This week and next, we'll be featuring the holiday food traditions of L.A. chefs. Today, The Hungry Cat's David Lentz tells us about his traditions with his wife, chef Suzanne Goin.
“For Christmas eve, Suzanne and I have had a great tradition of going for lunch at Spago. I think we've been doing it for the last 10 years. Normally we go around 1 p.m., it's very festive on the patio (although I haven't been since remodel). Great people watching. They are very generous at Spago and normally we start with rose champagne, followed by a never ending assortment of canapés. Having the chef cook for you is always a good decision. The service is great and I always feel as though my champagne glass is bottomless.
“After lunch we normally do a little shopping for last minute gifts…a champagne filled lunch always lessons the sticker shock of prices in Beverly Hills.
“On Christmas day, we get up early and open presents with our children. We normally do either bagels from Sam's or home made waffles. Bloody Marys and champagne are also part of our routine.
“Later in the day we have a family dinner. This year we are having it at our house. It's a descent size gathering 12-14 adults and 7-8 kids. We always start off with cheese and charcuterie, followed by prime rib, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, yorkshire pudding and numerous salads. It's a somewhat gluttonous occasion but hey, its Christmas.
We finish off with some of my father's (big Dave) egg nog. I usually try to diet before our Christmas break…a lot of calories in two days.”
We asked Lentz for Big Dave's eggnog recipe but he said, “Sorry, Big Dave's recipe is secret.”
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