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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Lunching at Blanco’s- a Pretty Damn Good “Chain” Restaurant in Phoenix

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014, 1:07 pm in Personal Reflection, Restaurants | 6 comments

Blanco's Pomegranate and Grapefruit Margarita

    Last month I set out on the trip my parents made with their young family over 50 years ago, in reverse. They were moving from New Orleans to Los Angeles, and all these years later, I was returning to New Orleans.   My father, on the couple of vacation trips we made after that, chose to get through the drive as quickly as possible. One long day from Los Angeles into New Mexico. Then another 2 days through the rest of New Mexico, all of Texas and western Louisiana. It made for very long and tiring days. My friend, Paul, and I...

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Barefoot at Bistro Ralph

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014, 8:52 am in Restaurants, Travel, Wine | 2 comments

Halibut w: Smoked Paprika and Preserved Lemon Jus

  I first met Jennifer Wall at the New Orleans Wine and Food Extravaganza in 2012, when I was invited to a  luncheon at Antoine’s in the French Quarter sponsored by Barefoot Wines. I’ve tried – on my visits to Sonoma County – to catch up with her ever since.  Jen’s a wife and mother of three, as well as winemaker at Barefoot Wines, however, so she’s a very busy lady. But this summer, we were finally able to connect, in the last couple of days of my Healdsburg stay, when she invited me to join her for...

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Discovering Bravas Amidst a Bit of Sunday Synchronicity

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014, 11:07 am in Restaurants, Travel | 0 comments

Braised Oxtail Tostada

  Where to begin?   I’ve been so many places in the last few weeks. Healdsburg, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Sedona, Santa Fe, Amarillo – and over the next few posts, I’ll be telling you a bit about them, starting now with my last few days in the S.F. Bay Area.   During the 4th of July weekend, I traveled down from Healdsburg to Berkeley to visit the 1st Presbyterian Church. 1st Pres., as we affectionately refer to it, was a sort of “cathedral” for all of us in my countercultural Christian community of the early 1970’s. We all...

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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 which 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...

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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 | 11 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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