Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DONABE Cookbook Dinner at Ledlow in Downtown LA

In the following weekend after the successful launch party of my cookbook, DONABE – Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking, at TGS, I had an honor to do the first cookbook dinner in LA. The dinner was hosted by Chef Josef Centeno, who is one of the most talented chefs I know and also a “guest chef” contributor of a recipe to the book. The dinner was going to take place at Ledlow, one of his restaurants in Downtown LA.

Kyle came all the way down from Sonoma a day before for the event! He also brought so many donabe to be used in the dinner.

A night before the dinner event, we had dinner at Ledlow. Josef currently owns 4 (all very popular) restaurants in Downtown LA, and they all have different themes and styles. Ledlow is like a contemporary American diner with mostly locally sourced ingredients. Their wine list focuses on boutique wineries from California.

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With my iPhone, I couldn’t take good photos under the light level, but hope you can see how great the dishes were. I love that the menu has a lot of California style vegetable rich dishes.

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Everything was Fantastic.

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We were so hyped up about the event after the dinner!

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The next day, the first seating of the book dinner started at 6 pm. Josef told us the kitchen was all taken care of and we didn’t need to do any work or help in the kitchen. How sweet! So, I came in just a little before the dinner time to help setting up the book display. The dinner took place at Penny-Ante, a private dining room inside of Ledlow.

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Kanpachi Crudo – persimmon, walnut, tarragon, pomegranate
Pairing wine: Mary Elk, Brut, Chardonnay/ Pinot Noir Sparkling
What a beautiful combination of extremely fresh kanpachi with the seasonal flavors.

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Chilled Kohlrabi – Asian pear, miso yogurt, pickled habanero, dill
Simmered Hijiki Salad (my recipe from the book) – shiitake mushrooms, lotus root
Pairing sake: Kaori JC Sake
Loved both so much, and they were great with the sake.

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Donabe time! Rice dish made in double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san"
Very Juicy Chicken Wing Rice (my recipe from the book) – ginger, sansho, sesame oil
Pairing wine: “La Clarine, Rose of Syrah/ Mouvedre”. They totally nailed it!

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Another donabe dish, made in soup and stew donabe, "Miso-shiru Nabe".
Braised Shio-koji Beef Brisket (Josef’s recipe from the book) – sunchoke, basil, radish, meyer lemon
Pairing wine: Field Recordings, Ventucopa Tempranillo
His donabe beef stew was so hearty and elegant at the same time. It was really great.

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Quince Almond Cake – ume sabayon, candied ginger, cassis
Pairing liqueur: Contratto Vermouth Bianco
Beautiful flavor.

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Someone looks very happy with my book. So many people including friends came to the dinner and it was a great fun. The dishes were really delicious! 

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Kyle's dad, Kyle, and me. Photo was taken by Sonya.

Happy donabe life!