November 2019 - Please The Palate
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I love going on food tours when I am traveling in a new city as they are a great way to see a city and learn about the culture. I find nothing more fulfilling than when I can meet with locals and experience their culture through their eyes. And that is why Eatwith, the world's largest community for authentic culinary experiences with locals, is the Please The Palate pick of the week. Eatwith is in more than 130 countries and they are bringing people together through food. Cooking classes, food tours and dining experiences are hosted by home-cooks, food-lovers, MasterChefs and Michelin-starred chefs. My Eatwith experience was with Christina Xenos, a professional chef, cookbook author, recipe developer, and journalist based in Los Angeles. I have known Christina for years as a journalist but had yet to enjoy her cooking. When she announced her dinner, featuring cuisine from Sifnos, the Cycladic island in the Southern Aegean Sea and said the proceeds of the ticket sales would benefit the Union Station Homeless Services in Los Angeles, I bought my ticket. Christina is Greek-American and her family roots are from the islands of Crete and Milos. She travels there annually and this past summer she visited Sifnos, the birthplace of the first Greek cookbook author Nikolaos Tselementes. An island known for baking in clay pots, she worked with farmers and cooks while on her trip to learn these traditional recipes.
When I got laid off from the dot.com world in 2001, I found myself "drinking for a living" as I began my career in wine. When Evan Charest, who previously worked as the Corporate Beverage Director for Patina, got laid off from a tech company, he took his severance pay and decided to open a wine bar in 2018. So what would be a better name for the wine bar than Severance? Severance is a charming wine bar with exposed brick walls and a warm, inviting feeling. It is located on Melrose Avenue in the space that was once home to the former Smoke.Oil.Salt. Unlike its predecessor that specialized in Spanish food, Severance features a hybrid of Quebec-Swiss fare prepared by Chef Weston Ludeke.