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TETSU: Chef Masa Takayama Provides Unique Dining Experience

TETSU: Chef Masa Takayama Provides Unique Dining Experience


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Michelin-decorated chef Masa Takayama has opened Tetsu, at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. It’s a venue within a venue located inside Takayama's famed Japanese restaurant, barMASA . Teppanyaki chefs oversee the evening’s culinary showcase, prepping, cooking, and plating orders specific to each guest’s request. A produce table is the room’s centerpiece, displaying the finest quality meats, seafood, and vegetables and also allows guests to interact with their chef and hand-select the proteins of their entrée.

Tetsu executive chef and creator Masa Takayama said, "With a passion for the finest-sourced ingredients, I have always been intrigued by the sizzling vegetables, meat, and seafood prepared on a teppan grill. The act of choosing your ingredients and interacting with the chef as he prepares them elevates the conventional dinner creating memory which is how food is meant to be experienced."

Just walking into Tetsu, experiencing the aromas and the sounds of proteins and vegetables sizzling on the teppan grill, gets you in the mood for an evening of interactive culinary delights from the East. Taking our seat alongside the teppan grill, we were greeted by our chef for the evening with a smile as he placed the menus in front of us to start exploring what our culinary journey could entail.

Our eyes danced over the menu like a tap dancer, scanning quickly at first and then settling down to continue our exploration. We were pleasantly surprised to see a variety of dishes, such as the toro tartare with caviar, Wagyu beef steak tartare, and Pacific lobster sashimi ceviche, in addition to the Tataki selections. The word Tataki, meaning "to pound," is a traditional manner of preparing fish and meat so that they better absorb other flavors enhancing the protein in the dish. The cuts are briefly seared over a hot pan, marinated in vinegar, sliced thin, and seasoned with ginger.

Main course offerings include prime cuts of beef such as center-cut lamb chop and filet mignon and Wagyu rib-eye. Enticing seafood dishes jump off the menu, such as butterflied Scottish langoustine, Mediterranean turbot, and always decadent fatty tuna. Guests have the opportunity to choose sides like Kobe garlic fried rice, yakisoba noodles, and seafood udon just to name a few.

After looking over the menu, we decided to put ourselves in the very capable hands of our chef and let him drive our culinary odyssey for the evening. As he began his prep, we sipped on some very nice sake suggested to us by our very pleasant sommelier.

Our journey for the evening started with two very nice sushi dishes as the grill started to warm up. Our chef walked up to us with our first surprise of the evening, a gift from the sea, a very delectable looking live lobster that would soon be on the grill for us to enjoy. Our second treat from our knowledgeable chef came from Down Under; a perfectly marbled Australian Wagyu rib-eye would be on the grill for us as well.

The grill was hot and ready to get started. The chef divided the grill surface with a cornstarch mixture that when spread upon the grill allows several items to cook at the same time without their flavors intermingling with each other. He added that this was a technique created and developed by Masa Takayama himself.

While enjoying some tasty caviar and toast we watched as the chef placed the lobster on the grill along with some very lovely scallops. Aromas began to jump across the table to us as we watched a piece of culinary artistry created in front of our eyes. Within minutes, our succulent lobster and perfectly seared scallop course was plated and enjoyed immensely.

Two perfectly cut Australian Wagyu rib-eye steaks were all ready sizzling on the grill along with fresh vegetables as we finished our lobster course and sipped on sake. In a cloud of steam and exceptional knife skills, we could see our course taking shape as our palates jumped with anticipation. The Wagyu rib-eye melted in our mouths with the fresh vegetables and mushrooms providing a nice accent to the dish.

Our chef and his knives conducted dish after dish on the grill like an orchestra conductor providing music to our ears, but in this case our palates. Tetsu has several refreshing desserts, such has the signature truffle ice cream and the yuzu sorbet, to put a sweet end to an evening of interactive culinary joy. We just had to indulge just one more time with one of each which was a great way to punctuate the evening.

Chef Takayama's Tetsu provides its guests an intimate, interactive dining experience that will keep patrons coming back again and again. The ARIA resort has yet another star dining venue to provide guests a unique and engaging dining experience.


Where Chefs Go: Kanazawa, Japan

Famed chef Masa Takayama shares his favorite gems from this coastal sake and seafood haven.

Chef Masayoshi Takayama, aka chef Masa and owner of the three-MICHELIN-starred restaurant of the same name in New York City, is one of America’s most celebrated Japanese chefs—alongside household names like Masaharu Morimoto and Nobu Matsuhisa. Raised in Nasu, a small town north of Tokyo, chef Masa spent his youth hauling fish into the window display case of his family’s seafood shop and delivering his father’s sashimi via bicycle. By high school, his interest in sushi and restaurants had led to dishwashing and later sushi making at Tokyo’s renowned Ginza Sushi-ko, known for its 130-year heritage and strict legacy of training young talents.

