Food Personalities

Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Photo courtesy of Flickr/Didriks
  • Bucket of ice
While you were watching pre-season football over the weekend, Thomas Keller was busy in a field, dumping a bucket of ice water over his head. The French Laundry chef participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Those who accept the challenge douse themselves with a bucket of ice water instead of, or (ideally) in addition to, making a donation to an ALS-related charity, then challenge a few other folks to do the same and so on and so on. So far, the viral ice storm has raised millions of dollars in donations.

For those following the chain letter, Atelier Crenn chef and owner Dominique Crenn challenged Keller. Keller's acceptance of said challenge, after the jump.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Food Personalities

Paula Deen Launches the Paula Deen Network

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Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 7:36 AM
Paula Deen is going digital. The Southern food personality, celebrity chef and long-time television cooking show host announced today that she's launching the Paula Deen Network in September. The digital subscription-based network will be accessible by computer, smartphone or tablet, and will feature "exclusive video" featuring Deen and various guests as they cook in front of an audience. The show will be set in a production studio near Deen's home in Savannah, Ga.

Lest you've forgotten, Deen's career was derailed and her Food Network show cancelled after she admitted using racial slurs. Maybe her own network will provide the Georgia native with a comeback, or at least a venue to return her particular brand of Southern cooking to her fans. Deen has left on a 20-city summer tour across the south. Of course she has.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Ruth Reichl - FIONA ABOUD
  • Fiona Aboud
  • Ruth Reichl
She's been Gourmet Magazine's editor in chief and the chief restaurant critic of both The New York Times and the L.A. Times, and she's got two bestselling culinary memoirs under her belt. Now Ruth Reichl is making her debut as a fiction writer, with a new novel about a young food writer trying to make it in New York City, called Delicious!

On Saturday, May 17, Reichl will be in town headlining the 3rd annual LitFest Pasadena. The event has been christened LitFest on the Prowl and will take place in various locations in Pasadena's Playhouse District, kicking off at 5 with a conversation at Vroman's bookstore between Ruth Reichl and Laurie Ochoa, Arts and Entertainment Editor of the L.A. Times (and former L.A. Weekly Editor).

Reichl is looking forward to the sit-down with Ochoa, who was the managing editor of Gourmet during the magazine's Reichl era. 

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Fishing trip - ERIK SUN
  • Erik Sun
  • Fishing trip
Like many Angelenos, Erik Sun is serious about his food and big on eating organically - though not necessarily in the same way as most people are. His meats aren't sourced from grocery stores or even local farms. His experience with food is much more visceral. He hunts his meats, spears his fish and skins, butchers and cooks everything himself. And yes, he does all of this in California.

"Once I was hunting a white sea bass in the San Clemente Islands. They're tough to get because they swim in the kelp. I was ten feet under the surface and was stuck," he says, when asked about his most frightening experience under the sea. "And I couldn't see what was holding me down." It turned out a fishing line was stuck on his snorkel. He eventually untangled himself and after grabbing some air, went back down to retrieve his bass.

It's hard to describe what exactly Sun does, because he's involved in so many things. On paper, he's a serial entrepeneur, chef and hunter. He is a partner and occasional cook at Bestia, the owner of Sumora, a spearfishing equipment company and the executive chef of Bos Creek, a grass-fed and pasture-raised meat line from Montana. He does marketing for Republique and is also an avid blogger - chronicling his experience with food on his site, The Pursuit of Food.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jamie Oliver's Big Rig
  • Jamie Oliver's Big Rig
British chef Jamie Oliver's food truck is coming to town. This is not a British comfort food truck, serving Oliver's homey versions of the pub grub he learned at his parents' restaurant, although that would probably be exceedingly popular in this town. Nor is it his traveling political action committee bus, though you may be forgiven for thinking so, given the Che Guevara-style art. Instead this is Oliver's Big Rig Teaching Kitchen, a mobile classroom that offers free cooking classes.

From April 8-25, the truck will be in South Los Angeles as part of a 40-week tour through California, having stopped already in Merced, Fresno, Kern County and Sacramento. (After L.A., the truck is heading to San Diego, if caravanning is your thing.)

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Julia Child - PBS
  • PBS
  • Julia Child
There are few figures who had greater influence on our idea of French cuisine -- and cooking in general -- as Julia Child. On her 101st birthday, which is tomorrow, August 15, quite a few establishments, especially in her hometown of Pasadena, will honor her with food and drink.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association has planned a cocktail party in her honor, which will launch SIP-tember: A Celebration of the Cocktail, a competition that pits 32 local bars and restaurants against one another in search of the best cocktail in town. Head to any of the participating bars and restaurants for a cocktail tomorrow and join in a citywide toast to Child at 7 p.m.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Paula Deen throwing out the first pitch - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Paula Deen throwing out the first pitch
It's been a few days since Paula Deen made the front pages of, well, everything. In the wake of the firestorm following her admission that she made racial remarks, lots of things have happened to the Savannah cookbook author and food personality. We thought we'd give you a succinct update, kind of like a CliffsNotes, if you will. Because sometimes one line, or a headline, can pretty much sum things up, can't it. (See: The Huffington Post.)

The Huffington Post: Paula Deen Offered Six-Figure Pay Day By Porn Company

Associated Press: Publisher cancels multibook Paula Deen contract

TMZ: My N-Word Excuse ... I'M OLD

The New Yorker: Paula Deen's Ugly Roots

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Screenshot from the website for Atlanta restaurant Pittypat's Porch - PITTYPATSRESTAURANT.COM
  • pittypatsrestaurant.com
  • A Screenshot from the website for Atlanta restaurant Pittypat's Porch
While I was working at a newspaper in Atlanta, one of my co-workers came to me highly agitated. "You won't believe the restaurant my dad took me to last night," she said. "It was so insane. It was like this fake plantation made to look pre-Civil War era. It had all this Gone With The Wind iconography everywhere. And all the waiters were black. They were basically dressed up as slaves."

I knew immediately which restaurant she was referring to -- Pittypat's Porch, named for the slave-owning Gone With The Wind character, which claims to be the longest continuously operational restaurant in Atlanta. It opened in 1967, and hasn't changed much in the intervening decades. It aims for "an atmosphere similar to an old plantation."

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Updated: The Food Network has made the decision not to renew Deen's contract at the end of June. Additionally, Deen has released a new video, almost three times as long as the first, where she is much more composed, albeit not much more direct, stating instead that "my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are."

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

  • Via Wikipedia
  • Paula Deen
Paula Deen has found the one problem that can't be solved with butter, y'all. And that problem is her casual racism when planning wedding parties.

As reported first by the National Enquirer (and picked up just about everywhere else), the celebrity chef and patron saint of all things deep-fried gave a deposition in which she is quoted as saying "of course" she has used the N-word (so blasé!). She also reportedly said of racist jokes, "I can't determine what offends another person."

But perhaps the most shocking portion of the 2011 Rose Parade Grand Marshal's three-hour depo was in reference to her brother Bubba Hiers's wedding -- "Bubba" being a nickname for Earl, because in the South, Bubba is a nickname for everything.

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