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Chef of the moment: GC Marketplace's Gary Arabia loves pork belly Benedict

Chef of the moment Gary Arabia, of GC Marketplace, squeals for pork belly Benedict

Gary Arabia is the founder and chef of the new GC Marketplace, a food hall that includes a French-style boulangerie, house-made pizza and sandwiches, a cheese and charcuterie counter, coffee and a retail wine space. Best known for his large-scale event production and catering company, Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia, the chef has produced the food, lighting and decor for events for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and celebrity clients.

At GC Marketplace, Arabia teamed up with executive chef James Dame and his wife, executive pastry chef Kelly Dame, to create a menu that includes pork belly Benedict with poached eggs on brioche toast; crab and truffle risotto with Dungeness crab; bánh mi with spicy chicken, pickled vegetables and Sriracha spread; and house-cured salmon pastrami. There’s also a 12-seat chef’s table and a selection of full to-go meals for entertaining at home.

Latest ingredient obsession? Iberico de Bellota Pata Negra from Spain. I think this is the finest ham in the world, which is why I decided it was a necessary addition to our charcuterie counter at GC Marketplace.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again -- and what do you order? I love the Lobster in Santa Monica, and I generally have the seared diver scallops. It’s one of those places I always find myself going back to. I also recently went to Water Grill and had the most amazing live steamed Alaskan king crab.

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? Rational Oven and my sous-vide machine. Both amazing pieces of equipment.

What’s your favorite breakfast? Hands down, pork belly Benedict. What’s better than pork and eggs, smothered in hollandaise sauce?

What chef has most influenced you? Many chefs have influenced me. The ones who immediately come to mind are Tommy Tang, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Eric Ripert. I am a big fan of them all.

GC Marketplace, 3315 Cahuenga Blvd. W., Los Angeles, (323) 645-5269, www.gcmarketplace.com

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