Daily Dish The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
Q&A: David Gelb on 'Chef's Table,' Netflix series featuring 6 obsessive chefs

In pitching his six-part docu-series, “Chef’s Table," which debuts April 26 on Netflix, creator David Gelb’s bestselling point was “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” his 2011 documentary about Tokyo’s most esteemed sushi master, Jiro Ono.

Gelb’s promise — to have each of the half-dozen episodes focus on a successful chef with a life story as compelling, doubt-filled and quirk-riddled as Ono’s — is aptly borne out in the cast of characters assembled.

Niki Nakayama of n/naka represents Los Angeles; Attica Restaurant's Ben Shewry is from Melbourne, Australia; and Magnus Nilsson built his reputation in the remote town of Jarpen, Sweden. Other episodes of “Chef’s Table” will focus on New York’s Dan Barber of Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns and Manhattan, Italy’s Massimo Bottura of Francescana in Modena, and Argentina’s Francis Mallmann. 

Recently we caught up with Gelb to talk about finding the subjects for “Chef’s Table,” why Bottura’s bullying older brothers can take partial credit for one of his...

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12 recipes for new potatoes

Despite what menu writers and produce marketers might want you to believe, every small potato is not a "new potato," and every new potato is not small. The real new potato — one that has just been dug and not dried — is a very special springtime treat. 

To understand new potatoes, you need to know something about regular potatoes, which are grown and harvested with an eye toward long-term storage.

About 99% of all the potatoes you’ll ever eat have been grown to maturity, dug from the ground and then “cured” — stored for a period of 10 days to two weeks in a climate-controlled environment. This toughens up the peel and reduces the amount of moisture in the potato to help it last longer without spoiling.

Truly new potatoes are sold right after they've been dug, without any curing. They’re higher in moisture so they have a little creamier texture, and their flavor has, to my taste, a slight bitterness that complements their earthiness.

Though “new potato” is usually used to describe small...

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Counter Intelligence: Batter up! 15 hot dogs that are out of the park, and a naan starter
'Yucatán,' Barbara Kafka top James Beard book awards

David Sterling's "Yucatán: Recipes From a Culinary Expedition,” published by University of Texas Press' William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture, was honored as the best cookbook of the year Friday night at the prestigious James Beard awards in New York.

In the lavishly illustrated book, Sterling, who runs a cooking school in Mexico, pulls together the various ethnic and cultural strands that make up Yucatecan cooking -- influences from France, Spain and Portugal, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

This is the second big win for the book. "Yucatán" had earlier won the first $10,000 Art of Eating prize for the best cookbook of the year.

Also Friday night, longtime author Barbara Kafka was inducted into the cookbook hall of fame. She joins Diana Kennedy and Anne Willan as winners since the category was switched in 2013 to reflect authors rather than specific books.

Kafka, a protege of Beard, is the author of numerous cookbooks including...

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Los Angeles craft breweries take home medals

The results of the 2015 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition are in, and the list of winners is heavy with SoCal breweries and brewpubs, including a dozen wins for L.A.-area craft beer producers.

The competition is organized by Fairplex as a part of the Los Angeles County Fair. After an open call for entries from commercial breweries, the judging took place over Saturday and Sunday, and medals were awarded in over 80 style categories, inclduing American IPAs, sour beers and traditional German and British styles.

Two L.A. brewpubs each took home a trio of medals. Agoura Hills’ Ladyface Ale Companie took home silver medals in the Marzen and English IPA categories. The winning marzen, Conejo, is a particularly excellent example of a style rarely seen in Los Angeles. It was also awarded a bronze in the Wood-and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for its Verruckt Weizen.

A product of the brewpub’s burgeoning barrel program, this soured weizenbock is a novel combination of tradition...

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Fritzi Dog will open in downtown, with carrot dogs

Downtown dwellers need to prepare for the carrot dog. 

Neal Fraser, who serves a sous-vide whole carrot on a bun at his hot dog stand at the Original Farmers Market, is bringing his dogs and carrots downtown.

Fraser will open a location of Fritzi Dog at Vibiana, just a stone's throw from his other restaurant, Redbird, on Monday. 

He'll be serving hot dogs Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can expect the full Fritzi Dog menu, along with a new dog called the Smoky Snappy. It's a beef and pork dog with snap, and a little smoke. 

And if you're into the idea of carrot dogs, you can order them topped with crispy Brussels sprouts, warm sauerkraut, parsley gremolata, cheese and super spicy mustard — not all on the same dog. Although if you really want to, go right ahead. 

If you buy any dog and drink, an order of tots or fries is free. 

I have a thing for danger dogs and I don't care who knows. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

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