In 1980, Takayama moved to Los Angeles and opened Saba-ya (renamed to Ginza Sushi-ko in 1987) during a time when “sushi” meant little more to Hollywood’s glitterati than a drab California roll coming out of a restaurant at the edge of a strip mall. As a Japanese ambassador of haute sushi cuisine, chef Masa helped spark L.A.’s decades-long sushi craze, expertly demonstrating kaiseki—a notion of natural balance in taste, texture, appearance and color—that lives on in haute sushi today.

Today, chef Masa is the proud owner of a robust Masa empire: including, but not limited to his aforementioned three-Michelin-starred omakase restaurant and adjacent Bar Masa, Kappo Masa (a collaboration with gallery owner Larry Gagosian) on the Upper East Side, and the late-night Japanese robatayaki and burger destination Tetsu in TriBeCa. Most surprisingly, chef Masa is also the creative owner of a hand-crafted ceramic design company, Masa Designs, whose dishware is featured in his many restaurants.

For such an inspiring and prolific individual, it’s no wonder that travel has played a significant role in Takayama’s development. Of all the places he’s traveled to—and eaten in—his favorite is Kanazawa, a steadily-growing city on the western border of Japan in the Ishikawa Prefecture. “Visiting here is an incredible experience,” he says, “and it’s only about an hour and a half from [both] Tokyo and Kyoto. The shinkansen (high speed train) is also set to open next year, so when it does it should only be about 40 minutes from [Kyoto].”

Best known for its seafood and sake, Kanazawa is a haven for food and spirit lovers worldwide. Just two hours west of the great “Mount Tate” (Tateyama)—one of Japan’s “three holiest mountains,” along with Hakusan and Fuji—Kanazawa produces some of the best sake in the world, using water straight from the mountain. “It’s very clear and fresh,” chef Masa explains.

For restaurants, one of Takayama’s favorite places to eat is Kawaguchi, “a seafood restaurant that is very homey, a kappo-style (generally smaller and more intimate) restaurant.” Ask locals for the exact location (a Google search is spotty), and aim to order one of the following of chef Masa's recommendations: “whole grilled snow crab, grilled Akamutsu aka Japanese ruby snapper and blowfish in the winter [or] rock oysters, Hamo fish and eel [if] it’s summer.”

For where to stay, chef Masa likes ryokans, traditional Japanese inns typically featuring tatami-matted rooms, communal baths and other public areas where visitors can relax in yukata (casual Japanese kimonos) and chat with the local innkeeper. His favorite ryokans are in the Kaga Onsen, a revered collection of four hot spring towns south of Kanazawa, not far from Hakusan. Legend tells us that monks visiting the arresting mountain over 1,300 years ago discovered the Kaga Onsen hot springs, much to the delight of visitors centuries to come.

But most personal to chef Masa is the region’s affiliation to the well-known Japanese artist Kitaoji Rosanjin, who lived and worked in Kanazawa in the early 1900s. Not only a ceramicist, calligrapher, painter and lacquer artist, but also a restaurateur, Rosanjin was not unlike chef Masa himself. “[He’s] best known for developing a theory on the aesthetic relationship between food and ceramic design,” chef Masa explains, “so you can say I got great inspiration from his work for my Masa Designs pieces and my general philosophy towards the way I cook.”

Some of chef Masa’s artist friends also live in Kanazawa, and the creative tradition continues. “I love to visit them and work on new [ceramic] pieces,” he says. For inspiration when he’s not working on pieces, Takayama spends time in the region’s outdoors. “There are a lot of trails for hiking [on and around] Tateyama, especially during the spring and summer months. And whenever I [travel to Kanazawa], I love to go river and ocean fishing.”

While the climate is temperate year round, locals say the two best times to visit Kanazawa are September to mid-November and March through May.

Marguerite Imbert writes about restaurants and global food trends for the MICHELIN Guide website and elsewhere. The New Yorker and foodie enjoys writing and testing recipes and encourages everyone to cook without them.


20 Japanese Restaurants in NYC Receive Michelin Stars

On Election Day, the world’s oldest restaurant guide announced the New York City restaurants elected to receive the coveted Michelin stars. Seventy-six restaurants in New York City earned stars, and 20 of them are Japanese establishments. Seven are new to the list, including one that closed a month before the Michelin announcement. Sushi Nakazawa finally grabbed an elusive star, after five years of being snubbed. Speaking of being snubbed, Torishin, the first yakitori place ever to earn a Michelin star, didn’t receive one. Ushiwakamaru and Sushi Zo also dropped from the ranks.

