Pastry Classes With Stephane Treand At SoCo

Categories: Cooking!

Anne Marie Panoringan
Making hearts

On certain days of the year, restaurants feel the need to jack up prices and force you into a set menu. While most of us follow along, quite a few are willing to buck the trend for an evening. However, you're now left wondering what to do next. Unless you know your way around a kitchen, there's nothing to show for. Don't be that person. Learn how to create something special, and all is practically forgiven.

This is where Stephane Treand enters the picture. Every Saturday in February, the man himself is teaching a series of one-day workshops designed to get you in the mood to bake. At three hours long, there's just enough time for Treand to demonstrate steps. Then he turns the kitchen over to you, with individual stations to have fun (or fail miserably) with pastry.

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We're all in With Duff Goldman from Duff Till Dawn


Some might call Duff Goldman the "Ace of Cakes" but around these parts when it comes to this baker extraordinaire, we like to think of him more so as the "ace of cool." Throwing his much needed sleep out the window, on January 29th (at 10:30PM ET/7:30PM PT) Goldman will be pulling an all-nighter on his new Food Network show "Duff Till Dawn." Competition shows are all the rage these days and this show is no exception as it pits two teams of cake decorators against each other to create the ultimate one of a kind over-the-top cake in order to win the "golden whisk." Featuring a cast of rotating judges, Duff Till Dawn promises challenges and twists that will keep you enthralled from dusk to...well, you get the idea.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Who came up with all of the challenge themes for Duff Till Dawn?

Duff Goldman: That was me and our supervisor/producer. This is actually the first show I've ever produced so it's a new venture for me. I really wanted to be a producer on it because I've competed in so many competitions from ice carving to chocolate sculptures and cakes and I know what works and what doesn't work for contestants. What I've seen with some of the shows that we see on TV, people who don't really understand how cake decorating works treat it like a baking competition and they're very different. Cake decorating is a whole other party so to use the types of challenges that people use in baking challenges, well, it just doesn't work. We really came up with rules and a format that is as loose and open as possible because we really want people to shine. The whole point of the show is to show off how incredible these people are. These are people who work on texture and flavor in a medium that really doesn't want to do what you tell it to do. In coming up with the challenges, we are really giving people the chance to show off what they are best at.

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Taco Trippin' Out With Aarón Sánchez

Cooking Channel

Latin cuisine aficionado and kick ass chef Aarón Sánchez has a new show on Cooking Channel (Tuesday's at 6:30pm PST/9:30 EST) called "Taco Trip" and we are all in. Traveling the country for great grub isn't new but Aarón's take on it certainly is because let's be honest, everyone loves a good taco but not everyone can deliver it. We trust this man's judgment so before he visits Portland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, and Chicago on a quest to feed his hunger, we talked to him about the new show, his new line of cookware, and his new restaurant. Talk about starting off a new year being brand new. Well done Sánchez.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I'm pretty positive that Santa will be bringing me the double burner griddle from your new cookware line and I'm pretty pumped. Is there something that you think is a "must have" item in your collection?

Aarón Sánchez: Thank you for representing me and supporting! That's awesome! That griddle is great for grilled cheese, searing tomatoes to make salsa, and all sorts of stuff. I really like that piece that you are getting and I really like the bean pot too. It's this really cool kind of rustic looking pot for beans and I absolutely love that.

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A Call to Nervous Bakers: Fail With Pride!

Categories: Cooking!

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Photo by Anne Marie Panoringan
Now THIS is a pie! From Pie-Not...

It's almost December. We're about to embark on all the people freaking out about roasting a large bird and making mashed potatoes, and now we're on to the biggest baking period of the year. Reddit is full of "please help me" stories about pie dough, cookies, bread and muffins. eGullet is too.

I blame decades of mass-market cookbooks giving dire DEFCON-1 type warnings. If you overhandle your pie dough, it'll be dense and gross! If your butter gets soft for your biscuits, they'll be (horrors!) bride's biscuits! It happens all the time.

