Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Video

Video: Michael Ruhlman has something to say

One of the highlights of the BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco was the closing panel, featuring keynote speakers Shauna James Ahern (Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef), Molly Wizenberg, (Orangette) and Michael Ruhlman (Michael Ruhlman). Just as it was about to wrap up, Ruhlman leapt from his seat for an inspiring, rally-the-food-blogging-troops rant (and I mean that in a good way) about why food is important and cooking is even more important and why we all have a duty to carry that forth if we want to see the human race succeed and thrive. Does that sound like Ruhlman was exaggerating a bit? Ruhlman would say he's not. Ruhlman has been transformed and inspired by a book he has read, and re-read multiple times: "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human," by Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham.

Afterward, food photographers and videographers Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple, who were at the conference as panelists, cornered Ruhlman. They asked him to elaborate on the book -- why it means so much to him, why true foodies should read it and why they'll be inspired by it. See the must-watch results, above. Warning: There's a touch of salty language, and this video will make you want to run to your kitchen -- or run into someone else's kitchen.


White on Rice Couple talk about why they made the video

More from Michael Ruhlman about why this book inspires him so

--Rene Lynch
twitter.com / renelynch    

Video: 'Welcome to the SGV'

Stop what you are doing and watch this clever video from Andrew Fung and his brother, David, as they  pay homage to San Gabriel Valley eats and Jay-Z.

The pair, from Seattle, found themselves in "the SGV" for six weeks this summer and were blown away by the Asian food options. "If you grew up in the SGV, you might take it for granted..."

The only choice was to memorialize it in song and video.

Among the rap lyrics: "I've been a fan of this place since I got here / You ain't eating good Chinese if you're not here" and the refrain, "Only thing on my mind is where we eat tonight."

Andrew explained more in this e-mail: "Seattle is a nice place, but its variety of Asian food is extremely limited to teriyaki shops, a few sushi places and an aging Chinatown. When we stayed with our cousin in Monterey Park we would be in awe of the great food that Garvey Avenue offered. Then we started hitting places in Alhambra, then Arcadia and soon we had eaten at many highly rated (thanks, Yelp) restaurants in the immediate area. The song doesn't do the SGV complete justice because there are tons of places missing, but it's safe to say I will be coming back very very soon."

You can follow the brothers on Twitter @andrewjfung and @davidbfung, and keep up with their amusing (and often food-filled antics) at their YouTube pages, here's Andrew's, and here's David's and blog, Making it in the Motherland.

 -- Rene Lynch
Twitter.com / renelynch

Video: Making homemade ice cream is E-Z


Consider this your warning. If you watch this video, you are going to want to make homemade ice cream. If you watch this video and you do not own an ice cream maker, you are going to run out and buy one.

If you do watch the video, you'll see L.A. Times Food Editor Russ Parsons demo just how easy it is. And he also offers up a super-smart tip about how he always remains prepared for those ice cream cravings.

Here are the recipes for ginger ice cream and cinnamon ice cream, and don't say I didn't warn you.

-- Rene Lynch

What's cooking in the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Here's what the L.A. Times Test Kitchen looked like Friday afternoon: KTLA cameraman Michael Joseph James was trailing Times Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter, center, as she made guacamole, a coffeecake and more.

Stay tuned for the recipes, and the videos, which are part of KTLA's weekly Eat Beat segments. We'll post it all here. And if you can't wait until then, click here to browse hundreds of recipes from the test kitchen:

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Michelle Maltais / Los Angeles Times 

Hot potato! Here's our favorite potato salad recipe


What's the difference between a potato salad that's so-so and one that's stellar?

It's all in the details. Above, L.A. Times Food Editor Russ Parsons shows you the tricks of the trade, and walks you through his favorite version: Potato salad with celery and red onions.

PLUS: How to cook the perfect steak, and a super-duper easy way to roast corn on the cob.