Three Stars (“exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”)
Masa
10 Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center
Type of Cuisine: Sushi
Despite allegations by the FDA that it violated seafood safety regulations, Masa, one of the most expensive sushi restaurants in the country, retained its three-star status.

Two Stars (“excellent cuisine, worth a detour”)

Ichimura at Uchū (NEW)
Type of cuisine: Sushi
217 Eldridge Street
Detour into the Lower East Side to experience a thrilling sushi dinner at the hands of master sushi chef Eiji Ichimura. He offers only two seatings a night, so nabbing a seat at his counter is highly desirable.

sushiginzaonoderanewyork.com

Sushi Ginza Onodera
461 5th Avenue
Type of cuisine: Sushi
This popular omakase restaurant serves Edomae sushi that features fish flown in from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji Market and Niigata rice seasoned with red vinegar.

Tetsu Basement (NEW)
78 Leonard Street
Type of cuisine: Well, it was kaiseki . . . If you venture into this kaiseki restaurant by Chef Masa Takayama (of Masa, the 3-Michelin-star, $600-a-person sushi spot) that made its Michelin star debut this year, you’ll actually find a raw seafood bar. That’s because it Chef Masa changed the concept in early October. Despite this, Michelin awarded the short-lived Basement two stars.

One Star (“A very good restaurant in its category”)
Bar Uchū
217 Eldridge Street
Type of cuisine: Kaiseki
Chef Samuel Clonts, an alumnus of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, runs this intimate space in the Lower East Side. He uses the finest ingredients in his Japanese-influenced, kaiseki-style meals.

Hirohisa
73 Thompson Street
Type of cuisine: Seasonal Japanese
New York Magazine says, “Hirohisa Hayashi specializes in the kind of quirky, traditionalist dishes beloved by Japanese omakase purists.”

Jewel Bako
239 E. 5th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Michelin Guide inspectors site the ambiance and excellent customer service to be just as important as the consistently exquisite dishes created by Jewel Bako’s talented chef.

©2018 Michelin North America

Kajitsu
125 E. 39th Street
Type of cuisine: Shojin Ryori (Buddhist vegetarian)
“Kajitsu is such a special place that it deserves to be part of the conversation when it comes to essential New York restaurants,” The Infatuation says in its review of this classic kaiseki restaurant.

Kanoyama
175 2nd Avenue
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Although this is Kanoyama’s second consecutive year with a Michelin star, it’s still somewhat off the radar.

Kosaka (NEW)
220 W. 13th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Michelin describes this newcomer to the list as “a stellar omakase in an elegant setting” and Chef Yoshihiko Kousaka’s sushi as “transcendent.”

Kyo Ya
94 E. 7th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi/Kaiseki
Kaiseki is a multi-course Japanese meal that pays special attention to the seasonality of ingredients. Chef Chikara Sono respects seafood and vegetables at the peak of their freshness and incorporates them into carefully crafted courses.

Noda (NEW)
6 W. 28th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
According to the Michelin Guide, this first-timer is “one of the most impressive sushi-yas to open in New York City in recent years.”

©2018 Michelin North America

Okuda (NEW)
458 W. 17th Street
Type of cuisine: Kaiseki
Owner/Chef Toru Okuda takes the seasonality of kaiseki cuisine to the next level in his third restaurant, following outposts in Tokyo and Paris.

Satsuki
114 W. 47th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
The sushi bar at Suzuki, Satsuki is Chef Toshio Suzuki’s “utterly tranquil shrine dedicated to upscale Japanese cuisine,” says Michelin.

Sushi Amane
245 E. 44th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
“Chef [Shion] Uino delivers nigiri of astonishing depth and with a complexity of flavors,” the Michelin Guide says of this eight-seat omakase counter that shares space with MIFUNE.

Sushi Inoue
481 Lenox Avenue
Type of cuisine: Sushi
In July 2015 Chef Shinichi Inoue opened the first restaurant in Harlem to receive a Michelin star. Receiving such accolades is not new to him the Nagasaki native also earned a Michelin star for his work at Sushi Azabu. His eponymous establishment offers four different omakase choices, and the Village Voice describes a meal at Sushi Inoue as “ . . . a dining experience that’s steeped in ritual and yet unique.”

Sushi Nakazawa (NEW)
23 Commerce Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Finally. Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, former tamagoyaki-making apprentice to the venerable Chef Jiro of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame, finally has a Michelin star. After saying the popular sushi restaurant didn’t have the “purity” of other Japanese restaurants, the Michelin Guide reviewers finally decided that dining here is a “truly memorable sushi adventure.”

Sushi Noz (NEW)
181 E. 78th Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Let Sushi Noz transport you to Japan with its hinoki counter and an omakase meal that “feels like every bite has been designed solely for you.”

