice is sipped on in the Philippines but it’s growing a following in the states. The toasted sesame syrup used in this cocktail adds an unexpected toasty flavor to every sip. I make a bigger batch of syrup with this recipe, since it has versatility for other cocktails, coffee drinks and baking. When making this syrup, the toasted seed scent is heavenly, so make sure to take a moment to appreciate this aroma.

I’m dedicating this cocktail to the famous female swashbuckler, later known in history as the Queen of the Waterfront. If Sadie was still with us today, we could see her sipping on one of these before a stroll on the Hudson River. 

Queen of the Waterfront 

Queen of the Waterfront Cocktail

1.5 oz Bumbu Rum 
1 oz Calamansi Juice (no sugar added) 
.075 oz Toasted Sesame Seed Syrup (see below)

Straining sesame seeds to create syrup

In a sauce pan, add 7 tablespoons of sesame seeds to a dry skillet and toast until they’re a light golden brown. Make sure the seeds don’t turn black and remove from heat. 

Then, make the simple syrup. In a sauce pan, pour 1 cup of water, add 1 cup of white sugar and heat until sugar has dissolved into the water. 

Bring the simple syrup up to almost a boil and add toasted sesame seeds. Allow to the seeds and syrup to steep overnight. Strain the seeds. 

In a shaker, combine rum, toasted sesame seed syrup and calamansi juice. Shake with ice for 5 seconds. Strain into rocks glass. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. 

Be sure to raise a toast to Sadie, cheers!  

Bites by the Beach: Leona in Venice, CA


When Leona opened in the summer of 2015, I was there for their first brunch. I loved the casual, yet sleek vibe and the inventive, seasonal menu. Not to mention that adorable cookie stand? Too cute! So what’s next for one of Venice’s most-beloved spots?

Former Sous Chef Jennifer O’Neil, now Head Chef, is leading the way at Leona with a new menu and is introducing new concepts to the restaurant.

Leona
123 W. Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://leonavenice.com 

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Exclusive Tour: Larder Baking Co. in LA

Editor note: This tour is not open to the public, this was a private tour 

In the Fall of 2013, I moved from Venice to Brentwood (fun fact: very close to the Nicole Simpson house). I absolutely loved wandering around San Vicente Blvd. Four years later, the long and winding street continues to be packed with restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, pilates studios- it’s all upscale, but not in a flashy way.

I discovered The Larder at Tavern one day on a whim, in a gutterpunk top and sweats. I was just looking for a cheap cup of coffee. Little did I know I was wandering into what would become a regular spot for me and maintains a lot of respect from this foodie.

The Larder at Tavern is attached to a low-key but still beautiful restaurant Tavern. The Larder is even more casual serving coffee beverages, breads, deli foods, salads, sandwiches, desserts and more. I ate there a lot and everything was always phenomenal but the bread always stood out to me.

Sourdough –
Photo by Meagan McCall

The Larder’s breads and pastries are supplied from Larder Baking Co which is owned by Chef Suzanne Goin (James Beard award winner) and restauranteur Caroline Styne (James Beard nominated). Since 2008, Nathan Dakdouk has been serving as Master Baker and supplying baked goods to Goin and Styne’s other spots Lucques, AOC and Tavern as well.

 

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Soi Thai Street Food’s 2nd Anniversary and Songkran (Thai New Year)

Soi Thai Street Food
651 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B7
https://soithaito.com/
www.instagram.com/soithaito

I was given the opportunity to attend a media event hosted by #jojoinstameets to preview the celebrations for Soi Thai’s 2nd Anniversary and Songkran (Thai New Year) which will occur on Thursday, April 13. Songkran is the biggest and most memorable water festival in Thailand! Traditionally, Thais pour water over friends and family to symbolically wash off the misfortunes from the old year and to welcome the new year with a fresh start.

