Some of Los Angeles’ finest chefs gathered for a one-night-only feat celebrating The James Beard Foundation last month. The soiree – hosted at Vibiana – included a silent auction, a jazz band and wonderfully crafted menu and unique cocktails. The James Beard Foundation generously donated a portion of the proceeds to The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Scholarship Fund.
LaLaScoop caught up with three of the featured celebrity chefs and they shared their must-have items for Fall 2016.
A Truffle Slicer & Truffles
Australian chef Curtis Stone always crafts his dishes using naturally produced ingredients with a simple technique. The mastermind behind the renowned Gwen in Los Angeles offered up his favorite autumnal item this year – truffles. “I just heard from Italy that the truffles this year are going to be the best they have ever been,” he says. He continues, “white truffles are coming in early and they are the perfect Fall and Winter ingredient.” Stone also suggests having a truffle slicer in your kitchen. If you don’t have the budget for a truffle cutter, he offers a budget friendly alternative. “You can buy a Japanese mandoline from the supermarket. You just need a razor blade suspended slightly above where you slice the truffle,” says Curtis.
A Robota Grill & Wild Game
Top Chef fan favorite Neal Fraser enjoys grilling all year round. However, he favors grilling one particular category of meat in the Fall – wild game. When tasked to select his favorite type of wild game to grill – Neal cannot pick just one. “Venison, wild boar, squab, grouse, woodcock are all great options,” he says. Neal enjoys preparing his game with ingredients like wild mushroom and huckleberries. Additionally, he recommends a specific type of grill for Fall cooking – a robata grill. “Use something smaller – something you can put on your table,” he shares. The robata grill allows for grilling perfection indoors when the elements outdoors get too chilly.
A Chitarra Pasta Cutter & Spiced Pumpkin
Famed chef and restaurateur Scott Conant cannot get enough of spiced pumpkin this Fall. The Food Network star uses the autumnal staple in a variety of ways and encourages home cooks to do the same. “The opportunity is to broaden the horizon a bit. Use that pumpkin spice inside your ravioli filling, sauté the pumpkin, dice it up with warm spices and then toss with pasta,” suggests Scott. He also recommends making your own pasta this fall with a chitarra pasta cutter. “It cuts pasta beautifully. It looks like a guitar and is great for making fresh pasta,” he says.
Paul Zahn is a Los Angeles based food and beverage writer. He contributes to The Daily Dish and The Feast at BravoTV.com, as well as LA Confidential Magazine.