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Our team expands (!), plus Sinaloan food and cannabis cooking

Happy Saturday. This weekend was a long time coming for many folks as we prepare for Thanksgiving and give thanks for more than what’s on our tables. If you’re still planning your menu, refer to our recent stories for both an upscale and a more traditional holiday dinner. If you’ve got that covered and are looking a bit off the menu, we have an abundance of stories this week about cooking with cannabis. There’s a glossary of terms and lists of edibles and cookbooks. They’re meant to serve as introductions for novices but also cater to those experienced in putting pot into, well, pots.

The big news this week is our hiring of three additions to our Food team, including two restaurant critics. This is the culmination of a long search following the death of our beloved critic Jonathan Gold, and we’re very happy to welcome them to our table. Enjoy your weekend.

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WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME

The Los Angeles Times headquarters in El Segundo in July, with a silhouette of late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold projected on the side.
The Los Angeles Times headquarters in El Segundo in July, with a silhouette of late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold projected on the side. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

A big welcome to Bill Addison, Patricia Escárcega and Lucas Peterson, all of whom are joining our Food section. Bill and Patricia will be our new restaurant critics, and Lucas will be doing food videos and writing food and travel stories. Our section, our coverage and our communal table just got bigger, which is terrific news for all of us. And we will always have a chair at that table for Jonathan.

IN PRAISE OF SINALOAN SEAFOOD

Adina and Oscar Soto and their food truck, El Doctor del Valle.
Adina and Oscar Soto and their food truck, El Doctor del Valle. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

If you love Sinaloan-style seafood, there’s a food truck you should know about, which food writer Hadley Tomicki reports about in addition to his news column (breakfast burritos! Ippudo ramen!). It’s called El Doctor del Valle, and it’s parked on Reseda Boulevard in Northridge. The truck was named for owner Oscar Soto’s father, who made and sold aguachiles and campechanas out of the back of his van. Now Soto and his wife sell ceviches, aguachiles, cócteles de mariscos, tacos and quesadillas from their own truck.

CANNABIS COOKBOOKS

Cannabis cookbooks that go beyond brownies.
Cannabis cookbooks that go beyond brownies. (Illustration by Kagan McLeod / For The Times; photos from Ten Speed Press; Chronicle Books; Inkshares; Mango Publishing; Skyhorse Publishing)

As cannabis is legalized in this state and others — although it is still illegal under federal law — it’s making its way into more mainstream cookbooks. I take a look at six published recently that take pot cooking from rudimentary brownies to more sophisticated applications. Think grilled steak with chimichurri made with canna-oil, or French macarons with canna-butter in the lemon curd filling, or hot chocolate made with cannabis-infused cream.

EDIBLES TO TRY

We offer a list of some of the bestselling edibles at local dispensaries.
We offer a list of some of the bestselling edibles at local dispensaries. (Kagan McLeod / For The Times)

Cooking a confit octopus with cannabis may not be your speed, so we have a list of some of the edibles currently on the market. Recently, as Adam Tschorn writes, the quality THC-infused products available for those 21 and older have included things as craveable as spiked chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-covered espresso beans and lots of fruit-flavored gummies. Just be sure to keep these sweets for those who know how and when to consume them.

WINE COUNTRY UPDATE

The Woolsey fire destroyed multiple vineyards in the Malibu area, including those at Malibu Solstice.
The Woolsey fire destroyed multiple vineyards in the Malibu area, including those at Malibu Solstice. (Donald Schmitz)

The Woolsey fire has been utterly devastating to people and property, and also to Malibu wine country. The fire reached nearly half of the Malibu Coast viticultural area of 45,000 acres, reports wine writer Patrick Comiskey. Though only about 200 acres were planted, the destruction has forced some to rethink the business. Some folks will replant, others say they’ll retire. Some note the “firewall effect” of the vines and are grateful it wasn’t worse.

101 Restaurants We Love: On the evening of Dec. 3, a celebration of Los Angeles’ top restaurants brings together the best of the best, serving you samples from their acclaimed menus. Join us as we reveal the Los Angeles Times’ 101 Restaurants We Love list for 2018. You’ll enjoy unlimited bites from our handpicked favorites, along with craft cocktails and live music. At the MacArthur, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; tickets are $135.

Check us out on Instagram at @latimesfood.

And don’t forget the thousands of recipes in our California Cookbook recipe database.

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Feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com.

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