Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Le Cordon Bleu

So you wanna be a Test Kitchen intern.... Meet Maria Sulprizio

Test Kitchen Blog

This week has been a whirlwind of recipe testing in the Kitchen, and today is no different. We've finished testing 6 different kinds of popsicles and are now knee-deep in gelato, testing and shooting five different flavors. We're also testing frittatas, a curried cauliflower salad, chocolate chip cookies, butterscotch pie and crab cakes. An eclectic assortment of recipes, maybe, but it's just another day in the Test Kitchen.

We test and re-test until we're certain the recipes we want to run are consistent and solid. (And we may opt to do a little extra testing on particularly tasty recipes, like the massive chocolate chip cookies pictured above.)

In addition to our full-time staff, we host interns from culinary schools all over the United States, including international students. These students receive hands-on training as they learn the finer points of recipe testing and development (recipe reading, wording, problem solving, adapting for the home kitchen and testing for consistent results). The students also learn tips for food styling and interact with chefs, writers and food professionals of all kinds.

And as much as they may learn from us, we also learn a lot from them. Hailing from various regions and with diverse ethnic backgrounds, our interns bring unique perspectives and passions to our kitchen, whether it's discussing the secret intricacies of a Texas-style "bowl o' red" or sharing a mother's technique for making Chinese bao. What we all share is a deep love of food.

Over the last few months, I've introduced some of our recent Test Kitchen interns, including, most recently, Kat Nitsou and Joe Moon. Joe has gone to continue his studies at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Kat's last day is tomorrow, and then she's off to Toronto.

Here, I introduce Maria Sulprizio, on loan from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles (Hollywood Campus). -- Noelle Carter

Today in the Test Kitchen, we're making gelato. An amazing array including fragola (strawberry), limone (lemon), Parmigiano (Parmesan), fior di fragola (a creamy strawberry gelato) and cioccolato (chocolate). And I’m trying my hand at a butterscotch gelato pie, with graham cracker crust and rich chocolate topping.

This is my first attempt at gelato, and the Test Kitchen has this compact Arete Viva gelato maker – it’s an older Italian machine, and the butterscotch base is creamy and velvety as it churns.  As the gelato thickens, I’m taken back to my Italian heritage – into the mountains of Abruzzo, from which my grandfather immigrated at the turn of the century, from the small village of Tocco Da Casauria.

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Sampler Platter: 7-Eleven makes its own wine, MasterChef cooks endangered eel, 70 cases of brat pizza stolen

Meatball appetizers at the Crow Bar and Grill in Corona Del Mar. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

How will two-buck Chuck compete against 7-Eleven's new wines? How does someone steal 70 cases of pizza? How do you open a bottle of wine with nothing but willpower and your shoe? All this and more in today's food news roundup.
-- How to open a bottle of wine in France: For those times when you've been up all night, you're drunk and all you want to do is drink another bottle of wine, but you're in the street, you have no corkscrew and the stores aren't open yet. Happens all the time. YouTube
-- Speaking of which ... 7-Eleven's making its own wine. Oh, thank heavens. Dallas Observer
-- Hotel and nightclub impresario Sam Nazarian slams into ugly financial reality. Could this be part of the reason behind SBE's recent split with Brent Bolthouse? Wall Street Journal
-- Auntie Em's tops list for best cupcake shop; Sprinkles left out. LAist
-- A $47,000 lunch tab from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Buzzfeed
-- In the ongoing Tavern on the Green saga, the venue hosted the Halloween party from hell, say booted patrons. New York Daily News
-- BBC's "MasterChef" cooks critically endangered eel. Oops. The Telegraph
-- It's cloudy with a chance of record-setting meatballs in New Hampshire. Yahoo! News
-- Tasting ecstasy and agony at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa. New York Times
-- 70 cases of brat pizzas stolen from Wisconsin company. Sheboygan Press
-- A preview of the apocalypse: Boston Markets will all run dry. Consumerist
-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Meatball appetizers, distant cousins of the New Hampshire record setters, at the Crow Bar and Grill in Corona Del Mar. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.