Welcome to Menuism's Interviews with chefs, food bloggers, experts, and culinary leaders. Not sure where to start? Check out what Doug Quint of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck had to say, or meet Thi an Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen in Los Angeles. Get to know Don Russell of Joe Sixpack, and Debbie Thomas of Thomas Hill Organics.
Stella Barra's Mushroom Pizza. All photos by Bun Boy Eats LA

Stella Barra’s Mushroom Pizza. All photos by Bun Boy Eats LA

I’m not gonna lie, when I walked into Stella Barra on a Friday night, I assumed it would be a ghost town.

Not anything against the restaurant… just the location. It’s kind of cursed. I’ve been to some of the prior attempts (the ghosts of restaurants past), and they didn’t exactly stick. I’m surprised by this, since it’s a prime location: right next to the Arclight Theater on Sunset Blvd. Apparently, moviegoers will pay $15 for a tub of popcorn but are more discerning when it comes to pre-movie eats. (more…)

Posted by on June 18th, 2013

Lauren_DeitschWe’re excited to welcome Menuism’s new expert on chocolate, Lauren Deitsch! Lauren spends her day dreaming up new chocolate recipes for Lake Champlain Chocolates in Burlington, VT. Get to know Lauren a little better by reading her interview below, and check out her first lesson on the proper way to store chocolate!

Describe your history with chocolate.
My first memory of chocolate was at the ice cream stand as a child making what I thought was the grandest decision of my life… chocolate or vanilla. The pressure was on. You can probably guess what I chose on that warm summer day! Since then, I enjoyed many a chocolate cone, broke off countless pieces of Kit Kat, and dunked more Oreos that I can remember. However, it wasn’t until studying at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) that I was introduced to fine chocolate. (more…)

Posted by on March 19th, 2013

Madeline Puckette of Wine Folly

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to welcome Madeline Puckette to Menuism as our new expert on wine! Her first article will premiere this Thursday. We were sad when Etty Lewensztain moved on, as she has been a wonderful voice on our blog. But we know Madeline will be just as fantastic as Etty, having already contributed some great articles, including The Problem with Wine by the Glass (and the Solution), Pinot Noir, the King of Spring, and Fundamentals of Food and Wine Pairing. Madeline is the host of winefolly.com, a wine learning website serving up wine courses, videos and articles to inspire wine drinkers everywhere. Get to know Madeline even better with her interview below, and help us welcome her to the Menuism Blog! – KK (more…)

Posted by on November 13th, 2012

If it’s not broke, most of us have learned not to fix it. But that’s not how James Beard Award winner RJ Cooper of Rogue24 and Shannon Ambrosio of the Come N Get It BBQ truck see classic foods.

In the first episode of the new web series Chefs of Anarchy, Cooper, Ambrosio, and Joy Wilson set out to recreate the iconic pork dumpling, served by the thousands at Dumpling Man in New York City. Their solution? Braise the pig’s head — tongue, cheek meat, and ears for added crunch — and pair with a perfectly immersion circulator-cooked egg yolk so it explodes at first bite. Upon seeing the pig’s head, Lucas Lin, owner of Dumpling Man, was skeptical. “I don’t think our customer can handle an ingredient looking back at them,” he remarked. But after poaching the pig’s head dumplings in pork broth and searing them in lard (despite Cooper’s open-heart surgery earlier this year), Lin exclaimed, “they’ve been making dumplings hundreds of years, but none taste like this!” A version of the anarchized creation premiered last Friday on Rogue24’s fall menu. (more…)

Posted by on October 8th, 2012

We’re happy to welcome Michelle Kretzer as our new expert on vegan dining! Michelle blogs for the PETA Files and has a contagious passion for meatless eating. Learn more about Michelle below, and look for her first column tomorrow. – KK

What prompted you to start eating vegan?

While pursuing my journalism degree, I took an agriculture course as an elective. Part of the curriculum concerned factory farming, and I was shocked when I learned how these farms force animals to live in filthy conditions, routinely mutilate their bodies, and haul them through all weather extremes to painful and terrifying deaths. I immediately decided that I could not continue to give my money to factory farms and financially support that cruelty to animals. So I stopped, just like that. (more…)

Posted by on September 25th, 2012

We’re delighted to welcome Kim Thompson as a regular contributor and Menuism sustainable seafood expert! Get to know Kim a little bit better below, see the guest post she wrote last month for National Seafood Month, and watch out for her future articles in this space. Her first contribution on Bristol Bay salmon will post tomorrow morning. Please help us welcome Kim in the comments! – KK (more…)

Posted by on July 16th, 2012

Gilda Valdez Carbonaro and Gilda Claudine Karasik are the authors of Dos Gildas, a blog dedicated to authentic Mexican cuisine, recipes, and stories surrounding the Latin culture. Dos Gildas, or “Two Gildas,” refers to the first name they both share. In fact, Gilda Claudine (sometimes called Dini) is Gilda Carbonaro’s namesake. Dos Gildas has been recognized by NBC Latino as a “Blog We Love” and we at Menuism agree! (more…)

Posted by on June 28th, 2012

Artists working at a restaurant to support their art may be cliché. But artists creating a restaurant as a type of performance art in itself? That’s original.

Meet Dawn Weleski, one of the cofounders of Conflict Kitchen, a Pittsburgh take-out restaurant serving up foods from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict militarily, diplomatically, or otherwise. Every three months, the concept changes, including its menu, outside décor, food wrappers, and a billboard atop the restaurant overlooking the East Liberty neighborhood. The restaurant’s specialties have rotated through Iranian kubideh (a minced meat kabob), Afghan bolani (a vegan flatbread), Venezuelan arepas (stuffed corn cakes) and now, Cuban lecho asado, a roast pork dish in mojo marinade. (more…)

Posted by on June 14th, 2012

Marla Gulley Roncaglia is an American expat living in the Italian Alps. She and her husband run a bed and breakfast named Bella Baita, where they are active supporters of the slow food movement. Get to know our new Italian food expert with the following Q&A, and please help welcome Marla to the Menuism community! (more…)

Posted by on May 15th, 2012

A shining example of corporate social responsibility, Pangeo Coffee uses proceeds from its online coffee sales to fund development work in and around coffee-growing villages of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Working with Global Hope Network International, Pangeo aims to elevate these villages out of severe poverty by teaching low-cost, low-tech, and locally available ways to get clean water, grow food, reduce disease, and build schools, all with an emphasis on self-sustainment. I spoke with Pangeo’s CEO, Jeff Power, about his work. (more…)

Posted by on April 12th, 2012

Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen
Craft Beer

David R. Chan

David R. Chan
Chinese Restaurant

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich
Fast Food

Justin Chen

Justin Chen
Menuism Co-Founder

John Li

John Li
Menuism Co-Founder

Kim Kohatsu

Kim Kohatsu
Managing Editor