The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook Launch at Chloe’s, Golden Road Brewing

by Randy Clemens

Tomorrow marks the launch of the follow-up to The Sriracha Cookbook: The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook. It’s actually likely nearer and dearer to the author’s heart since Randy Clemens himself is vegan.

Whatever our diet, we can all partake in the cult that celebrates the, green cap-topped, garlic-vinegar-red jalapeño sauce that is Huy Fong Foods’ flagship, the famous “Rooster Sauce.” The launch event is free and both cookbooks will be available for purchase with Randy’s autograph – and everyone who does will receive a special edition of Sriracha sauce packaged in a limited edition bottle with “The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook — July 2, 2013” printed on it.

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Pirelli Cookbook Launch Celebrates its “Miles and Meals”

Gino Angelini interprets recipes from Pirelli cookbook for dinner (Photo courtesy of European Car)

The launch of the Pirelli cookbook marked a bunch of firsts for me. Though always pleasant to see Hadley of Grubstreet LA and Eddie of Deep End Dining, it was the first time I had been at a media event with Maxim, European Car and a few other related publications. Cars and food, they do go together, right? Or more specifically, tires and food?

A Ferrari, which we did not have for dinner

The cookbook details recipes made for the Pirelli team by Chef Fabrizio Tanfani as they travel all over the world in the Pirelli Motorhome. Just as the same drivers, mechanics and technicians drive and calibrate Pirelli’s equipment throughout their travels, the entire team’s meals and diets are just as controlled. The Pirelli cookbook introduction begins, “Preparing a dish and manufacturing a tyre have a lot in common.” So it may be a stretch, but you don’t exactly turn down a private dinner catered by Gino Angelini on a Saturday night at a residence in Bel Air.

Turns out that the place with a superb view (which sits next door to Gordon Ramsay’s own house) belonged to Claus Ettensberger of CEC – Claus Ettensberger Corporation, that is. European car geeks – something I could’ve called myself in a former life – know CEC alongside and as the importer of aftermarket brands like AC Schnitzer, Oettinger, Caractre, Lorinser, etc. We have all wanted rims, turbo kits, pulleys, body kits, sway bars, full on tuning kits from the CEC showroom in Century City. But here I was, invited as food media, and it was a crazy feeling having my former and current worlds colliding. (The Maxims piled a few feet high on the top of my ex-boyfriend-from-college’s toilet tank, not excepted…eeesh.)

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St. Vincent Meals On Wheels & Miss Lilly’s Trading Company Holiday Extravaganza at Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills | Photo courtesy of Donna Grayson on Flickr

I hope everyone’s having a great holiday season! I’m checking back in (with a New Year’s resolution to update regularly come the…you’ve guessed it…new year) since I’m super excited to be live-blogging tonight from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

St. Vincent’s famous food truck, Cart for a Cause, has launched a cookbook featuring 40 of Los Angeles’ acclaimed chefs. Four of them – Mark Gold (Eva Restaurant), Alex Becker (NOBU Los Angeles), Bebe Flynn (Miss Lilly’s Trading Company) and Michael Fiorelli (mar’sel at Terranea) – will be on-hand at the VIP reception at 5 PM today. For $25, you’ll get bites straight from the cookbook and get to take home your own signed copy (call 213.484.7128 to RSVP). You’ll be taking home some delicious recipes while knowing that 100% of the proceeds from your cookbook purchase benefits Meals on Wheels.

At 6 PM, tonight, is the main holiday shopping event. You can expect lots of treats! Not only will Cart for a Cause be serving up food at the valet, every sponsor will have something special to offer every attendee. Plus, free Pisco Porton cocktails and glitter tattoos. The Guerlain lash bar will be open as will the Frederic Fekkai counter. Check below for what everyone’s got in store:

