Read my L.A. Times piece about the Petit Trois opening here.
Tag Archives: vinny dotolo
Photos from Chef Ludo Lefebvre & Animal Restaurant’s recent foie gras dinner.
The New York Times writes:
“In eight months, the sale of foie gras will be banned in California. But for seven hours on Friday night, at a restaurant appropriately known as Aninal, three chefs presented an eight-course meal that was nothing short of a glorification of this soon-to-be outlawed delicacy.” (read more at NY Times)
Since 2008, Animal has been one of my very favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. Chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook keep it interesting by using not only the best ingredients, but by also serving some fun bits and pieces as well. Did I just order Pig Tails “Buffalo Style”? Oh yes I did!
Dining Date: 6/19/10
Dinner shared with Lilliam R of Mondette & Peter.
435 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
All my Animal food photos on Flickr
When I heard that my favorite L.A. chefs (Animal Restaurant’s Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook) were offering a cooking class, I immediately signed up and invited two friends, Jade and Afaf. I love the chefs new cookbook “Two Dudes, One Pan” which recently was voted one of the “Top 10 Cookbooks of 2008” by National Public Radio. The chapters in the book are divided up by pans: “The Big Bowl” (for salads & dressings), “Nonstick Skillet”, “Frying Pan”, “Dutch Oven”, “Roasting Pan” and “Baking Dish”. I’ve already tried some of the delicious recipes and am continuing to post them here.
The cooking class was held at “Let’s Get Cookin'” in Westlake Village. It was my first visit to this little gem and I loved the small culinary store up front. The shop is stocked with gourmet ingredients, artisanal pastas, cookware and tons of groovy gadgets!
The classroom area was located in the back of the space. It consisted of a long counter which worked as the “stage” area for guest chefs. We students were seated in chairs with tables that face the cooking stage. To the left of the students, there were in-house chefs assisting Vinny & Jon throughout their presentation.
It was all very organized and the evening flew by quickly. We watched as the chefs prepared five recipes from their book, and yes indeed…. we got to eat everything! Delicious and good fun!
On the menu:
Winter Fennel Salad w/ Apples, Grapes, Cinnamon Maple Vinaigrette
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower w/ Capers and Parmigiano
The recipes can be found on the following pages of “Two Dudes, One Pan” by Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo.
Winter Fennel Salad w/ Apples, Grapes, Cinnamon Maple Vinaigrette, pg. 30
Bucatini Carbonara w/ Pancetta and Peas, pg. 154
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower w/ Capers and Parmigiano, pg. 178
Original Class Date: Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 PM
Cost: $80 per person
My visits (with LOTS of food photos) to Animal Restaurant
About Let’s Get Cookin’
Animal Restaurant Website
Last week I attended the 22nd Annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles event. It was held nearby at CBS studios, and the proceeds went to the National Kidney Foundation.
Participating Chefs (and Restaurants) included: The Event Host – Govind Armstrong (8oz. & Table8), Chef of Honor – Gino Angelini (Angelini Osteria and La Terza,) Neal Fraser (Grace & BLD), Celestino Drago (Drago Restaurant), Frank Leon (La Loggia), Andrew Steiner (Andrew’s Cheese Shop), our friends Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook (Animal) and many more.
Unfortunately for me I came down with a stomach flu a few days before the event, which is a food writer’s worst nightmare for sure. Luckily what I also had was my firefighter-in-training, eating-machine nephew Cody joining me, so it was a fun afternoon watching him enjoy all the things I couldn’t.
Of the few bites I did take, my favorites were the Apple Pie “Cappuccino” from The BLVD, Timanoix Cheese from Andrew’s Cheese Shop and the tummy comforting Grilled Cheese with Pulled Shortribs from 8oz.
Cody really loved EVERYTHING and said his favorites were the Kataifi-Wrapped Langoustine in a Poached Lettuce Cream Sauce by La Loggia, and the Duck Confit from The Blvd. We both loved Animal’s Pork Belly & Kimchee which we always order at the restaurant.
Event Date: Sunday November 9, 2008, CBS Studios (Radford).
More about the Kidney Foundation
Restaurant & Food Links:
My husband Peter and I arrived early to L.A. Magazine’s Third Annual Food Event. There were several wine booths set up at the beautiful Saddlerock Ranch, but honestly we were mostly there for the food!