Sushi Yasuda
204 E. 43rd Street
Type of cuisine: Sushi
Since 1999 Sushi Yasuda has been serving classic, no-frills sushi (i.e., no rolls with cream cheese or jalapeños) in Midtown East. The minimalist approach to the food and the interior prompted The New York Times to call it a “standout shrine to sushi.”

Tempura Matsui
222 E. 39th Street
Type of cuisine: Tempura
This is not the same style of over-breaded fried food that some people think of when they hear “tempura.” This is high-end, fine dining with a set tasting menu at $200. Revered chef Masao Matsui, who opened the restaurant in 2015, died of cancer in February 2016, but Chef Shin Kato continues to prepare tempura in the same delicate fashion.

Bib Gourmands (“Inspectors’ favorites for good value”)
Michelin defines “good value” as spending $40 or less – excluding tax and gratuity – for two courses and a glass of wine or dessert

DOMODOMO
138 W. Houston Street
Type of Cuisine: Sushi

HinoMaru Ramen
33-18 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, Queens
Type of Cuisine: Ramen

Jin Ramen
462 Amsterdam Avenue
Type of Cuisine: Ramen

Mu Ramen
12-09 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Type of Cuisine: Ramen

Shalom Japan
310 S. 4th Street, Brooklyn
Type of Cuisine: “Authentically inauthentic Jewish and Japanese food”

Sobaya
229 E. 9th Street
Type of Cuisine: Japanese Soba Noodles

Tonchin (NEW)
13 W. 36th Street
Type of Cuisine: Ramen

For a complete list of all New York restaurants that earned stars – not just the Japanese ones – please visit Michelin’s website.


TETSU: Chef Masa Takayama Provides Unique Dining Experience - Recipes

Chef Matthew Silverman is no stranger to the restaurant industry in Las Vegas. Currently he oversees the culinary direction of one of the leading restaurant groups shaping Las Vegas. He is corporate Executive Chef for the Michael Corrigan Restaurant Group and provides the direction for the company’s restaurant line-up including: Vintner Grill, Vintner Grill Strip and the RoadRunner Restaurants. He is also the Executive Chef and Consulting Partner for the company’s advisory firm, Las Vegas Food & Beverage Service Advisors.

Recently this multifaceted chef has moved to the forefront of restaurant consultants with Las Vegas Food & Beverage Service Advisers and has an impressive ever-growing list of clients. Currently his clients include the Silverton Resort & Casino, Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Cabo Wabo and Chateau Nightclub. His consulting company has a long standing relationship with experience in fast casual to fine dining which covers all type of restaurants. Chef Matthew’ years of experience give him knowledge of mistakes and issues that most restaurant owners don’t know about or know how to fix. Having an experienced chef engaged in more than just kitchen operations but financial controls, marketing, purchasing and information systems and their coordination is invaluable to a restaurant that is having problems.

We sat down with this very talented Chef . He In addition to consulting he has added some new touches to the wine /cheese /charcuterie program at renowned Vintner Grill in Summerlin. Flights vary in price, depending on the selected wines, and are available every day.

Each flight features four, 2-ounce glasses of wine served on a custom-made tray designed to guide the guest through the tasting experience. Frequently rotated, all the wines in th flights are selected from premium vineyards from the U.S. and around the world. The current wines that make up each flight include:

Tiny Bubbles – $16

Blancs de Blancs, Brut, Imperial Palace, France NV

Gerard Bertrand “Cremant de Limoux” France ’10

Chandon, Brut Rosé, California, NV

Nicolas Feuillate, Brut, Champagne, Chouilly, France, NV

Wines From Around Here – $14

Sauvignon Blanc, Justin Vineyards, Paso Robles, California ’11

Chardonnay, Davis Bynum, Russian River, Sonoma, California ’10

Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael Pozzan “Annabella,” Napa, California ‘10

Zinfandel, Seghesio Family, Sonoma County, Sonoma, California ’10

Vins de France – $15

Grenache Blanc, Gerard Bertrand, France ’10

Chardonnay, Macon Lugny “La Carte,” Burgundy, France ’09

Grenache, Beaumirail, Vacqueyras, Rhone, France ’10

Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau La Lande, Medoc, Bordeaux, France ’09

Vini D’ Italia – $13

Pinot Grigio, Sartori Family, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy ’10

Falanghina, Terredora DiPaolo, Campania, Italy ’10

Barbera d’Asti, Pico Maccario “Lavignone” Piedmont, Italy ‘09

Nebbiolo, Damilano “Marghe” Barolo, Piedmont, Italy ’09

Sommelier Selections – $20

Vouvray, Chateau Moncontour, Loire Valley, France ’09

Pinot Noir, Rodney Strong, Russian River, Sonoma, California ’10

Syrah, Zaca Mesa, Santa Ynez Valley, California ’08

Tempranillo, Rioja Vega, Rioja, Spain ’09

In addition to the new wine flights, this Summerlin Favorite offers its renowned “50 under $50” wine menu, which includes domestic and international favorites priced under $50 a bottle. When it comes to cheese, Chef Matthew has long been known as an expert and active as a Chef Ambassador for the Wisconsin Artisan Cheese Council (selected 2008) and actually began to make and age his own artisan cheeses in 2010. As far as we know he is the only Chef in Las Vegas that is doing that.