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Get Your Holiday Baking Done Ahead of Time with Bobby Deen

Food Network

FINALLY "pumpkin spice" season has passed and the local stores aren't the only one thinking of the upcoming holidays. Food Network is rearing up to get us all in the mood with their newest series "Holiday Baking Championship" hosted by Bobby Deen on Sunday, November 9th. Along with judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale, Bobby will be on hand to cheer on eight competitors as they flaunt their skills with traditional holiday desserts all in the hopes to win a $50,000 prize. While we might not personally be in the mood for putting up a tree or lighting the candles just yet, we are in the mood for learning a few new recipes and kitchen tricks so we chatted it up with Bobby to see what the show has in store for us.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): The last time we talked you were not married so I wanted to say congrats although I feel like a lot of gals (me) might be sad....

Bobby Deen: Well thank you! I waited a long time and I've been married a little over a year but here's what I know. If your spouse makes you a better person, you've done well.

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Charlie Palmer At Bloomingdale's Preps You For Thanksgiving

Categories: Cooking!, Holidays

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Photo by Meranda Carter/OC Weekly
We heard that chef assigns the BEST homework

Instead of being annoyed by how soon holiday decor is being displayed in stores, we've opted to look on the bright side. Thanksgiving is barely a month away! Cravings for turkey, gravy and pumpkin spices fill us with joy (and calories).

While we brace ourselves for the roundup of places promoting holiday meals, our friends at Charlie Palmer planned ahead. They're offering a cooking class this week! Those who want to slave over a stove can learn from a pro. Everybody else? A bottle of red and white can win over most dinner parties.

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Richard Blais: If You Love to Eat, You'll Love Hungry Games

Food Network
I would probably spend way too much for a pizza.

In his new Food Network show "Hungry Games," Chef Richard Blais teaches, learns, and trivializes the way the food we chose is essentially chosen. On Monday October 20th, you can get in on the fun challenging your foodie awareness by tuning in but of course, we wanted you to get the details on what Hungry Games really entails. And because we love you sweet readers so much, we reached out to Blais for some answers just for you. The passion and knowledge he transmitted blew our minds just as much as his new show promises to. No worries, you can save the "thank you's" for later.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So you've done Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped All-Stars...which was the most challenging for you?

Richard Blais: Well we're talking competition with all of those and I'm a big runner so I like to think of them all as running different kinds of races. For example with the three you mentioned, Top Chef is a marathon, Iron Chef is a relay, and Chopped is a sprint. It depends on where your style fits but they all have their things that make them interesting. I enjoyed running all of them but I'm just glad that Hungry Games is not a race so to speak.

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How To Make It: Pizza for All Four Meals of the Day (Yes, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AND Dessert)

Categories: Cooking!

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz
Oh, wonderful day

Say it out loud -- pizza. Piiizzzzaaa. P-I-Z-Z-A.

Just the sound of it is beautiful, isn't it? Now imagine that times four and you'll kind of get an idea of how magical my day was when I ate pizza for every meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Oh, man.

That's right, for this How To Make It, I made four pizzas, one for each meal of the day.

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How To Make It: Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz

Right now, your snack game's basic.

Nachos -- boring. Trail mix -- whatever. Veggies (if you're having a clean eating week, I guess) -- meh. You need an upgrade, and I've got an answer. Meet Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders.

Basically, chip-crusted chicken tenders are two of the all-time best snack foods ever comemerged together in perfect harmony. You get the protein and meaty goodness of the chicken tender and the sodium-high calorie density of chips. I've never been more prepared for Netflix binge marathons. Sorry, summer bod, but this is more important.

So, this is how you make it.

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Farm to Fork Class By Chef Debra Sims At The Ecology Center

Categories: Cooking!

Dustin Ames
Hot stuff!

The phrase "farm to fork" is an overused one these days. Kitchens can claim their devotion to gardens and farmers' markets, but whether I truly believe them is another story. Diners formulate an opinion of a dish long before it is consumed based on description, appearance and our previous experiences with food. To see our meal being prepared in an exhibition kitchen is to believe it. In turn, to witness the exchange between farmer and chef (and ultimately chef to consumer) would legitimize the "farm to fork" notion.

Former On the Line subject Debra Sims will demonstrate the joy of cooking from start to finish at San Juan Capistrano's Ecology Center. Beginning with a walk through the facility, she will lead a discussion on produce before heading into the kitchen and preparing a meal based on vegetables and herbs found on your tour. This interactive class provides an opportunity for home cooks to learn more about the Maro Wood Grill chef's fiery cooking style.

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