August 2011

Editor’s Letter—August 2011

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s original quote “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es” (“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”) is closer to the mark of Southern California’s philosophical relationship to dining than it is to its more customary—and rather rude—translation: “You are what you eat.” The establishments that define our region’s dining experience take us to gastronomic and geographic neighborhoods we never anticipated. And now in “Meal Ticket,” by members of the Los Angeles Times “Food” section, we provide the foundation for your culinary explorations.

In August, cocktails should be long, tall drinks that tease the palate while quenching the thirst. In “Cool Factor,” Camper English (who last month won Best Cocktail Author at the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans) consults mixologists from hot spots—both metaphorical and meteorological—nationwide to find potables sure to keep you cool. And there’s one for every palate, from spicy and sweet to crisp and tangy.

Chef Roberto Cortez doesn’t want his food to be defined—or constrained—by the walls within which it’s served. To that end, he doesn’t work in a restaurant. He is currently a movable-feast master, hosting innovative dinners in galleries and homes from Montecito to Berlin. In “Designs on Dining,” Jenn Garbee explores just what inspires a culinarian to whom the ingredients and the eating implements are equal parts of the alchemy that makes gastronomic magic.

The Central Coast, the same region of the Golden State known for excellent wines, is fast becoming a source for some of the state’s finest olive oils. In “Liquid Gold,” Tanvi Chheda discovers that while there are parallels to Tuscany in terms of soil and climate, growers there are more interested in creating authentic California olive oil than a faux Tuscan product.

There is a multicourse feast waiting for you in LA. Enjoy!   —NANCIE CLARE, Editor