Are Celebrity Chefs Good For Food?

Chef Ludo Lefebvre: A Resident Celebrity Chef

It’s been joked that Food Network is the new MTV. Whether personalities matter more than actual cooking skill or music, we all know that the former makes for better reality TV. And what it has yielded, in part, is a chef celebrity culture that hits close to home for Los Angeles and abroad. It’s a culture that reaps rewards that we as diners and consumers personally experience – whether it’s when we are in the cookbook section, watch TV, make local fine dining outings or shop at the grocery store when we compare labels on bottled sauces.

Jonathan Gold, the Pulizer Prize-winning LA Weekly food critic, will be moderating a star chef panel which includes including Nancy Silverton of Mozza and “Top Chef Masters” star Susan Feniger of Street. At this Zocalo Public Square event, find out how famous foodies shape what we cook, how we eat, and the future of high cuisine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

7:30 PM

Free to attend, free parking in North Lot (enter at Herscher Way)


Zocalo Public Square Discusses: Are Celebrity Chefs Good For food? at
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Chinatown Summer Nights Are Here

Go Metro to Chinatown | Photo credit to brianlattaphotography on Flickr

It seems that August is quite the month to experience Los Angeles. And if you need ideas, start with the first ever Chinatown Summer Nights to get a taste of L.A.’s original epicenter of the Chinese American experience. Call it a revival of sorts – because we urbanites are tired of San Gabriel Valley getting all the attention, aren’t we?

This Saturday and every other Saturday in August, Chinatown Summer Nights will showcase cooking demonstrations, the area’s restaurants and bars, stores and art galleries, music, martial arts demonstrations, interactive dance and movement workshops, family workshops and even temporary public art installations. And of course, there will be (OK, non-Chinese) food trucks – specifically Nom Nom Truck, India Jones Chow Truck, Spring Street Smoke House, The Patty Wagon, Papas Tapas and Fry Smith.

One of the best perks of the festival is presented in the form of discounts to the local restaurants in Chinatown. Be sure to print the coupons since you’ll need them to claim your discount (or get your copy at the festival’s info booth). Participating restaurants will include Hop Woo, Golden City, Full House Seafood, New Dragon Seafood and Golden Dragon.

Family workshops will run from 5 – 8 PM and cooking demos will take place in the West Plaza at 5 and 8 PM. Sharon Hoy, a top Chinese chef and cookbook author, and Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining will be the MCs. KCRW DJs Raul Campos, Anthony Valdez, Jeremy Sole and Aaron Byrd will alternate each week to spin tunes for your dancing pleasure in the Central Plaza.

Saturdays, August 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2010

5 PM – 12 AM

Free admission
Shuttle will be provided to/from Chinatown Gold Line Metro and Central Plaza
Free bike valet

Chinatown Summer Nights
Chinatown, Los Angeles
Between Broadway & Yale Street, from College Street to Bernard Street

My Westside Story

I was at an engagement party over at The Parlor in Santa Monica a few weeks ago when I got “reacquainted with an acquaintance” from my UCLA days. We did the obligatory surfacey catch-up talk, which included where we lived now. He: West LA. Me: East of West LA. I told him my major cross-streets.

[tangent] I’m technically located in “Beverly Hills Adjacent” even though I leave that out for fear of sounding like not only a complete tool, but a wannabe tool. When you say you live in “Beverly Hills” it invokes a sort of – intended or not – solicitation of awe from the listener. It’s somewhat of a lose-lose situation, because you don’t mean anything by it. It’s just factual geography, yet chock full of Tori Spelling-esque cheese. Since I actually work in 90211 and use my workplace to receive packages, more than a few times while placing orders on the phone I would get the “Ooh, it’s almost 90210” comment.

My apartment? Like so many others, my address says Los Angeles. It’s a huge city and even larger county – even the largest one in the country. Yes, Beverly Hills Adjacent suffices in making it more specific but you know what? Not only do I not want to say I live in Beverly Hills, I especially don’t want to mention that I live in Beverly Hills Adjacent. Just the mere specification that I live not in Beverly Hills but across the street from it reeks of “wannabe elitism.” And so, I stick to the cross-streets. [/tangent]

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