LA LA Landing | Chef Goes West with Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at the James West Hollywood

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So happy together…

When Chef and Bradley head to LA on September 10 in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, the City of Angels will get a taste of Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz opening at the James West Hollywood in January 2017.  Michael’s first West Coast restaurant represents a return to the place that inspired his career early on and shaped the simple approach to food for which he is known, based on quality sourcing.  This past April, the two joined Director of Licensing Operations Eric Larkee to tour the construction site, drink wine with friends and eat an Olympic athlete’s load of carbs all in the name of R&D.  Now that’s true dedication to the craft!

Incredibly, verified by a google (email) search, this will be the Genuine Team’s sixth year at LA Loves Alex’s thanks to gracious hosts Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat).  The event has raised over $3.2 million to fund childhood cancer research, with more than $1 million from the 2015 event alone!  Click here for tickets and for 2016 chef, winery and mixologist participant list.

The Chefs pose as the Alex Loves Lemonade Foundation hosts a fundraiser at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, CA on September 12, 2015. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner /ABImages)

The Chefs pose as the Alex Loves Lemonade Foundation hosts a fundraiser at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, CA on September 12, 2015.
(Photo: Alex J. Berliner /ABImages)

Located on the famed corner of Sunset and La Cienega, The James will be Los Angeles’ newest hotel and the first ground-up project in West Hollywood in approximately 30 years. The iconic property will feature the 286-room and will also boast a luxurious pool and 10,000-square-feet of flexible event space, which will include a ballroom, event facilities, and meeting spaces.  Sbe’s Disruptive Restaurant Group will cultivate and manage the hotel’s restaurants and bars, while Denihan Hospitality Group will operate the hotel under The James Hotel brand.

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On the heels of opening a first location at the new SLS Hotel in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood in October, Fi’lia will showcase Michael’s fresh approach to Italian food, with handmade breads and pasta, and an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.  Michael moved from his hometown a Philadelphia to Santa Monica in 1986 and landed a job at Chinos working for Wolfgang Puck. He arrived in California without a plan, but was in the right place at the right time at the height of the Asian Fusion movement.

unnamed (36) (1)It was where his passion for sourcing product began to be put into practice, although it probably had a lot to do with his first experience working at a restaurant when he was 15 back in Philly.  Dad Marv helped him get his first job bussing tables at Dilullo’s, a Northern Italian restaurant.  The place was ahead of its time and really swanky, importing expensive, high quality ingredients from Italy.  Fine inspiration for a career in the kitchen, although he didn’t know it then!

For more information on Fi’lia visit filiarestaurant.com and follow @lalovesalexs today when those Angelenos wake up for @chefmschwartz’s takeover featuring what’s in store with this new restaurant concept and next month’s event!

Ya Tu Sabes, But Tasting Table’s Got Everything But the Cuban Sandwich

Agua de melon, sweet and bright watermelon juice with a squeeze of lime. So refreshing!

Agua de melon, sweet and bright watermelon juice with a squeeze of lime. So refreshing!

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“I think Miami is one of the most dynamic places to eat in the world.” Click here for Michael’s local picks!

One morning in February began with a sizzling vat of lard and a few cafecitos. Tasting Table had asked Michael to curate a list of local eats, including a trip to Little Havana to explore “everything but the Cuban sandwich” so the only answer was hell yes!   We made a bee line for SW 8th Street, the main east-west thoroughfare to flavor town in two crucial stops, El Mago de las Fritas (est. 1984) and Versailles (est. 1971).  Not only have these two institutions stood the test of time, they’ve done it in small and big ways while still maintaining the original identity they were built on and that made them great to begin with.  There is a palpable sense of place that embraces you the moment you set foot in the door. It’s the passion and dedication of the staff and ownership, combined with the spirit and love that guests have for their restaurants that produces a powerful feeling of belonging and purpose. A winning combination if you ask us.

Visit Tasting Table’s Celebrating Local Eats feature sponsored by Pepcid to check out not only Michael’s recommendations for Miami, including amazing photos shot by our new friend Libby Volgyes, but tips from savvy experts from food to photography in cities including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Houston.  Live like a local and really learn a city. That’s how we like to travel!

