May 2015 - Please The Palate
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Are you afraid of cooking entirely? Perhaps you have a few go-to recipes but want to learn new ones. Feel like you are too busy to make a tasty meal? Meal and a Spiel is here to help! Meal and a Spiel Founded by Elana Horwich, Meal and a Spiel is about easy, accessible, healthy, good food. It is about getting dirty, trying things out, eating and having fun. Meal and a Spiel offers three things - classes, recipes and spiels. Classes: If you are based in Los Angeles, you can attend a single class or buy a package. Classes are $100 and take place in a private home with a maximum of 10 people. Go with a group of friends or go by yourself (as I did) and make new friends. You can also book a private group class.
What do you know about Mezcal? Perhaps you think of it as similar to tequila but with strong smoky flavors? That's what I had thought. But, after a Mezcal Monday night led by Gia St.George at Tacoteca in Santa Monica, I learned that Mezcal is a ritual drink that was created to take care of your soul. It is used to heal the body, celebrate life and death and to enjoy the pleasures of life. And, that smokey flavor comes from overcooking the agave. Gia St. George at Tacoteca On the Mezcal Monday night that I attended, I was introduced to Bruxo Mezcal, where I met Brand Ambassador Irais Monroy. Bruxo is prononced "brew-hoh" and is a play on the word "Brujo", which is synonymous with a wizard, sorcerer or shaman. By changing the "j" to an "x", there is a connection to Mexico in the name. Bruxo Mezcal is known for "bringing to earth the complexity of agave flavors, the magic and the heritage of the master Mezcaleros and the “wizards” and "witches”, the Mezcal makers", Irais explained, but it is also known as the mezcal that changed my mind about the category.
Are you a Food Network Junkie? If so, you probably saw the new culinary competition All-Star Academy in which ten home cooks across the country were paired with Food Network famous chefs. If not, here's a quick update. After eight episodes, it came down to two finalists and Santa Barbara local Vanessa Craig was one of them. Paired with Chef Michael Symon, she was energetic, spunky and lots of fun to watch. Sadly she didn't win the final prize but 2nd place isn't shabby! After the national exposure and now that the show is over, Vanessa is back home in Santa Barbara. Her passion is to share her love for food and her love of Santa Barbara and is now a private chef and caterer with her newly launched business Vanessa Loves Food. Vanessa Craig in the kitchen