  • Free glitter tattoos
  • Feed with Fashion Social T-shirt from JUNK FOOD CLOTHING
  • Longer lashes at the GUERLAIN lash bar
  • A hair analysis at FREDERIC FEKKAI
  • The 30-second facelift at CELLCOSMET
  • Hand and arm massages from LA MER and JO MALONE
  • Mini facials at SK-II
  • A chance to enter and win a PENHALIGON’S fragrance gift basket, valued at $385.
  • Makeovers and artistry from ARMANI, BOBBI BROWN, CHANEL, CLARINS, ESTEE LAUDER, LANCOME, LAURA MERCIER, NARS and YSL
  • A special gift with your BOBBI BROWN, CELLCOSMET, CLARINS, DIOR, DOLCE & GABBANA, ESTEE LAUDER, FREDERIC FEKKAI, IOMA, LAURA MERCIER and SK-II purchases.*
  • A complimentary makeup sample when you meet with a CLE DE PEAU or SHISEIDO consultant*
  • Customization of your ESTEE LAUDER purchase by their engraver*
  • With your SISLEY purchase, get your future foretold by renowned psychic Dora Blacman*

*denotes one per purchase

Also, don’t forget to visit me in the Blogger’s Hub! I’ll be live-blogging and tweeting the event.

And, if you decide to do some holiday shopping (for others or yourself, natch), you’ll feel great that during the hours of 6 – 8 PM tonight, 5% will benefit Miss Lilly’s Trading Company, which goes towards feeding pets belonging to homebound seniors, while 5% more will go towards St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, which help feed the seniors themselves.

See you tonight!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

VIP Reception: 5 – 6 PM

Holiday shopping event: 6 – 8 PM

On One in Saks Fifth Avenue East
9600 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
RSVP: 213.484.7128

The Sriracha Cookbook Release Party at Blue Palms Brewhouse

Photo credit to Ryen David on Flickr

I see you dumping that Rooster Sauce in your Pho. On your rice. On your eggs. On your mangoes. Whatever and wherever.

If you ever run out of uses for or just plain love that clear-bottled, green-capped Vietnamese hot stuff called Sriracha, I expect to see you tonight at Blue Palms Brewhouse between 7:30 and 11:30 PM. Randy Clemens’ new cookbook release party will be OTH (off-the-hook) and featuring not only materializations of his fabulous recipes, but a Sriracha beer made by Eagle Rock Brewery!

Check the menu below:

  • Kicked-Up Party Nuts
  • Sriracha Jalapeño Poppers
  • Sriracha and Crab Rangoon Wontons
  • Sriracha Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  • Fire Roasted Corn Chowder
  • Vietnamese-style Grilled Short Ribs
  • Ultimate Sriracha Burger

Josh over at Food GPS also has a great Q&A with Randy so be sure to check that out for the DL on how the love for Sriracha and the subsequent cookbook came to be.

No cover and only 21 and over, please (full bar will also be available). You can also purchase the cookbook itself at the event.

This should be a blast with a ton of spices that will tantilize the senses, so don’t miss out. See you tonight!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

7:30 – 11:30 PM

2 blocks from Hollywood/Vine Red Metro Station
Parking in adjacent lot: $8

Blue Palms Brewhouse
6124 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323.464.2337

The Franks of Frankies Spuntino Visit Animal

Meatballs With Pinenuts and Raisins

I admit, I had never visited Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn – nor Manhattan – but I was intrigued when I received a copy of their cookbook in the mail. How fascinating the story is, of how The Franks (Falcinelli and Castronovo, if I must be specific) had actually grown up in the same neighborhood, just to reconnect later on by sheer coincidence of running into each other on the street. As always, food brings people together.

Caesar Salad

Before that reconnection, both had worked in Michelin-starred French restaurants before coming back to Manhattan to work under big names like David Bouley and Charlie Palmer – and then ran their own kitchens to the tune of Moomba and Bistro Jean-Claude. But the drive to create their own Italian-American endeavor and get back to the home-styled cooking of their youth – without the gimmicks like red-checkered tablecloths yet with the affordability of a neighborhood hangout – rang loud and clear. It would have to be Brooklyn; later, their success would allow them to expand to the island and import their own olive oil.

Gnocchi alla Marinara with Fresh Ricotta

And now, the cookbook. What a beautiful styling it beholds, as if a volume in a series of classic novels. And the world tour that would bring them to a one-off at Animal on Fairfax, Los Angeles – with a certain New York Times article on medicinal appetite aids that would bring he, Vinny, Don and Roy Choi together (all were present during the Franks’ dinner).

