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  • A Quick Interview with Chef Jude

    JkU7MBDhCWyEuqDaOikwLJ4Su0EdqMm-8WSYSOZLr2Q,10fy-G6v_RQ72L0zvgZX69XVajIUaseQQ_k2uhu4kS4 Jude Parra-Sickels, Executive Chef at POT

     

    We had a quick interview with Jude Parra-Sickels, the Executive Chef at POT and he was able to give us some insights into what it takes to be in the restaurant industry.


    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    What He Does:  Executive Chef at POT in the LINE Hotel


    • How did you end up at POT?

    I’ve been working with Roy Choi now for about 5 years. I was the chef de cuisine at A-Frame, and also at Sunny Spot. So coming over to this project was just a natural progression and I’ve been on it for almost 2 years. I was the opening Executive Chef here at POT.

    • Were there a lot of changes when you started the restaurant?

    The hotel went through a complete remodel. The kitchen was completely torn out and redone; floor, walls, equipment…everything.

    • What’s the best part about being at POT?

    I love our food. I’m proud of our food. It makes me happy to serve it to people every day. And I like being a part of the hustle and bustle of the hotel space. And also, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a little bit with this job. We were able to go and cook in Copenhagen at the MAD Symposium and also travel to New Orleans to do a dinner out there with Emeril.

    • Any new restaurant trends?

    Between work and my kids, I don’t get to get out to restaurants as much as I would like. I try to follow and stay up as much as I can. Not that it’s not out there and happening, but I don’t think I’m the best person to comment on that.

    • If you could go back to the beginning of your career, is there a tip that you would give yourself? Or perhaps for a young chef or someone interested in cooking?

    What I would say is to start young, but also be ready in your personal maturity and growth. I’ve seen a lot of young cooks who had talent or good opportunities who squandered it. Because even though they might have been in an amazing position, they were too young and stupid to realize it and capture their opportunities. The younger you start, the more advantages you have later in your career, but you have to be ready spiritually to set out on this journey. And that can be difficult for a young person to see that far down the road.

    • What age did you get started cooking?

    I was probably mid-20s.

    • What is the biggest challenge of working in a restaurant?

    The biggest challenge I guess is just consistency, and all the things that go into that. And when I say consistency, I don’t only mean having food come out at a high level consistently, [even though] that’s certainly a huge part of it. But in order to have your food come out at a consistently high level, you have to be consistent in your day to day operations; in your habits, in your staffing, training and every movement you make. Honing in on a routine and practice that will result in a high quality product. [And] tying all that together, which involves a lot of moving parts; people, ordering, organization, cleaning and everything that is coming and going.


     

    Our "Ask the Chef"  series talks to chefs, food bloggers, and creative foodies to learn about their inspirations, tips, thoughts on cuisine, and more. We'll be bringing you a variety of new guests and the topics that keep them cooking. Do you know someone that should be featured, or questions you think we should ask? Message Us!

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  • Top 5 Lazy Day Summer Recipes

    School is out and we are ready to enjoy this warm summer weather! It's time to ditch the work shoes, slip on some flip flops and reconnect with your favorite sunshine hobbies. The days are more active and your schedule fills up before you know it. We’ve rounded out our top 5 recipes for the lazy days of summer…Enjoy!

    Vegan Pineapple Cheesecake POWER BOWL

    Vegan pineapple cheesecake power bowl

    This tart & crunchy breakfast bowl is packed with fiber, vitamins & essential enzymes. It’s the perfect light snack to prepare for a day by the pool! And heck, it's just plain pretty.

    Tomato Blueberry Tofu Salad

    Gluten Free | Vegan Tomato Blueberry Tofu Salad  | Tomato Blueberry Tofu Salad is loaded with tons of flavor and freshness, while the tofu gives you that protein you desire. This dish is gluten-free, healthy, vegan and vegetarian. - A Healthy Life For Me |  ahealthylifeforme.com

    And from AHealthyLifeForMe.com we have a summery treat packed with antioxidants. This simple salad is best served cold near a magnificent view. Feel free to add your own mix of local veggies to kick it up a notch!

