posts displayed by category
Here’s what I know about poutine:
- Traditionally it’s a dish comprised of fries, gravy and cheese curds.
- It hails from rural Quebec, but can now be found Canada-wide—they even sell it at McDonald’s.
- It was invented in the 1957 by restaurateur Fernand Lachance. He shook up a bag of cheese curds and fries, and violà, poutine was born.
- In the 50s,“poutine” was slang for “a mess,” which is exactly what Fernand said when he saw what was in the bag.
- Up until a few years ago, poutine was considered pretty low-brow in Quebec, served mostly in greasy spoons, but like a lot of other comfort foods, it’s made its way onto some fancy restaurant menus. You can even get it with foie gras for $23 at at famed Au Pied Cochon in Montreal.
I should also add that it’s freaking delicious, which is why I was—and I never use this word—stoked when I got an invite to try out The Poutine Truck, Debbie Lee’s (also of the Ahn Joo truck) newest food project. Even better was that this gravy fries extravaganza was to take place at Echo Park’s City Sip, where Four Brix wine would be paired with each poutine course.
The Poutine Truck offers traditional and more laissez-faire varieties of the dish. The abbreviated menu gives you the choice 3 gravies (brown onion beef gravy and chicken or veggie veloute) and 3 locally-sourced, organic cheese curd varieties (plain, garlic herb and firehouse), which are generously laid upon freshly cut and made-to-order Kennebec potato fries. You can also take your poutine to the limit by adding bacon, chicken or flatiron steak.
If you read this blog, then you know that working in Santa Monica causes me to cling to the eastside of town on the weekends. Only very special cases can lure me onto the freeway come Saturday, and this would qualify as such.
Christine, one of my best friends and also the talented artist behind the design of this site (you can see her portfolio here) was having a birthday. She was only allowing the most low-key of celebrations, so a trip to one of her favorite lunch spots, Artisan Cheese Gallery, was in order.
This was my first ever visit to the Studio City cheese/sandwich shop, and I was pretty dazzled. Namely because they have everything I dream of for lunch: salads and sandwiches with imagination, make-your-own cheese plates, a nice selection of wine, fancy sodas and house-made soup. What more can you ask for?
I’ve got some good news and some bad news. First, the good news: you have something really fun to do on May 15. The sad part is that I won’t be there because I’ll be on vacation. I know, I know, but you must soldier on, my friends. Food awaits!
Taste of the Eastside is a community food event, featuring some of your favorite local spots, including Eagle Rock Brewery, Silverlake Wine, Intelligentsia Coffee, Malo’s of Silverlake, Auntie Em’s, Forage, Cookbook, Elf, and Hugo’s Tacos. KCRW’s Garth Trinidad will be spinning and local authors will be on hand signing books.
Proceeds go to SEE-LA, which aims to increase community access to nutrition, support sustainable food choices and create jobs, Children’s Hospital of LA, Barnsdall Art Park, and Rose Scharlin Co-op Nursery.
Sounds like a great time! I’m sad to miss it.
Taste of the Eastside 2011
Food | Wine | Beer | Music
Sunday, May 15, 2011 from 1 – 5 pm
Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
$25 General Admission | $65 VIP
$5 kids ages 2-12 | 2 & under FREE
On a recent trip to Paso Robles, we were lucky to attend a pretty magical dinner at Venteux Vineyards in nearby Templeton. It was a beautiful, warm summer night made complete by Chef Eric Cioffi’s Tuscan menu. The delicious wine didn’t hurt either, and owners Scott and Bobbi Stetzle made sure it flowed and flowed.
Cioffi took a “locavore” approach to creating the rustic Italian dishes, which were served family style to about 30 guests on the old-timey porch of the vinyard’s b&b. Ninety percent of the ingredients came from farms within 10 or so miles of the winery. “Every time I do a dinner at Venteux, I try to meet a new face, a new farmer, a new friend,” Cioffi told me.
Cioffi is a self-taught amateur chef, but there was nothing amateur about his execution. The freshness, flavor and detail of this meal rivaled some of my most memorable food experiences, even in actual Tuscany. He simply says he prefers food with “soul”. Someone give this guy a restaurant already!
The first course was a Parpadelle with Duck Ragu. So delicious. Made with cherries steeped in Zin Alley port, the ragu was a heavenly mix of sweet and savory. The fresh pasta, which was hand rolled and cut, was as much of a main attraction—the chef credited its silky texture to “lots of yolk.”