Combo Plate: Eating up the Lakers, Engagement Chicken, free knives and more


--Here's the problem: If you read Bill Plaschke's column Thursday, you know that this L.A. Lakers / Boston Celtics championship will be decided within 48 minutes, if not sooner. That doesn't leave much time to indulge in Staples Center Executive Chef Pilar Sanchez's revamped playoffs menu. A lifelong Lakers fan, Pilar named dishes after current and former Lakers faves, including: Kung Pau Jidori Chicken Breast, Mini Kobe Beef Sliders, A.C. Green Salad with Wilted Arugula and, in a nod to Chick Hearn, the Jell-O Is Starting to Set Shooters made with sparkling wine, fruit Jell-O with seasonal berries and Chantilly cream. There are also Baby Back to Back to Back Ribs and the L.A. Dawg, above, a specialty hot dog topped with yellow mustard and purple onions. (Get it? Purple and yellow.) If you have access to the Chairman's Lounge, you can try specialty drinks named after the starting five including the Spanish Fly, in honor of Pau Gasol. It includes brandy, Kahlua and Baileys.

--You should be happy that Ree Drummond (a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman) is having a lousy week: It's one of the reasons why she's giving way a free set of Wusthof knives. [The Pioneer Woman Cooks]

--"If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group." [CNN]

--Clever: Hyperion and Glamour magazine are launching a series of books aimed at the magazine's 12 million female readers. First up: "Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Recipes to Get Everything You Want Out of Life" will be written by the magazine's editor in chief, Cindi Levine, and is scheduled for Valentine's Day 2011. [Publishers Weekly]

And if you do not know what Engagement Chicken is, click here.

--Beans and greens collide this summer. [The Orange County Register]

--Amusing mash-up of Judy Garland ostensibly shilling for Cream of Wheat. (It will leave you wondering "How did they do that!?") [Brand X]

--If you don't have playoff tickets, you can also try toasting your team with a Purple & Yellow Cocktail now being served at Morton's steakouses in Burbank, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Woodland Hills. They kindly agreed to pass the recipe along. Click below for the ingredients and a pic.

--Rene Lynch

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Here's your chance to cook along with a Top Chef

Can't afford Le Cordon Bleu?

Top Chef University launched this week, based on the wildly popular Bravo TV show, featuring some of the most popular (and unpopular) "chef'testants" offering in-depth, online lessons in how to saute, fry, bake and more. The instructors include some of "Top Chef's" fan favorites and finalists such as: Carla Hall, Kevin Gillespie, Richard Blais, Spike Mendelsohn, Stephanie Izard and -- Boo! Hiss! -- Marcel Vigneron. (Just joking, Marcel.)

From the news release: "Culinary Director Anthony Hoy Fong and "Top Chef's" own resident judge Gail Simmons, also of Food & Wine Magazine, created an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, covering everything from basic knife skills and preparation, to correct cooking techniques and insight into advanced culinary trends."

"Tuition" is linked to access. In all, there are 200 in-depth lessons, 12 courses and over 60 hours of material: $200 gets you immediate access to it all. See the site for more fee details.

--Rene Lynch


People dropping cakes. You know you want to laugh.


There's a part of me that's ashamed at how hard and loud I laughed watching this collection of videos of people dropping cakes, assembled over at the Amateur Gourmet. Luckily, there's another part of me that couldn't wait to share it with the rest of you.

Enjoy! And make sure you've got a Flip handy at the next cake event.

-- Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch

Video: Strawberry dumplings


Now that Market Watch columnist David Karp has schooled you in the finer points of strawberries, what are you going to do with them? Watch this video of TImes Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter making strawberry dumplings. That's right, strawberry dumplings: Click here for the recipe. They were a huge hit in the test kitchen, meaning there were many people who just conveniently, coincidentally, happened to drop by for a visit each time Noelle tested a new batch as she worked to perfect her recipe for publication.


Have a spring fling with dumplings

A world of extraordinary flavors in specialty and exotic strawberries

You think you know everything about buying strawberries? Read this

--Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch

Video: Curried chickpeas from Joan's on Third


Lauren Burchett of Los Angeles wrote to Culinary SOS to ask for the recipe to the curried chickpeas dish sold at Joan's on Third. They were happy to share this recipe, and Times Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter adapted it for the home cook. Watch the video above -- Noelle will walk you through it.

Want more Culinary SOS? Check out this photo gallery of 61 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes.

--Rene Lynch


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.