Vintner Grill has been a Summerlin icon sense its inception and there is no doubt that Chef Matthew Silverman and his staffs attention to detail will continue to attract locals and tourists alike for a very special experience that will not be forgotten.


A Japanese restaurant we love so much that we welcomed it into Time Out Market

Bessou

If Bessou only offered its chicken karaage and nothing else, we'd still sing its praises to no end. But this exceptional Japanese restaurant offers stellar pancakes, pickle-accented bowls and, yes, one stand-out fried poultry dish. So, naturally, we invited it to hold court at Time Out Market New York. Learn how our market curation works here, but basically we tasted its food, reviewed the eatery and had no hesitation in recommending Bessou for a spot at the market. Here&rsquos why: Bessou&rsquos clever take on Japanese comfort food has us craving dishes beyond sushi and ramen. Owner Maiko Kyogoku, who worked for hip contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, opened a stylish space in Noho that serves as an inviting stage for chef Emily Yuen&rsquos innovative plates, many of which draw from Kyogoku&rsquos family recipes. Yuen adds a modern touch to the classics with her bento bowl teeming with soy beef brisket and the chicken karaage dusted with Moroccan spices&mdashtrust us, you won&rsquot be able to resist dipping each forkful into the spicy mayo. We quickly learned that Bessou lives up to its name, which loosely translates from Japanese as second home.


17 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée - Paris, France

If you are looking for a restaurant that feels absolutely luxurious along with fine dining food, save your money for an experience at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in Paris. It was voted #21 in top restaurants for 2018. The restaurant itself and the food are true works of art that play off each other. No expense was withheld for the decor: the chandeliers are made of thousands of crystals.

Even though this restaurant oozes opulence, the menu is based on natural cuisine. The head chef and team believe in exceptional produce expressing their simplicity. Because of the close tie to nature, the menu changes seasonally. Prices can range between €100-395 on their various menus with additional costs for drinks.


News for Restaurants in Las Vegas May 2016 Archive

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network show &ldquoRestaurant: Impossible,&rdquo will open his first restaurant on the casino floor of Tropicana Las Vegas in 2017. Attendees at a recent press conference were privy to a video that showcased what to expect from the yet-to-be-named venue in true Irvine fashion, the chef made his entrance by rappelling 22 stories down the exterior of the resort. Commenting on his new partnership with Tropicana Las Vegas, Irvine said, "From the moment I stepped foot in Las Vegas, I have been on a mission to break into the food and dining scene. I am excited to join the city's impeccable culinary talent and I could not be happier with my decision to embark on this journey right here at Tropicana Las Vegas." Irvine is sure to bring his nothing-is-impossible attitude to the modern, American-inspired restaurant. Tropicana Las Vegas, 3801 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-739-2222, 888-826-TROP (8767).
Wynn Las Vegas&rsquos newest dining concept is SW Veranda, a casual outdoor terrace located above SW Steakhouse with views of Wynn&rsquos Lake of Dreams. A selection of executive chef David Walzog&rsquos small plates and appetizers are served, along with desserts from pastry chef Svetlana Almonte. Menu items include Wagyu carpaccio with black truffle dressing, arugula and shaved parmesan SW lobster rolls on warm brioche yellowfin tuna tartar with pickled Japanese vegetables, soy and gochujang chocolate dipping fondue with strawberries, marshmallows, banana bread and crisp mini-funnel cakes and Biscoff cookie butter cheesecake. The SW Veranda is open nightly at 5:30 p.m., weather providing. Reservations are not accepted. SW Veranda, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-770-7000, 1-888-320-WYNN.

News Bytes

Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge Offering Five- and Seven-course Tasting Menus
Andre&rsquos Restaurant & Lounge at Monte Carlo is offering five- and seven-course prix-fixe tasting menus so that guests can sample multiple items from the restaurant's spring/summer seasonal offerings. Dishes include beef carpaccio with roasted Anaheim pepper coulis and sunchoke chips pan-seared duck foie gras king crab and spring pea ravioli pan-seared duck breast and hazelnut praline gateau with milk chocolate mascarpone and orange and fig ice cream. The price for the five-course dinner is $110 per person for wine pairings, add $80. The seven-course dinner is $135 wine pairings are an additional $95. Andre’s Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-798-7151.