    Peach Papaya Shake

    Peach-papaya shake

    Our naturally sweetened Peach Papaya Shake is the ultimate pick-me-up after a long day in the sun. This restorative elixir will help you transition from afternoon to evening activities.

    Tofu Kabobs

    Tofu kabobs

    Because nothing says summer like firing up the old BBQ. Pile these high with your own blend of farm-fresh veggies and enjoy!

    Italian Cheesecake

    Italian cheesecake

    Surprise friends with this light-as-air cheesecake as the sun is setting. Pair with a crisp rose or sparkling wine. Here at the office, this cheesecake is one of our favorites. Give it a try and we think you'll really like it!

    And as always, feel free to give a shout out with your recipes or summer health successes to the #morinucrew on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+.

    ~Mori-Nu

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  • A Quick Interview with La Fuji Mama!

    Rachael Hutchings Rachael Hutchings, author of La Fuji Mama

    We had the opportunity to interview La Fuji Mama, A blogger who is looking to bring a wide variety of world flavors to the table.  Rachael Hutchings, author of La Fuji Mama, has eaten her way around the world, having lived in a variety of fun food locations, including Paris, Tokyo, Yokohama, Memphis, and Los Angeles.


    Location: Lehi, Utah
    What She Does:  Japanese cuisine advocate


    What made you get into blogging?

    I started my blog in February of 2007, about 7 weeks after my first child was born.  We were living in Tokyo, Japan, and I was feeling the need to have a creative space where I could write about some of my experiences, both as a new mom, and as an expat.

    • What did you do before blogging?

    I was attending law school.  Right after I graduated we moved to Japan.  When I started blogging, I was working for the Japan Energy Law Institute, an organization of academics that do research to help influence law and policy in the field of nuclear law.

    • I noticed that you have traveled quite a bit. Do you have a favorite country/city?

    My heart belongs to Japan.  After living there on two different occasions and many more visits, I have grown to love the culture, scenery, people, and food.  After Japan, my next favorite country would probably be Thailand.  What a vibrant country!

    • In your websites about section, you say “food shouldn’t be dumbed down for children”; what do you mean by that?

    So often in our culture we have foods that we categorize as foods that kids will eat, like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.  While I have no problem with these foods, I think that we aren’t giving our children the opportunity to prove us wrong.  Throughout my travels, I have seen children eating all sorts of things that most adults here in the US wouldn’t even touch.  I believe that the food cultures in our individual homes have a defining influence on what our children will, and will not eat.  That being said, there are some who are just going to be pickier than others.  My kids are just as picky as the next, but as they have been exposed to all kinds of foods and flavors throughout their young lives, they have chosen some surprising favorites.

    • What are some of the most interesting trends that you see in food today?

    I have loved the trend of returning to whole foods and ingredients, and it’s a trend that I’m interested in on a personal level.  Other trends are just plain fun, like one of this year’s flavor trends being toast flavor (buttered toast chocolate bars anyone?), or the rise of my favorite sriracha.

    • I also noticed that you like Japanese cuisine; what do you think makes it unique?

    Although it is an Asian cuisine, Japanese food tends to be much more restrained than its other Asian counterparts.  I’ve talked to many people who have described it as bland, because they have expected those bolder Asian flavors that they might be expecting or are used to.  Many dishes focus on subtlety and balance, and some of the most spectacular options are often the most simple.  Japanese cuisine is also very visual.  The Japanese believe that you eat with your eyes first, so a really good meal is also going to be beautiful to look at.

    • What are some tips you have for aspiring food bloggers out there?

    Be yourself!  Although you can learn from what other food bloggers have done, or are doing, embrace your own identity (there is only one you!), and put that on the page.  Too often people get discouraged because they aren’t growing as fast as someone else, or haven’t received the same opportunities.  Food blogging is hard work.  You need to find joy in it, and if you spend all of your time comparing yourself to someone else or posting something just to try and achieve some milestone of “success” you will end up hating it.

