Last night, under the gorgeous iron bird cages that hang above the back dining room at The Spice Table, chef-owner Bryant Ng held court with Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin to mark the release of Cowin's new book, America's Greatest New Cooks. Just published by Food & Wine Books, the cookbook is a celebration of ten of this country's best young chefs -- Ng among them -- with chapters featuring recipes (100 in all) from each chef.
As Cowin and Ng talked with guests -- and diners, since the restaurant was open during the party -- servers circulated with plates of pig's tail on lettuce and other favorites from the restaurant and the book.
So who comes to things like this? Nancy Silverton, with whom Ng cooked at Mozza before he left to open his own place, Night + Market's Kris Yenbamroong and Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica, Picca), and some requisite writers from around town, including Los Angeles Magazine's Lesley Bargar Suter, Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch, and Lesley Balla of ZagatLA and Angeleno.
America's Greatest New Cooks, which Cowin described as her magazine's first "discovery" cookbook -- one hopes the first of many -- includes not only Ng, but chefs Nicolaus Balla of Bar Tartine; Jimmy Bannos, Jr. of Chicago's The Purple Pig; Julianne Jones and Didier Murat of Vergennes Laundry; Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie in San Francisco; Nico Monday and Amelia O'Reilly of The Market Restaurant in Gloucester, Mass.; City Grit's Sarah Simmons; Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria; Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia; and Alex Stupak of Empellon Cocina and Empellon Taqueria in New York.
Ng paused between autographing copies of the book to give a bit of news about his restaurant, which is set to close soon, thanks to the machinations of L.A.'s Metro system. First, you can stop freaking out about any imminent disappearance of your plates of curry fried chicken wings (maybe go buy the book, since the recipe's in there). Ng says that he won't be closing until well into 2013. In the meantime, he's currently scouting locations for not only the relocated Spice Table, but for his planned second restaurant. Thus if things move nicely, you may have two options in the near future -- both of them open.
In the meantime, you can dine at the current iteration of the restaurant for some months to come. Or just make Ng's pork satay or kaffir lime custards at home. You'll have to supply your own bird cage.
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