Chef Shuffle

CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Las Vegas to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from yesteryear. Aristocrat, R.I.P.

CULINARY EVENTS
Want to learn to cook? Try new dishes? Meet a foodie friend for fun? Check out our compilation of culinary events in your area.


Michelin Star Restaurant in Los Angeles

Los Angeles’s City of Angels has a lot to offer. From a delicious food scene to the incredible fine arts culture, Los Angeles takes pride in their diversity, community, and opportunity. In fact, many people that choose to live here in LA feel a great sense of pride in their city. After all, Los Angeles is one of the few places in the world where people from all over can come to see their dreams put into reality, achieve their lifelong goals, and reach their ultimate potential. Leading with creativity, innovation, culture, and experience, Los Angeles is brimming with opportunity for those willing to reach out and grab it. It’s what sets our City of Angels apart from the rest.

While many actors, artists, performers, and other creatives find their place in Los Angeles and surrounding neighborhoods like the famous Beverly Hills, there is one fine art scene that provides an experience unlike any other: the food scene. Known for their incredibly diverse cuisine options, many infamous chefs from around the world start their restaurants right here in Los Angeles, providing the community with an art form you can experience all through your plate. What’s more is right next door, you can enjoy a wide variety of Michelin Star Restaurants, right in Beverly Hills. Click here to read more about the top restaurants in Beverly Hills.

As the food scene gains popularity, and competition gets stiff, there are a few worth noting that are rising above the rest. Achieving a Michelin star restaurant in Los Angeles is no easy task as most restaurants work for years before they see that shiny star. With a new year underway, there are a few restaurants that are making big waves in LA. While LA does not have any three star Michelin restaurants as of now, these two star restaurants may be on the verge of that golden three. Here are the top three Michelin star restaurants in the beautiful city of Los Angeles.


The Academy of Saint Joseph: An Exclusive Private School in Greenwich Village

Down a beautiful old world street in the middle of Greenwich Village in New York City lives a private school with an enormous heart. The type of heart that is inclusive and accepting, that caters to the values and ethics of traditions and beliefs. Where parents and children regularly see each other for dinners and play dates, morning assembly that unite parents and children before the day begins, a place where friendships are made for life.

Board of Trustees: Judy McCool, Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Headmistress Angela Coombs, Amanda Shamis, Neil Edward St. Clair

This private School is The Academy of Saint Joseph and this metaphorical heart translates into a strong School culture, with robust and overlapping interactions among all members of the School community.

Ms. Angela Coombs is the Headmistress and in her 40th year as an educator. She is the driving force behind this positive energy that you can see and feel as soon as you enter the building. It’s evident on the walls, in the students and staff, and in every classroom you visit.

“It has been such a privilege to share in the lives of so many children and their families throughout these years. And even more, to watch these children grow up into the finest of young men and women who are building lives of their own, lives that will impact the world. I have had the great honor to attend College graduations and weddings of former students, to serve as a godparent for the children of former students. I have also attended funerals of parents of my students and shared in that grief with them. There is no question that educators have been given a great responsibility when a parent entrusts the care of his/her child to a School but also the greatest of privileges to share in their living and learning.” Says Ms. Coombs.

It is this cohesive thread of developing strong relationships with the families that make AOSJ so special. Parents want a direct line of communication with the teachers and Head of the School, they want to know that their child will be safe and cared for with respect and encouragement. RJ David, a principal with the Carlyle group says “We chose AOSJ for my son Rylan, because it had the right combination of intimate class sizes, challenging curriculum, diverse tight-knit community and religious values. We believe this unique school environment provides a strong foundation for our son to be a well-rounded, high integrity and academically strong leader for the next generation.”

Strong relationships with other International Schools are equally important as AOSJ teaches on a global level, making children aware of other cultures and environments. Le Rosey, the Swiss Boarding school in Rolle Switzerland recently visited, offering a wonderful opportunity and experience provided by their summer camp, and boarding School in the secondary years.

Jacques Bounin, the admissions director of Le Rosey and dear friends with Michelle-Marie Heinemann, who’s daughter Hyacinth is in third grade at AOSJ discussed and welcomed all members of the AOSJ community to visit his School. “I am thrilled that my daughter loves School, and the closeness the parents share is amazing. We spend so much time together away from the School because we genuinely are an extended family. This is the magic of the School, the warmth and kindness amongst each other, and constant concern, the most amazing School culture.” Says Ms. Heinemann.

