An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Bodega Bay to Jenner – and a Simple Salad with Shrimp and Quinoa

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014, 8:57 am in Personal Reflection, Recipes- Savory | 3 comments

Simple Salad with Shrimp and Quinoa

  I’m sitting on a large piece of driftwood – my makeshift bench – to contemplate the waves as they crash on a rock before me. My only distractions – the occasional cry of a seagull, and a young family has just climbed down the bluff with a picnic lunch. The drive here, along Highway 12 West to Bodega Bay, was through gentle hills, winding roads – cows grazed in little meadows alongside the road. So far removed from the tourist bustle of central Healdsburg on this eve of a holiday weekend. The woman at the bank...

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Arriving in Healdsburg

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014, 10:13 am in Personal Reflection | 1 comment

Baby Gem Lettuce and Peaches

I was in a complete state of exhaustion (I slept a lot the first couple of days here) by the time I reached my friends’ Healdsburg house. I had spent the morning in L.A. running around trying to donate last minutes items, packing things I had overlooked, and cleaning out the fridges before I hit the highway in the early afternoon. By the time I reached the Highway 5/580 split, I decided to take 5 straight up to Highway 12 (which goes briefly though Sacramento and Solano counties before reaching eastern Sonoma County) rather than brave the 580...

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Leaving Los Angeles

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014, 11:21 am in Personal Reflection | 8 comments

Red Tailed Hawk outside my window

  Eighteen and a half years ago, I left New York City. It was a very difficult move for me, to be sure – although not nearly as difficult a packing job as the one I am currently wrapping up has been. I lived in a studio apartment, and had been stashing things bit by bit at my parents’ house in Los Angeles for a few years before that. It took me only a few days to pack versus the few months this has taken. My intention at the time was to spend a year with my parents in Los Angeles, then it was on to the California Culinary Academy...

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My (Almost) Top 10 Thoughts on Packing

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014, 9:16 am in Personal Reflection | 1 comment

My (Almost) Top 10 Thoughts on Packing

  It won’t be long now before I head across country to my new home. In the meantime, there’s been this – you know-  packing to leave. Yep, I’m up to my butt in boxes and bubble wrap now. Sigh… Here are my top thoughts to share on this packing process- in no particular order. A cubic foot is a cubic foot, as my brother keeps reminding me. Tuck things into every possible nook and cranny. Pack the drawers of cabinets and dressers. Fill in loose spaces in boxes with pillar type candles. Throw pillows are perfect for cushioning fragile...

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Memorial Day Grilling

Posted by on May 24, 2014, 10:37 pm in Holiday Entertaining, Recipes- Savory, Recipes-Cocktails, Seasonal Celebrations | 3 comments

Grilled Rock Cod with Thai Red Curry Sauce

Ugh- not much time for traveling or partying this weekend. I know most people are grilling on this weekend to mark the beginning of summer -and, well, May is National Barbecue Month. Your LA2LChef is having a big moving sale – come by if you’re in So Cal. But I do have some great BBQ recipes you can revisit on my blog – like  Chicken with All South Barbecue Rub or   Grilled Rock Cod with Thai Red Curry Sauce   or Grilled Hoisin Marinated Steak Salad   and of course, some great beverages like my delicious...

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Crab and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chiles for Cinco De Mayo

Posted by on May 4, 2014, 3:29 pm in Celebrations, Recipes-Savory | 2 comments

Crab and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chiles for Cinco De Mayo

  I am in the throes of clearing out, preparing and packing for my big move at the moment – not exactly a fun task. It doesn’t leave much time or energy for a Cinco de Mayo party, unfortunately, but since it is one of my favorite L.A. celebrations (I mean, how many of those are there, anyway?), I can’t let it pass by without a little something. So I am sharing an old favorite dish, Crab Chiles Rellenos, one I haven’t made in quite a few years, but which is certainly worth revisiting. It’s perfect for a light...

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Braised Lamb Shanks for Passover or Easter Week

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014, 6:41 pm in Holiday Entertaining, Recipes-Savory, Special Events | 2 comments

Braised Lamb Shanks

Why was last night different from all other nights? I catered my last event in Los Angeles last night – a Passover seder for the client who was my first, 17 years ago. The Passover menu, over the years, has often included a slow braised brisket, sometimes salmon, and almost always, a roast leg of lamb. This year we broke with tradition a bit, and served these Braised Lamb Shanks. The shanks looked a bit unwieldy on the plates. I think the 10 year or so old boys who I noticed grabbing them rather liked that- a kind of he-man/brontasaurus...

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A New Take on Roasted Asparagus – Serve with Roasted Pepper Salsa

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014, 3:27 pm in Food and Drink, Recipes-Savory | 1 comment

Asparagus with Roasted Pepper Salsa

  Even though we can buy them year round now, asparagus remain a quintessential harbinger of spring for me. And I (apparently like most Americans, according to surveys) count it as a favorite vegetable. I usually like to serve them roasted, with a flavored aioli or mayonnaise. Recently, I had a friend who was invited to join in a small dinner party at my home, call the day before the party to say she would be unable to join us that night, but would love to come over the evening after to share leftovers and catch up with me.  I had served...

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Savoring Mussels in Green Curry Sauce at Pêche

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014, 2:13 pm in Restaurants, Travel | 1 comment

Mussels in Green Curry Sauce

  Call me too cheap, too proud, or maybe just too plain stupid to spend the extra $80 a week on the GPS system the rental car company wanted to sell me. Navigating the byzantine streets of New Orleans (where north, south, east and west don’t apply when it comes to directions – but rather uptown, downtown, lakeside or riverside – if you’re lucky enough to understand how those are situated, can be a frustrating experience. It means I get lost a lot when driving there. Asking for directions in this city full of tourists doesn’t...

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Adele’s Kale Salad

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014, 1:22 pm in Food and Drink, Recipes-Savory | 4 comments

Kale Salad with Roasted Beets copy

  I got an e-mail, a couple of days ago, from my cousin, Adele, responding to something I had said in my interview with Michel Martin on NPR’s Tell Me More. “It is so great for me to be able to still cook with my family on a daily basis!”  she said. It’s true. Adele places a high priority on good food, and has raised her children to appreciate good food, too. They all developed a great palate and healthy eating habits at an early age. She’s also taught, by her example and by direct instruction, her 3 children to cook for themselves. The...

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