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Speakeasy to Me: The BoardRoom in DTLA

Kendall’s Brasserie (Patina Restaurant Group) has been serving up traditional French cuisine to DTLA eaters inside The Music Center for 14 years now. This past month, they opened a speakeasy in the back called The BoardRoom, and I can assure you, the meetings held there will be nothing like the meetings at your 9-to-5. Think of The BoardRoom as Kendall’s artsy, Francophile little sister.

The BoardRoom at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://patnagroup.com

The BoardRoom has the speakeasy essentials- a slightly tricky to find front door, dim lighting, live performances (Thursday – Saturday nights), cushy seating in booths (intended for large groups) and a menu offering updated classic cocktails and sharable foods. From the moment I walked in through what seemed like Kendall’s back office, I could hear singer Melissa Morgan crooning to a standard jazz tune with her band.

Front: Tennessee Williams (yes, it comes with a macaron), which is their take on the Ramos Gin Fizz. Back: Gertrude Stein, similar to a Pimm’s Cup

Our blogger Christina Russo, is currently the bar manager of The BoardRoom and has created a cocktail menu inspired by the arts. I always love seeing punches on a menu (they serve 4-6 drinks), not only are they trending, they’re perfect for larger groups. But what separates her menu out from others in LA is the Tripple Tipple, her 3-course cocktail tasting menu. This menu is looking like it’ll be changing bi-weekly to weekly and consistently inspired by the arts. It truly is the crème de la crème of the cocktail menu.

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Gina Homolka at Macy’s in NYC

I’d have never guessed that this was Gina Homolka’s first live demo, as a team member from the Macy’s Events team said. As a new member of Macy’s Culinary Council, she seemed calm and natural on stage after being introduced, giving a 45-minute presentation on demonstration of her favorite “skinny” recipes. Homolka is a well-recognized blogger of her venture called Skinnytaste, where she showcases healthier versions of favorite food items. Additionally, her intense focus on recipe testing and developing have helped her to create two successful cookbooks; her latest one, Skinnytaste Fast & Slow, was recently nominated for a prestigious James Beard Foundation award!

Skinnytaste Fast And Slow

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Poppin’ Cakies Celebration in NYC

Festivities were held on Friday, March 17, 2017, honoring the “Cakie”, the creation of Queens-based Pastry Chef Janice de Castro (owner of Jae NYC Eats) at The VNYL Bar & Restaurant. A Cakie is the classic Twinkie revived and revamped! Having assumed a different identity, the new and improved Cakie was a hit among the crowd. The flavor profiles are vibrant and welcoming like Janice herself, and are hand injected into a familiar shaped moist cake. 

Owner Janice also used the party as an opportunity to premiere some new flavors! A crowd favorite was the limited edition Bad & Boujee pair; the Bad Cakie combined the flavors of Hennessy, Valrhona Chocolate, and Cherry Cordials, while the Boujee Cakie contained Dom Perignon and White Truffle.

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Hello, Henrietta Red: Nashville’s Next Level Coastal Cuisine

Henrietta Red
1200 4th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37208
http://www.henriettared.com/

I stepped off the plane and literally, hightailed it to Nashville’s newest restaurant, Henrietta Red. Nestled between Cochon Butcher and City House on 4th Avenue North, Henrietta Red is a restaurant/barroom serving up a variety of coastal fare. Chef Julia Sullivan, a Nashville native, and business partner Allie Poindexter partnered with Strategic Hospitality (last seen here) to develop this chic-seafood concept in the ever popular Germantown neighborhood.

Chef Julia Sullivan built quite the culinary resume while in New York City.  Spending time at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Franny’s in Brooklyn, her most notable assignment was as a cook in Thomas Keller’s Per Se kitchen. Julia and Allie were introduced to one another while working at Haven’s Kitchen.  A match made in heaven, if I say so myself!  Without further adieu, the pair left New York City and moved to Nashville to work on this labor of love, Henrietta Red.

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