Newsletter: Counter: Manhattan Beach, Italy and the life of pie

Practice and the ability to watch an experiences pie maker are keys to getting comfortable with pie baking.
Practice and the ability to watch an experiences pie maker are keys to getting comfortable with pie baking.
(Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times)

Cheers everybody,

Jonathan is still on vacation, which you can tell by reading his emailed-in travelogue posts detailing his road trip eating in Italy. When in Modena, you eat — and you write languorous prose about it, at least if you're Jonathan. 

Back in L.A., the rest of us are also eating, of course. Jenn Harris has been sampling Manhattan Beach and I've been eating a lot of pie. And thinking about pie, as have Evan Kleiman (who thinks about pie fairly permanently), and pastry chef Roxana Jullapat. What about pie? How to make it, how to use whole grains in the crust, how to fill said crust with strawberries and how to make a Key lime pie. Evan tells us that pie is about practice and watchfulness. More than many desserts, it's a state of mind.

And be on the lookout for Wednesday's In the Kitchen newsletter, with cooking tips and news, including new recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.

Amy Scattergood

Life of pie

This week, KCRW "Good Food" host Kleiman writes an essay about how pie is more a state of mind than a recipe, Jullapat demonstrates a great strawberry pie in our Test Kitchen, Amy considers how using whole grains in your crust can make even better pies and Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette talks about her own life of pie. 

Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times

A Manhattan Beach food crawl

Manhattan Beach is not only a place for beach volleyball; in the last few years, it's become a real food town. This is thanks largely to chef David LeFevre, who recently opened his third restaurant there. Jenn has spent a lot of time eating and drinking in those and other great places, and she gives us a round-up of her 10 favorites

Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times

Jonathan's summer road trip

Because even though he's supposed to be on vacation, the man can't help writing about what he's eating. In this case, various restaurants in Modena, where he and his family have been having a languorous time of it, eating spaghetti and bolito misto — and porchetta from food trucks — in the triple-digit heat. 

Jonathan Gold / Los Angeles Times

Napa's early harvest

S. Irene Virbila reports on the crazy early grape harvest in Napa Valley this year, talking to various winemakers and growers about what's going on in wine country and what it means for those of us who buy and drink the stuff. 

Randy Johnson / Napa Valley Vintners

Latin-Korean ramen

Love both ramen and Mexican food? Well, now you can get both of them at the same time, sort of. We check out the newish Sopita Ramen near Koreatown, a ramenya from a Korean chef who grew up in Uruguay and spent time in Brazil. A perfect mash-up for this town.

Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee

Noma Australia

Rene Redzepi continues his traveling pop-up show, taking his Copenhagen restaurant Noma from Japan to Sydney. In January, Redzepi will again close his Danish restaurant and reopen it in Australia for a 10-week run. More reasons, as if you needed them, to take a vacation Down Under. 

Jason Loucas

What we're reading

A consideration of the various French fry toppings around the world — from poutine to disco fries to something dreamed up by a Rotterdam hairdresser — at Lucky Peach.

More thoughts on our country's "endlessly arcane and unhealthy" sugar policy, from Marion Nestle's Food Politics blog. 

Check out the thousands of recipes in our Recipe Database


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