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Just in time for Valentine's Day -- a show full of sex, food and love.  Laura Avery talks to chefs Jean François Meteigner and JD Olsen about romantic dishes for your sweetheart. Bunny Crumpacker reveals how food and sex are deeply intertwined, and Ilene Polansky arouses our tastebuds with us everything we need to know about oysters. Jennifer Steinhauer tells us where to find the best banana cream pie in Los Angeles, and Chloe Doutre-Roussel teaches us how to become chocolate connoisseurs. Jon Gold makes a trip to an Italian hotspot and Janelle Brown shares her grandmother's trip of a different kind -- with pot brownies.  Plus, Saveur editor James Oseland highlights his favorites from the magazine's Top 100 list.

One Good Dish

David Tanis

Guest Interview The Market Report - Romantic Dinners 7 MIN

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If the way to the heart is through the stomach, then Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil your love with some passion-inducing cuisine.  Laura Avery asks two chefs how they plan to serve-up some romance.

Jean Francois Meteigner, chef of La Cachette restaurant in Century City, suggests high quality cavier, oysters and artichoke heart mousse.  The foundation for the mousse is steamed artichokes, with the hearts cut out and pureed in a food processor.  The final touch is a drizzling of truffle oil on top of the mousse.

JD Olsen, the chef at Lou (a great little wine bar on Vine St. at Melrose with only 45 seats), is offering an oyster stew, which is simple but rich with cream and oysters.  Lou will also be featuring rose wines on Valentine's Day.

Guest Interview The Sex Life of Food 7 MIN

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Bunny Crumpacker is the author of The Sex Life of Food: When Body and Soul Meet to Eat, which uncovers the links between food and sex, a complicated dance of hunger and desire.   Bunny discusses our gender associations with food, food as aphrodisiac, and even how certain foods can impact our relationships.

Bunny Crumpacker, a New York native, has been a professional caterer, editor, newspaper columnist, and school public relations officer. She is the author of two books based on food and recipe pamphlets issued from 1875 to 1950—a chronicle of American cooking in those years. She and her husband, a record producer, live in the Hudson River Valley region, just north of New York City.

Guest Interview Love on the Half Shell 7 MIN


When Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love (aka “Venus” to the Romans), sprang forth from the sea on an oyster shell and promptly gave birth to Eros (aka “Cupid”), the word “aphrodisiac” was born.   From that lofty beginning, oysters have long been thought to arouse sexual desire in lovers.

Ilene Polansky is an expert on the subject of oysters – she is the owner of Maestro S.V.P. a seafood bistro and oyster bar in Montreal that carries more than 15 varieties of oysters year round.  She has also written a number of articles on the subject of oysters for GlobalGourmet.com.

Ilene gives us a well-rounded look on this Valentine’s Day favorite --  from its history and myths, to the different types of oysters and the best wines to accompany them (she suggests Champagne, Spanish dry sherry and Chardonnay, whose flavors marry well with the oysters’ unique seaweedy, salty and mineral flavors).

Quick tip:  How do you know if an oyster is fresh?  If the shells are not tightly closed and there is a strong odor.

Guest Interview Banana-Cream Pie 7 MIN

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It may not be traditional Valentine’s Day fare but for those who want something different for their sweet tooth, we’ve found an authority on an old-fashioned favorite:  banana cream pie.

Jennifer Steinhauer is the LA Bureau Chief for the New York Times, and shares with us her love of this tasty treat – including a recipe and the best places to indulge in banana-cream pie.

Banana-Cream Pie

For the graham shell:
1 ¼ cup graham-cracker crumbs, about 10 or 11 whole crackers
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the pastry cream:
1 2/3 cups milk
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and reserved
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tablespoons butter

For assembly:

1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup crème fraîche
3 ½ medium bananas, sliced into 3/8-inch-thick rounds.

