The Strangest Pizza

I remember when Wolfgang Puck was cooking at Spago, the original one above Tower Records on the Sunset Strip. I went there a few times as a kid, always glancing about for a Warren Beatty or Jack Nicholson sighting. Years later, I would find myself sandwiched between Priscilla Presley and Paul Prudhomme at a private Chinese New Year dinner at his second restaurant, Chinois on Main. But that’s another story. Back to Spago… it was here that in addition to star spotting, you could sample such radical and then unimaginable pizzas as goat cheese and sun-dried tomato (wow!), smoked salmon with caviar and Thai chicken.

John Huston's table, Spago Oscars party, 1986

John Huston’s table, Spago Oscars party, 1986

I’ve made a few strange pizzas in my day. Never one to extol novelty for novelty’s sake, I mostly hew near to the Neopolitan standard, sometimes getting a little creative with my toppings — fresh eggs and caramelized fennel, for example, or Kurobata pork belly and pickled red onion — or exploring different cheeses. Occasionally I’ll build a pizza around a single unique ingredient — a particular wild mushroom I’ve found highlighted in a cream reduction. But every so often, I throw convention out completely to the whim of inspiration. More

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Grocery Shopping in L.A.

Grocery shopping in L.A. is different than grocery shopping in other cities. Because we have a lot of celebrities, and celebrities have to eat too.

“The Beibs” picking up some sugary cereal.

I saw a photo recently of Katie Holmes ducking into a Whole Foods in Manhattan, chased by a phalanx of either paparazzi or Scientology thugs. I guess New York may be the only other place where you’re likely to bump into a celebrity while buying groceries. Certain cities have one or two celebrities — you might bump into John Waters while grocery shopping in Baltimore, for example, or run into Robert Goulet at the Safeway in Las Vegas. More

The Exquisite Comfort of Biscuits

The sky outside this Saturday morning is grey, threatening rain. Wood is stacked on the deck, we’re still in pajamas and have no place in particular to go as the storm closes in. It’s a biscuit kinda morning.

Buttermilk biscuits & sausage

I didn’t grow up in the South. But somewhere along the culinary line, I developed a great appreciations for things Southern — grits, barbecue, juleps and biscuits. More