In the Spring the AOSJ will offer an upcoming tour of Europe. An exclusive travel abroad opportunity that includes a tour of London and Paris with the focus on the most iconic landmarks. Always a highlight on Spring Break!


Cookbooks Every Home Chef Needs to Own in 2021

Looking to master your cooking skills or just starting fresh in the kitchen? A collection of good cookbooks can always come in handy.

Many culinary masters have shared a few of their secrets and wisdom in the pages of their books giving us access to not only a panoply of recipes but also a better understanding (and appreciation) of the diversity of cultures they belong to.

We have selected 10 cookbooks that will not only give you delicious global recipes but also some interesting stories, tips and hacks shared by the authors.

(Main and featured image: Joe Lingeman/Stephanie Yeh/Kitchn)

Arab countries have a rich gastronomic history and Reem Kassis dives into that treasure trove of aromatic cuisines to give us some delightful contemporary interpretations. The book has 130 home recipes, each of which can be prepared easily. The strength of her narrative style is coupled with the visually brilliant photography which lends every dish a standout profile of its own.

Among the dishes are medieval delicacies such as Narjissiya, a hash of fava beans and eggs, and Makmoora, a pot pie made of chicken, onions and pine nuts. Contemporary ones include caramelised butternut squash fatteh and Tahini cheesecake. Simple salads and fragrant desserts also find a place in this pleasing introduction to the charming Arabian culture.

Xi’an Famous Foods is a chain of restaurants in New York City that serve typical western Chinese dishes and have been praised by some of the most famous names in the culinary universe, including the late Anthony Bourdain.

Jason Wang founded the chain in 2005, taking his father’s stall to new heights. The restaurant is spread across 14 locations in the city. In the book, Wang shares recipes of some of the restaurant’s most famous dishes — like Liang pi, a noodle dish made in a bright vinegar sauce and Biang Biang noodles served with cumin lamb. But Wang goes beyond just ‘how to cook’ narrative and traces the journey of his family from Xi’an to the US, the challenges they faced, and how they created their empire of traditional Chinese food.

Sharma was a molecular biologist before he took on cooking and that’s what makes The Flavour Equation unique. With this book, he takes the reader through the science behind cooking in more than 100 recipes. Though science can be off-putting to some, Sharma ensures that his explanations not only sound interesting but are also inspiring. He focusses on flavour, or more precisely, the foundation of taste. He explains ingredients that offer sensations such as bitterness and richness and gives clear instruction on how to get substitutions when you don’t have the exact item to bring out the needed flavour.

Most of the dishes in the book have an Indian base — like crab tikka masala dip, kulfi flavoured with spiced coffee, honey turmeric chicken kebabs with pineapple and coconut milk cake. Sharma also deftly uses his photography skills to produce perfectly-angled pictures which include a few taken using a microscope.

Carrots, carrots and more carrots — Hertzmann’s book is all about the healthy root vegetable and various dishes you can conjure up using it as an ingredient. Among the recipes are carrot gumdrops candies, healthy carrot soup and the evergreen macaroni cooked with carrot powder for which the procedure is separately explained.

This book is also educative for anyone who wants to learn some cooking techniques. You will find unique ways to slice, dice or bâtonnet (cut into thin stick-like shape) carrots as well as lucidly explained complex methods such as salt-fermented carrots and acid fermentation. Did you know that salt concentration for pickling a carrot should be three percent? Hertzmann’s years of cookery teaching knowledge is evident as he goes about engaging, instructing and encouraging the reader throughout the book.

Through the eyes and experiences of native bibis (or grandmothers), this outstanding cookbook takes us along a delightful culinary and intensely personal journey of eight East African nations: Somalia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Eritrea.

Hassan interviewed the bibis, some now residing in the US, who shared their recipe of a native dish of their choice. Among them is Ma Shara from Zanzibar who reveals the secret behind her famous Ajemi bread with carrots and green pepper Eritrea’s Ma Gehennet lays bare the process of making Shiro, a vegan stew of ground chickpea flour, water, chilli, onion and garlic. Ma Vicky, a New York resident, describes how to make a delicious Tanzanian dish Matoke, stewed plantains served with beef and beans. There are more such delightful recipes covered in the book.

Hassan, who lives in New York, was only four years old when her family had to flee their native Somalia to escape the civil war. Thus, her own life was an inspiration for the book’s focus on the culinary culture of East Africa. Khadija Farah was behind the lens for the captivating on-location photographs and Jennifer May took the food.

With 150 recipes, celebrity chef Samuelsson paints a mosaic of history, culture and diversity of contemporary Black chefs and their dishes. His honest mission to highlight the amazing ingenuity and deliciousness of a culinary culture not given its due in America can be felt on every page of the book.