    • Do you have any upcoming events or exciting recipes to look forward to?

    My husband and I are traveling to the island of Bali, in Indonesia at the end of May, which has been on our list of places to visit for years.  I plan on collecting inspiration to bring back and turn into some Balinese influenced recipes and posts.


    Our "Ask the Chef"  series talks to chefs, food bloggers, and creative foodies to learn about their inspirations, tips, thoughts on cuisine, and more. We'll be bringing you a variety of new guests and the topics that keep them cooking. Do you know someone that should be featured, or questions you think we should ask? Message Us!

    Read More
  • Tofu and Flavor Tofu and Flavor

    Tofu and Flavor

    Ask ten people how tofu tastes and you will receive ten different answers. Is it nutty? Creamy? Just like chicken? The answer is all of the above. Tofu, which comes in many forms, can have a variety of flavors. It is a widely accepted belief that tofu will adopt the flavor of whatever it is being cooked with. Brown sugar, mushrooms, jalapenos, you name it! The flavor YOU want can be infused with the tofu during the cooking process. Just think of the possibilities! Spicy tofu, salty tofu, mu-shoo tofu, chocolate tofu!

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  • 10 Must-Have Chocolate Desserts for V-Day 10 Must-Have Chocolate Desserts for V-Day

    10 Must-Have Chocolate Desserts for V-Day

    We have searched the Internet to find the best chocolate desserts for V-Day. These guilt-free treats are guaranteed to delight and satisfy! Enjoy…

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  • Tofu & Weight Loss Eating Smarter Tofu & Weight Loss Eating Smarter

    Tofu & Weight Loss Eating Smarter

    There is a common misconception that in order to lose weight, one must eat less. At Morinaga, we disagree! It’s not about how much you eat, but what you are eating that makes the difference. Are you eating processed foods? Refined sugars? GMOs? These are the types of foods we would encourage our readers to steer clear from.

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  • Seasonal Sweets: Candy Coating the Cold Winter Months Seasonal Sweets: Candy Coating the Cold Winter Months

    Seasonal Sweets: Candy Coating the Cold Winter Months

    Happy New Year folks! We do hope that January is treating you well with all of its cold weather and winter vegetables! It’s a funny time of year with the holidays behind us, and a new year on the horizon, you might think that spring would be sprouting at any moment. Unfortunately, January still marks the dead of winter. Dark nights, icy weather and cold feet in socks are all tell tale signs of winter. It’s not all bad though. Winter brings with it a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be used in a number of creative ways this season. Most importantly – Sweets!

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  • Quince, An Unlike Fruit for your Holiday Table Quince, An Unlike Fruit for your Holiday Table

    Quince, An Unlike Fruit for your Holiday Table

    Do you know a fruit that is as old as the Bible, looks like a pear and can’t be eaten raw? Meet the mysterious quince. A distant cousin of apples and pears, the Cydonia Oblonga is the only fruit of its kind. Dating back to ancient Roman times, the quince appears in myths, poems as well as in one of the first written cookbooks Apicius. Among ancient Greeks, this aromatic fruit was an offering for the bride on her wedding day. Its floral notes were meant to perfume her lips before a kiss!

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  • Best Wishes for a Delicious Holiday Season Best Wishes for a Delicious Holiday Season

    Best Wishes for a Delicious Holiday Season

    December is a marvelous month for home cooking. The cold weather, the short days and the endless holiday parties call for one hot meal after another. While hearty winter vegetables make for gorgeous soups and stir -fries, bitter winter greens meet pomegranates and persimmons for festive salads. Silken tofu has a special place at the winter table in just about everything we do. From seasonal sides and mains to winter pies and puddings, we can’t seem to get enough of that nutrient packed protein!

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  • Making the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Making the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

    Making the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

    Thanksgiving is a time to create memories. It’s a time to come together, give thanks and most importantly, eat good food! What is a holiday celebration without a great meal or two? And what’s a good meal without some finger licking leftovers? From hearty winter sides to savory roast birds, we've got five great ideas for making the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

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