Oysters 101; A Food Stylist's Secrets; Eating in Ventura
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Why do east coast and west coast oysters taste different? Chef David LeFevre explains what influences the flavor, texture and size of oysters. Self-proclaimed "garden nerd' Christy Wilhelmi talks about why every gardener should have his or her soil tested and teacher Stephen Ritz shares his story of educating at-risk students about growing vegetables in the South Bronx. Jonathan Gold enjoys natural wines and oven-roasted clams on the patio at the new AOC and food writer Allison Costa lists the best places to eat and drink when visiting Ventura County. Plus, veteran food stylist Tobi Martin shares her adventures of styling one of the most challenging foods -- pizza. At the market, Laura Avery welcomes berry farmer Robert Poole back to the market and pastry chef Sherry Yard is thrilled with all the early summer fruit.
Banner image: Rick Poon
Market Report ()
This week Robert Poole returned to the Santa Monica Farmers' Market with his prized blackberries, young berries and boysenberries. His wife Pat shares her recipe for Strawberry and Boysenberry Pie on the Good Food blog.
After 20 years as the pastry chef at Spago, Sherry Yard is now planning her next project with Sang Yoon. The two chefs are re-imagining the Helms Bakery as a food hall and marketplace. Their concept is due to open in early 2014. This week Yard is shopping for the season's best fruit. She loves the Robata apricots at Frog Hollow Farm which she uses for apricot marmalade. She also recommends the Gigi cherries from Murray Farms. If you want to preserve them, freeze them whole in an airtight bag.
A Pizza Food Styling Expert's Secrets to the Perfect 'Cheese-Pull' ()
Sometimes known as "The Pizza Queen," Tobi Martin is a food stylist who has worked with clients such as Pizza Hut, Dominos, Boboli and Papa John's. She shares her behind-the-scenes adventures in styling one of the most challenging foods to photograph.
Gardening for Geeks ()
Christy Wilhelmi is the founder of Garden Nerd and her new book is Gardening for Geeks. She recommends getting your soil tested if you plan to have an edible garden. She suggests Wallace Labs in El Segundo for soil testing.
For more geeky gardening tips check out a Q&A with Christy, complete with photos and audio outtakes, on the Good Food blog.
Greening the South Bronx ()
Stephen Ritz is an educator and administrator teaching at-risk kids in the South Bronx. He has an edible wall in his classroom where he teaches his students about sowing seeds and growing healthy food. In a community where success is uncertain, he says it's inspiring for students to see plants grow. Ritz and his students have grown over 25,000 pounds of vegetables while achieving academic success.
Watch Ritz's Ted talk on the Good Food blog.
A New Look for an Old Favorite ()
Jonathan Gold visits the new location of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's beloved restaurant, AOC. The new location, which replaced Il Covo and formerly housed Orso, has arguably the most beautiful patio in Los Angeles. He enjoyed the arugula, strawberry and rhubarb salad, clams cooked in the wood oven, black rice and farro salad, peas with saffron butter, "ode to Zuni" chicken, and suckling pig. He's also impressed by the by-the-glass wine list which is dominated by natural, organic and sustainable wines.
8700 W 3rd St
West Hollywood, CA 90048
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food restaurant map.
Everything You Need to Know about Identifying Oysters ()
David LeFevre is the chef and owner at Fishing with Dynamite and MB Post in Manhattan Beach. At Fishing with Dynamite he offers an extensive selection of oysters. He explains that while there are seemingly a wide variety of oysters, there are only five species. The variety in shape, size, texture and flavor stem from how and where the bivalves were cultivated.
Find a recipe for his Shallot and Black Pepper Mignonette on the Good Food blog.
Where to Eat in Ventura County ()
Allison Costa is a food writer and the owner of Ventura Food Tours. She offers scheduled tours as well as custom and private tours. Every year she offers an update on the best eats in Ventura County. Her suggestions this year are below.
- Bombay Bar and Grill for burgers
- Barrel House 101 for the beer list. Allison likes the Tripel Karmeliet and the Shipyard Smashed Raspberry Porter, short rib sliders, wings and watermelon salad.
- Marie Shannon Confections for special occasion cakes and everyday treats like cookies, flourless chocolate cake and even savory empanadas.
- Sunflowers on the Square in El Jardin Courtyard for bundt cake, red velvet brownies and most of all the limoncello lavender pecan cookie
- Marche Gourmet for the Napoli panini, roasted beet salad and the hand rolled truffles
- Camarillo International Supermarket for the Ghormeh Sabzi on Thursdays
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