1. For the graham shell: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Add the butter and mix, first with a fork, then with your fingers, until the crumbs are moistened. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, using a flat-bottomed cup to press the crumbs evenly. The edges of the shell will be crumbly. Bake until lightly browned, 9 or 10 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Prepare the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cup sugar and the vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer. Over a small bowl, sift the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar with the cornstarch. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks.

3. When the milk comes to a simmer, discard the vanilla bean. Add the cornstarch mixture to the eggs and whisk until well combined.

While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in about 1/4 of the milk. Transfer this mixture into the saucepan, set over low heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until it reaches the consistency of thick pudding. (Be careful not to curdle the eggs.) Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. Pour into a shallow bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill.

4. To assemble: Using an electric mixer or a whisk, whip the heavy cream and crème fraîche into peaks. Transfer the pastry cream to a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Line the bottom of the cooled pie shell with a layer of bananas. Fold the remaining bananas into the pastry cream, then spoon it evenly into the shell. Mound the remaining whipped cream on top, swirling it decoratively. Chill and serve within 24 hours. Serves 8. Adapted from Clementine in Los Angeles.

Where to enjoy banana-cream pie in Los Angeles:

Urth Caffé
8565 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 659-0628

1751 Ensley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 552-1080.

8225 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-6566

11700 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 477-3524

House of Pies
1869 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 666-9961

Pie ’n Burger
913 East California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 795-1123

Guest Interview Chocolate Tasting 7 MIN


Valentine’s Day would not be complete without chocolate – heart-shaped boxes filled with solid milk, dark and bittersweet chocolate; or truffles, bonbons and cordials with centers of nougat, nuts and caramel…  the choices are endless.  We asked Chloe Doutre-Roussel how to become a chocolate connoisseur by performing a proper chocolate tasting and creating our own chocolate “profile.”

Chloé was the chocolate buyer at Fortnum & Mason from 2003 to 2006. She is now a freelance consultant in the chocolate field, acting at the international level in different areas such as tasting classes, conferences, trainings or product development, adapting to the requirements of each client.  She is the author of The Chocolate Connoisseur.

Guest Interview Pizzeria Mozza 7 MIN


Jonathan Gold, food columnist for the L.A. Weekly, sets his sights on Pizzeria Mozza.  This Italian hotspot is the culinary joining of Mario Batali, owner of Batali’s pizza parlor in NYC’s Greewich Village, and Nancy Silverton, the artisanal bread-maker behind the La Brea Bakery.

641 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0101

Guest Interview Pot Brownies 7 MIN


When her grandmother’s osteoarthritis degenerated into its painful latter stages, Janelle Brown’s family called upon her with an unexpected task – to make pot brownies for the ailing matriarch.

She shares with us her journey – how the clandestine process of creating the perfect recipe brought new levels of closeness with her grandmother and brought the family together in a time of crisis.

Janelle Brown is a freelance journalist, essayist, and author. Her writing appears regularly in Vogue, the New York TImes, Wired, Self, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications.  You can read Janelle’s article “Granny Takes a Trip” from Vogue magazine on her website.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Greg Harrison, and their very spoiled dog, Guster.

Guest Interview Saveur Top 100 7 MIN


Each year, Saveur magazine releases their highly-anticipated Saveur Top 100.  This year, Good Food was honored on the list as a top food resource for 2007.  While we are incredibly proud of the distinction, we wanted to highlight a few of the other honorees, too.  James Oseland is the editor of Seveur magazine and he presents a few of his favorites from this year’s issue:

La Cocina Community Kitchen
San Francisco, CA

St Anthony's Dining Room
San Francisco, CA
(415) 592-2726

Stinking Bishop cheese (a creamy-in-the-middle variety of cheese) by Charles Martell & Son

The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand by Jim Harrison

Reuben Luncheonette
229 Havemeyer Street
Brooklyn, NY
(They are famous for their drink, the Morir Sonando, an Orange Julius-like drink of orange juice, ice and vanilla)

White Castle hamburgers

Namkeen: Indian salty, spicy snacks
(Available at India Sweets and Spices and other locations)

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