Daily Dish The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
Spend 90 minutes basting asparagus? If Alain Passard says so

Alain Passard is a genius chef, of that there can be no doubt. But he must also be a genius salesman. How else can I explain why I spent 90 minutes spooning hot butter over asparagus Saturday night?

Passard is the chef at three-star l’Arpege in Paris. He’s also the author of a couple of cookbooks that have been translated into English. But perhaps more to this point, he's the star of a series of utterly inspiring cooking videos on the website of the Parisian newspaper Le Point. I don’t speak French, but I am spellbound by these. 

At their best, Passard explains with an almost childlike enthusiasm how to combine unexpected flavors with simple yet ingenious cooking techniques. 

Cook sliced apples and endive leaves very slowly in butter until they’re golden and cooked through. Top with a little more butter and grate some licorice root over top. Gorgeous.

One of Passard’s best-known -- and simplest -- recipes is one he calls Les Asperges a la Verticale (in English, Stand-Up Asparagus). There...

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Josh Ozersky, food editor of Esquire magazine, dies at 47

The well-loved food writer Josh Ozersky, food editor of Esquire magazine, was found dead in his Chicago hotel room Monday morning.

He had written about restaurants under the byline Mr. Cutlets for the New York Daily News, pioneered food blogging at New York magazine’s Grub Street, written about food for Time, and founded Meatopia, a riotous celebration of carnivorousness that popped up in New York, London, Florida and Pebble Beach.

His books included a biography of Col. Sanders and a social history of hamburgers. He was in Chicago to cover the James Beard Foundation restaurant awards ceremony for Esquire. Ozersky was 47.

Ozersky — New York magazine critic Adam Platt used to call him the Grand Mullah of Ozerkistan — was nothing more or less than the sum of his appetites; pure id. He was always getting into the kind of jams that would have ended anybody else's career, most notably the time he got a who's who of New York chefs to cater his wedding reception for free, then wrote about it in...

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Easy dinner recipes: Simple pasta ideas in 30 minutes or less

Keep it fast and easy with dinner tonight. These three pasta recipes come together in 30 minutes or less:

Tagliolini al limone: You'll love the wonderful simplicity of this dish: Fresh basil and a touch of lemon are infused with a little heavy cream, which is cooked down just until it thickens, then poured over pasta. Topped with fresh grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper, it makes for a remarkably easy but elegant meal.

Spaghetti with crushed black pepper and pecorino cheese: Why clutter pasta with sauces and too many add-ins when you can keep it simple? A little fresh cracked pepper and grated cheese is all it takes to turn basic noodles into a tempting dish. Dinner is ready in almost no time.

Shell pasta salad with lemon zest: Sweet cherry tomatoes and vibrant zucchini strips lend bright colors to this pasta salad, and the fresh lemon zest adds a nice zing. The pasta salad comes together in minutes, the flavors rounded out with fresh chopped basil and rich Parmigiano-Reggiano. You...

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Mattei's Tavern sommelier Eric Railsback on Barbera for summer drinking

Eric Railsback, one of the founders of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in Santa Barbara, left that project recently to join Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos as wine director. As such, he’s a sommelier who still works the floor, four days a week.

He’s also involved in making wine with his college buddy Justin Willett of Tyler Winery in Lompoc. Under the Lieu Dit label, the two are making wines inspired by France’s Loire Valley. That means whites made from Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne and Sauvignon Blanc.

“Cabernet Franc is our main red, styled after Chinon,” says Railsback, referring to the well-known Cabernet Franc appellation in the Loire Valley. “And then we make Cot (the name for Malbec in the Loire) and a little Pinot Rosé and Pinot Noir. All from Santa Barbara.”

Sommeliers get to taste a lot of wines in the course of even one week. Mattei’s Tavern already had an extensive wine list, and has just added just under three thousand older Burgundies and Rhones that are ready to drink...

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The 2015 James Beard Awards: pig roasts and Alton Brown on guitar

For the first time in its 25-year history, the James Beard Awards, which concluded Monday night, were held not in New York City but in Chicago. And boy, did Chicago roll out the red carpet for the restaurant awards. (The journalism and book awards took place in New York the previous week.)

Banners along Michigan Avenue’s “magnificent mile” welcomed the 25th annual James Beard Awards. Chicago restaurants gave parties the weekend before the Monday night ceremony, so many that Uber seemed to be always on surge pricing as attendees moved from venue to venue. The smart ones walked — and logged in the miles in this very walkable city.

The Purple Pig gave a party for Brooklyn’s Maison Premiere and San Francisco’s Trick Dog, both nominated for Best Bar Program. Three Dots and a Dash had a pig roast and tiki party with Tim Hollingsworth of Barrel & Ashes in Studio City doing the pig honors with Bub City’s Christian Eckmann. The two started rubbing down that pig with rum and pineapple 27 hours before...

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Cinco de Mayo: 25 recipes to celebrate

Happy Cinco de Mayo. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico's victory over French forces in 1862. Here in the U.S., it's an excuse to celebrate the food and drink introduced by our neighbors to the south. And, for many people, no fiesta would be complete without guacamole and margaritas.

We've compiled 25 of our favorite recipes to celebrate the occasion. Whether you're looking for a simple snack, savory main or sweet finish, we've got some tempting offerings. Did we mention cocktails?

From carne asada tacos to ceviche, enchiladas, quesadillas and more, many dishes are easily assembled with very little active time. Don't forget the chiles rellenos or the creamy flan. We've also got not one, but three margarita recipes to choose from, as well as a classic recipe for guacamole, which you can also find below. 

GUACAMOLE

Total time: 10 minutes | Makes 2 cups

Note: Molcajetes, lava stone mortar and pestles, are widely available at Latino markets and selected cookware stores.

2 heaping tablespoons...

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