Holiday Detox: What L.A. Chefs Are Eating & Cooking In Their Own Kitchens
Let's face it: our New Year's resolution (you know the one) goes out the window the moment we find ourselves within fork's reach of chili cheese fries. So instead of focusing on our own inevitably-broken promises, we turned to a few of our L.A. chef friends to find out what dishes they're making in their own kitchens to get the post-holiday detox going. From salads to lots of soup to seafood to forgoing any detox at all, their choices sound so good they almost make us want to detox ourselves. Almost.
Brothy winter soups chock full of vegetables are the detox choice of chef Andrea Cavaliere (Cecconi's), who makes a mean winter vegetable minestrone soup, while chef Sara Johannes (WP24 by Wolfgang Puck) takes advantage of Asian winter veggies to make a pseudo-Hot Pot soup, even giving us insider tips on her recipe:
"I love to make soup. We have all these beautiful Asian vegetables at our disposal at WP24. It is very easy and delicious to make a "Hot Pot Style" soup out of them. Start with chicken or tofu and add a bit of chicken stock, copious ginger, garlic and Thai chiles, bok choy, gai lan. scallion, fresh water chestnut, honshimeiji and maitake mushrooms, [then] finished with fresh Thai basil, cilantro and Nuoc Mam and lime, it energizes you. You just feel healthier. I eat it whenever I feel a cold coming on, and it works like a charm. Like Grandma's chicken soup, but on spicy steroids! It cures everything."
Napa Valley Grille's executive chef Joseph Gillard also goes the slippery soup route, saying he's planning on "eating lots of salads and broth-based soups. Since the weather is cold and rainy, soup is a great satisfying and healthy option." But when Gillard's not eating soup, he's a bit more indulgent: "I 'detoxed' New Year's Day with a platter of roasted marrow bones."
While soup and juice might not exactly have a symbiotic relationship, that's exactly what José Andrés (The Bazaar by José Andrés) opts for. The Spanish chef "loves his juicer," squeezing fresh glasses of gazpacho and orange juice. BLT Steak's chef Brian Moyers snaps the soup streak, opting for a char-grilled shrimp salad with freckled lettuce, avocado and a tangerine-torn herb vinaigrette.
Finally, detox? What detox? After working through the holiday opening of his new Comme Ça outpost in Las Vegas' Cosmopolitan Hotel, David Myers isn't detoxing at all. On the contrary, Myers is hitting the sauce -- preferably Sea Smoke Pinot Noir and Russian River Pinots -- to keep him going in the New Year.
Sascha Lyon (Delphine) will be spending his January enjoying dishes made in his comrades' kitchens, like "Deliciously crispy pig ears at The Ox, juicy Shu burgers from Stout, plenty of crystal clear Fiji water, lots of espresso, creamy sour cream cheesecake from Canter's and of course my Huevos Rancheros at Delphine. Oh yeah, how could I forget spicy tuna hanabi at Sushi Roku Hollywood? Perfect."
After all, Lyon says, "Chefs don't detox. We only vary our levels of overindulgence."
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