Announcing Harry’s Chef Pop-Up No. 26 | Mozza Pizzeria with James Beard Award Winner Matt Molina

Like it was yesterday, you remember your first meal at Pizzeria Mozza. Mine was lunch with Chef and Eric as we rounded out a trip west after blending the first Lua Rossa with Jim Clendenden in Santa Barbara (No. 2 is estimated to drop September 4 to Au Bon Climat’s distributor’s warehouse, by the way.)  As you can see from the photos above, it was in a word, perfect. That bone marrow? Done right without a fuss. Squash blossom pizza? It looked up at us from the table – the lightest crust you’ve ever had – but still with purposeful bite, just begging to be devoured.  And if you think there’s no way in hell you are going to be able to fit that budino into your happy belly, you will. And it will be silky, sticky, creamy heaven on a spoon.

We are very pleased and excited to announce that 2014’s last Chef Pop-Up, true to form, brings this slice and spoon of LA heaven to Miami’s Design District for one night only in the form of its James Beard Award Winning executive chef, and maybe if I’m lucky, those amazing placemats.  Best part is, we’ll just be entering our local growing season for the menu.

TICKETS ARE NOW LIVE HERE FOR MOZZA PIZZERIA!

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After esteemed visiting guests Gabrielle Hamilton, Jonathan Waxman, Marc Vetri, Jonathon Sawyer, Kevin Sbraga, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Paul Grieco, Chris Hastings, Hugh Acheson, Andrew Carmellini, Mindy Segal, Paul Kahan, April Bloomfield, Bill Telepan, Joey Campanaro, Jeff Michaud, Matthew Accarrino, Michael Solomonov, Ben Ford, and John Currence, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, Jenn Louis, Mike Lata, Matt McCallister, and Tony Mantuano, Michael is thrilled to welcome Matt Molina to Harry’s for Mozza Pizzeria on Tuesday, November 4 at 7PM!

A graduate of the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, Matt began his career at Campanile in Los Angeles. After 6 years at Campanile under the tutelage of Nancy Silverton, Matt went on to train at Del Posto in New York City in preparation for his role as Executive Chef of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza.  As Executive Chef at Pizzeria Mozza & Osteria Mozza , Matt has received three stars by S. Irene Virbila, the Los Angeles Times food critic, for both restaurants.  In 2008, Matt was nominated for “Rising Star Chef” & “Best New Restaurant” in Osteria Mozza by the James Beard Foundation and later went on to receive the accolade for “Best Chef Pacific” in 2012.

You know the drill. Seating is first come, first served for this family-style meal at our casual neighborhood joint.  Making new friends is encouraged and easy when you’ve got a welcome cocktail in hand with hors d’oeuvres, four courses, free-flowing wines by The Genuine Hospitality Group sommelier and wine director Eric Larkee and our tap beers at your disposal. Take home something special Matt co-authored with Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreno, too — The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes From Los Angeles’s Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria (Knopf, 2011). All that and tax and gratuity are included in the ticket price of $150.

LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER, OK?  We can’t wait to have the opportunity for seconds again in LA after.

Babes in La La Land

Hedy's new handwriting font on display.

The stars were out this past weekend!  Answering the call of sweet duty, executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith and her sous Trew Sterling represented us in Los Angeles on Sunday for L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand.  Alex’s, a national non-profit committed to finding a cure for all childhood cancers, has successfully created a culinary roadshow of sorts, traveling the country each year to fundraise by popping up events in select cities thanks to host chefs who embrace the cause.  Michael attended for the first time in Philly over the summer on the invitation of hometown friend Marc Vetri; Jonathan Waxman will bring it to New York for the first time in December with Lemon NYC.

Now you tell ME who is the movie star? Yeah @trewgenuine!

The La La land satellite is hosted by Suzanne Goin, and Hedy brought her A game to the table in a conundrum of candies — Smoked Hazelnut, Bourbon & Bacon Brittle, Curried Cashew Brittle, & Thai Peanut Brittle, as well as blocks of Roasted White Chocolate & Smoked Bittersweet Chocolate, supplied by our west coast cacao cronies at TCHO. Satisfying us for a moment, pictures of her spread are here, courtesy Heidi Ladell (both the images and the art direction that would make Sandra Lee weep tablescape tears of joy.)  But we wanted more. We had questions! What’s the juice from Hollywood?  Last night the answers arrived in our inbox:

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