The cheese and salumi plate, complete with fresh olives, roasted mushrooms and browned cauliflower was solid, as was the bread – especially when dipped in the Franks’ olive oil. Whether that olive oil passed the “extra virgin” test that’s been in the news lately remains to be seen, but it was some of the most flavorful I’ve tasted in awhile.

The Caesar salad was fresh, delicious and … made with Hellmann’s. Yes, Hellmann’s. Apparently, this very recipe was rejected by Koo Koo Roo (Falcinelli used to be a consultant for them) but I can guess that all Frankies Spuntino customers are ever so thankful.

House-made Cavatelli with Faiccos Hot Sausage and Browned Sage Butter

My favorite, however, had to be the Cavatelli with Faiccos Hot Sausage and Browned Sage Butter (recipe). Not too heavy but having plenty of flavor – including the kick at the end thanks to the sausage – the Cavatelli were ever so fun to bite, with a perfect, almost-gummy consistency.

Red Wine Prunes With Marscarpone

It is hard, though, to decide which meatballs I liked better – but the beef meatballs made with garlic, bread crumbs, pinenuts, raisins – and topped with Pecorino – probably won out on the pork braciola variety since I’m a mere traditionalist. But both are awesome, moist and baked, in keeping with the Franks’ desire to create hearty but not overwhelming dishes. The classic Gnocchi alla Marinara fit the same bill – with the vibrant tomato sauce really bringing out fresh flavors on the perfect canvas that was the gnocchi. I don’t remember appreciating gnocchi as much as the Franks’, much less one that was simply dressed with marinara, yet enhanced with a rich ricotta. Then again, margherita pizza is my favorite because it’s simple.

And the dessert. The cheesecake was heavenly – not too rich and having a perfect, creamy consistency. But the real favorite was the prunes steeped in red wine and paired with marscarpone. I love wine and cheese but I could not have imagined this perfect marriage. It was a savory dessert thanks to the creamy-wet cheese but also subtly sweetened by the prunes. The richness of the dessert was perfectly accentuated by the red wine those prunes were soaked in. I would go to New York just to order this dessert after the pinenut-raisin meatballs and Cavatelli!

I can tell the Franks’ Frankies Spuntinos are both special, neighborhood spots just from having tried their food. The prices are remarkably low for the quality – especially given their New York locations. I wonder if I might blend in if I tried…(doubt it).

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Frankies Spuntino Website

Frankies 457
457 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231-4010
718.403.0033

Frankies 17
17 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002-1718
212.253.2303

The Cooking Stage at L.A. Times Festival of Books

Mark Peel

It wouldn’t be Spring in Los Angeles without the L.A. Times Festival of Books. And it certainly wouldn’t be a book festival without cookbooks. Held in Westwood Plaza behind the Wooden Center on the UCLA campus, the cooking stage will feature author-chefs in demonstrations throughout both days of the festival. Included in the schedule are Los Angeles contributors to the Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook like Betty Fraser (Grub) and Stefan Richter (L.A. Farm) as well as Mark Peel (Campanile) – who is actually a Top Chef Masters alumni but recently came out with a cookbook entitled, “New Classic Family Dinners.”

Peep below for the full cooking stage schedule:

Saturday, April 24

11 AM – Lisa Lillien, Hungry Girl 1-2-3
12:30 PM – Chris ‘CJ’ Jacobson, Stefan Richter, Betty Fraser & Antonia Lofaso, Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook
2 PM – Dave Martin, Flavor Quest
3:30 PM – Alicia Silverstone, The Kind Diet

Sunday, April 25

11 AM – Alice Waters, In the Green Kitchen
12:30 PM – Anne Byrn, The Cake Mix Doctor Returns
2 PM – Tricia Yearwood, Home Cooking with Tricia Yearwood
3:30 PM – Mark Peel, New Classic Family Dinners

Great way to get up close and in-the-flesh with your favorite chefs – or vegan actress-turned-chef, whichever you prefer. Either way, the Festival of Books is well worth a visit this weekend.

Cooking stage demos are free
Parking: $10

Map

Cooking Stage at L.A. Times Festival of Books
Westwood Plaza
924 Westwood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA‎ 90024

@latimesfob