So much of my cooking revolves around the seasons and the fresh vegetables and fruits my team and I find at farmers' markets. We frequent so many of them, from those practically in my backyard, like the renowned Santa Monica Farmers' Market, to the stand on the northern San Diego County family farm run by three generations of the Chinos, who ...Read more
You hear a lot of talk from chefs, restaurant chains, food writers and food stores these days about the importance of cooking and serving fresh, seasonal ingredients. But walk through most supermarkets and you might think that there's only one perpetual season. Thanks to modern shipping and advanced agricultural techniques, you can find almost ...Read more
I'm interested to see how the number of lunchtime salads that guests in my restaurants order always increases as the weather warms up in spring. The reason partly comes from the fact that fresh salad leaves and other vegetables increase in abundance at farmers' markets. Also, our appetites start to lean toward lighter, fresher-tasting dishes ...Read more
Easter Sunday is one of the most popular times of year for entertaining with a lavish Sunday brunch. It offers an opportunity to fill the table with all kinds of festive dishes, from savory egg recipes to a jumbo glazed ham to any number of rich, sweet baked goods and desserts.
I can just imagine how delighted people are when faced with that ...Read more
The first time I ever attended an American Passover Seder almost four decades ago, I experienced a wonderful sense of deja vu when dinner was served after the ritual retelling of the Exodus from Egypt.
Yes, the matzo balls, also known by the Yiddish term kneidlach, served surrounded by rich chicken soup, reminded me of the hearty...Read more
When I think about the garden my mother and grandmother tended surrounding my childhood home in Austria, it always seems to be springtime. They grew so many fresh vegetables, a harvest that always formed the foundation of our family meals. Even in winter, the garden always fed us, thanks to the root cellar where we stored potatoes, carrots, ...Read more
Growing up in southern Austria, I never had much of a chance to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But I certainly made up for lost time once I moved to the United States in 1973.
With its own rich Irish immigrant heritage, America is home to some of the world's most exuberant St. Patrick's Day celebrations. I've long ...Read more
Just in case you hadn't noticed, comfort foods are very popular these days. Not just for home cooking but also in restaurants, ranging from the most casual spots to the finest dining rooms.
At the same time that food lovers everywhere are growing more aware by the second of distant cuisines, unusual ingredients and very particular ways of ...Read more
The growth of farmers' markets over the past couple of decades has brought so many benefits. It has led to the increased availability of fresher ingredients that are often also organic, sustainable and locally produced--and not just fruits and vegetables but also eggs, cheeses, artisan breads, quality oils and vinegars, and a wide array of other...Read more
Sometimes, the planets seem to align in ways that bring home cooks wonderful inspirations for cooking and entertaining. That certainly happens this coming week.
February 19 brings the Chinese New Year, a week-long celebration holiday whose date varies from year to year based on the lunar calendar. And smack in the ...Read more
Valentine's Day is just a few days away. I know you're probably busy right now shopping for the usual beautiful cards and the gifts you'll wrap in pretty paper and bows. But please don't forget what I think is the best present you can give -- something that you cook as a special treat for the one you love.
Cooking for your ...Read more
In the middle of winter, I keep taking my soup pot off the shelf again and again. A steaming bowlful is one of my favorite things to cook and eat on a chilly day, and it's hard to find anyone who isn't happy however often soup is served to them.
So, just a few weeks after sharing with you one of my old reliable recipes for winter minestrone, I ...Read more
Now is the time that many New Year's resolutions to eat more healthfully begin to fade. And it's easy to understand why that happens as we approach late January.
For decades, psychologists have told us that it takes at least 21 days of repeated practice to form a new habit; and many more recent studies have concluded that, ...Read more
As all the fun and excitement of the holiday season begins to fade, January can seem like a bleak month. Not only can the cold weather and long, dark nights make you feel like you're under siege, but the challenges of sticking to tough New Year's resolutions -- like those to eat more healthfully and drop a few pounds -- can quite ...Read more
"Who wants steamed chicken for dinner?"
If you asked that question in a room full of hungry people, it's a pretty good bet that nobody would speak up or even timidly raise their hands.
Steamed chicken has always seemed to represent the worst possible image of healthy eating -- or what used to be referred to by the negative-sounding words "diet...Read more
Some people say January could not be a worse time of year for resolving to eat more healthfully and get fit. After all, it's frigid outside. Who wants to head outside to exercise? And how can you possibly make it on light fare when your body craves warm, robust, filling food to sustain it against the elements?
I understand those arguments. But,...Read more
Even as you're getting ready to celebrate the arrival of 2015, you're also probably thinking about your New Year's resolutions. And if you're a food lover, which you probably are if you're reading this article, it's very likely that one of your top goals for the coming year is to eat in a more healthful way -- improving your ...Read more