The roots of the recipes lie in Africa, the Caribbean and the southern United States and is a mix of every day as well as celebratory cooking of the African diaspora. Some of these include the grilled short ribs with a piri-piri marinade and saffron tapioca pudding, crab curry with yams and mustard greens, and spiced catfish with pumpkin leche de tigre.

The dishes are dedicated to over two dozen chefs, writers and activists, whose profiles by Endolyn, form the bedrock of The Rise. Some of the illustrious names featured are Edouardo Jordan, Nyesha Arrington, Michael Twitty and Jessica B. Harris.

Winner of numerous honours including the prestigious 2018 James Beard Award in the General category, this New York Times best-seller is considered to be one of the best to have hit the shelves (and the kitchens) in recent years. Nosrat successfully breaks down culinary flavours into four elements: salt, fat, acid and heat. According to her, salt enhances flavour, fat amplifies it, acid balances it, and heat eventually determines the texture of the food itself.

Through the book, Nosrat talks about why understanding the elements are essential to cooking and explains how a combination of these can help create perfect dishes. There are hand-drawn illustrations (by Wendy MacNaughton) that simplify much of the science of flavours. Among more than 100 recipes from around the world are ways to make perfectly caramelised roast vegetables, flaky pastry dough and tender braised meats.

The book’s success led to a 2018 adaptation into a Netflix documentary of the same name. Nosrat is seen travelling to four different places for experiences of each of the elements — Japan for salt, Italy for fat, Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula for acid, and her own home in California for heat.

Despite the pandemic preventing Kim from going on a multi-city tour for the book’s promotion, My Korea received positive reviews. This perhaps explains why the cookbook is essential for anyone eager to learn about Korean cuisine. Through the book, Kim, who is the founder-owner of two Korean restaurants in New York City — Danji and Hanjan, shares his remarkable knowledge of Korea’s culinary traditions. As a Korean raised and educated in England and the US, Kim shares his journey of understanding his native country’s food through the dishes he ate in these countries and during a few trips to Korea. He also explains how he learnt to cook Korean food during his stint with iconic Japanese chef Masa Takayama at the latter’s eponymous restaurant in NYC.

Along with the usual kimchi, bulgogi and bibimbap, you will also find recipes for dishes like the spicy braised chicken as well as the method to make a palatable steamed egg custard with salted shrimp among others. Tips such as how club soda or freezing the batter helps make a good scallion pancake are included too. The photographs help the dishes appear lifelike and in cases such as fermentation of cabbage, the entire year-long process is depicted through photo essays.

My Korea will perhaps remain the only book by Kim, who told Forbes in 2020, “Look, it’s not a restaurant. I’m going to open more restaurants. This is only book I’m going to write, so I wanted to make it good.”

The cookbook is named after the award-winning blog by Esteban Castillo, the American born son of undocumented Mexican immigrants. The word Chicano is the masculine term for people of Mexican descent born in the US. It is also the name used to refer to the cuisine which is influenced by the shared cultures of Mexico and its northern neighbour.

Castillo was inspired to start the blog after he saw that the recipes passed off as Mexican in American food blogs were anything but that. He brought together his experiences as a Mexican-American, the traditional cooking style of his relatives in Colima, stories of Latin people in the US, and the recipes of food cooked in Mexican households. The bilingual book contains 85 traditional and fusion recipes, for which one might require both Mexican ingredients such as chiles, tortillas and tomatillos as well as local ones found across America.

Among the foods included with preparation details are chicken con chochoyotes, dumplings made with chicken and corn masa flour Duvalin Jello, a dessert with layers of strawberry pink, creamy vanilla and chocolate-hazelnut and Tejuino, a fermented sweet and light drink with roots that go back to pre-Columbian Mexico.

Greece, one of the world’s oldest civilisations, is the original home of Mediterranean cuisine. Even commonly used ingredients of our times, such as olive oil, wine, figs, grapes and cheese, have been in regular use here since ancient times. This culinary history, also part of modern Greek cooking, can be seen through more than 100 recipes presented by Vefa Alexiadou — a widely respected figure in the country for her many successful cookbooks, television cookery show Morning Coffee and cookware business.

Most of the Greek food is easy to prepare, healthy and delicious and is quite popular around the world. Thus, besides the traditional fare, the book also features recipes by globally renowned chefs who have given their own twist to Greek dishes. Its 230 photographs of the different dishes and the country’s beautiful landscapes will make you feel like packing your bags and visit Greece now.

Recognised by the media as the “first lady of Greek cuisine,” Alexiadou was included in Gourmand World Cookbook Awards’ “The Best of the Best 1995-2020.” She is also won the Best Mediterranean Cookbook in Greek from the Salon International Livre Gourmand of Perigueux, France, in 2000.


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