This didn’t mean we didn’t drink our share of vino… just that we were more focused on the FOOD. Drinking alcohol in the early afternoon (mixed with the hot canyon sun) never works for me. If it weren’t for the tasty eats, I probably would have curled up under a tree half way through the event!
The first table we stopped at was Tra di Noi restaurant. Their three dishes were a fresh and delicious start to the afternoon…
Orecchiete Al Pecorino (Truffled Orecchiette with Pecorino Cheese). The presentation was just lovely, tossed in a bowl carved from a wheel of cheese. I remember Mario Batali doing this on an episode of Iron Chef. Very cool!
Hampton’s Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho.
Onyx Restaurant’s Hamachi Poke & Crispy Chips
And our favorite bite of the day… MOUTH-WATERING, BELLY-PLEASING BBQ Ribs from our friends at Animal Restaurant! Jon and Vin took the demonstration stage at around 3:20pm and gave the crowd what we wanted (and were lacking)… MEAT!!!
Jon showing off a cut from Niman Ranch.
OH YES. IT WAS AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS HERE!!
More about ANIMAL Restaurant.
And a few Chef Photos!
Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose
Neal Fraser of Grace Restaurant.
Nancy Silverton, Mozza
Even though we didn’t stay through the end (blame it on that 1pm wine start!!), it was a beautiful event and all for a good cause. Proceeds went to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.
Event Date: 10/26/08 More about the Food Event
I just found this photo on the L.A. Magazine Website. Peter (my husband) is wearing the baseball cap in the background. Our pal Jon Shook of Animal Restaurant holding the ribs.
By Jo Stougaard Updated 11/3/08
“One Chick, One Pan”… Recipes that I’ve prepared from the cookbook “Two Dudes, One Pan: Maximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen” written by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, chef/owners of my favorite restaurant, ANIMAL.
(11/3/08) “Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon”. Loved the creamy sauce! Can’t wait to try it on broccoli or asparagus. Page 137 of the cookbook.
(9/26/08) I made “Jon’s Sausage, Broccolini and Pasta Frittata” over the weekend. It was the easiest recipe yet, and also the most filling! We had it for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. I topped with shaved Manchego cheese and served with fresh mango (topped with red pepper flakes). Recipe on page 58.
The chicken skin was SO CRISPY, and the fennel salad was a whole new flavor mix! Totally refreshing.
“Tri-Tips with Salsa Verde” on page 122.
“Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, Capers and Parm” on page 178.
I have never had tastier cauliflower, especially with the crispy bits on top. My husband Peter couldn’t figure out the mystery ingredient in the Salsa Verde. He thought I had made chimchurri (which I make all the time) but he was surprised to find a deeper, richer flavor in the sauce, that he couldn’t quite describe. I told him “It’s the Umami… the fifth taste”. The mystery flavor was anchovies. He still couldn’t taste them after I told him, and then he asked for more…
Easy prep, easy pan sauce and easy cleanup. I loved the tart flavor that the vinegar added to the wine sauce. And my friend Laur enjoyed the salad so much that she almost licked out the bowl!
Info on the book “Two Dudes, One Pan”
It’s not all about bacon at ANIMAL Restaurant. Before the first of my many, many visits, I read a review that noted there was “too much” bacon on the menu. Of course that made me want to go ASAP, but in reality the restaurant is more about being adventurous… as chefs and as an eater.
Two of my favorite dishes were actually bacon-free. The Raw Amberjack and the Foie Gras with Strawberry & Grits (pics below). But there were plenty of pork accented plates that made me think I had died and gone to bacon heaven. Especially the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar dessert!
That very first dinner at ANIMAL (Aug 29th) was so good, that my husband Peter and I ate there again the next evening. The servers (Jeff on Friday night… Victor & Arlene on Saturday) were convivial and very helpful.
Chef Jon Shook stopped by our table a few times to chat and to recommend dishes. Chef Vinny Dotolo never left the busy kitchen but I blame that on our table… we just could not stop indulging ourselves and had to taste everything we could.
Simply put, the food at ANIMAL is fearless, delicious and full of passion. See you there soon!
Wine: We love the Joel Gott Zinfandel wine that we first tried at Animal. More info here
Dining Date 8/29/08
435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036