This Wu-Tang Clan Pop-Up Dinner Was Nothin’ to F#!K With


I’ve been looking forward to Chef Linh Nguyen’s Wu-Tang Clan pop up at Mesa Lounge since he announced it earlier this summer. I grew up listening to the Wu, Shaolin’s finest rap collective, and can still rap the entirety of the song “Triumph”—though a few lines get a little hazy these days.

The same goes for Nguyen, who might as well have come from the 37th Chamber. His love for these beats and rhymes goes back to when he was 10 years old. Inspired by music and memories, Nguyen—along with Ashley Guzman, his former cohort at the North Left, and current Pastry Queen at Irenia—delved deep into their catalogue to deliver 6 fresh cuts complete with drink pairings.

Nguyen, who is Foodbeast’s house chef, told us he’s about to become Executive Chef again somewhere in Santa Ana. If this is the kind of creativity he’s producing, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Orange County next.  … Read more…

Modern Filipino pops up at LASA in Los Angeles


My father-in-law, a beloved Cal State L.A. professor, book collector and academic, sends us a lot of e-mails: inspirational quotes, history lessons, nature scenes and the occasional link to a blog or website that he thinks we should check out. Recently he forwarded L.A. Times food writer Jonathan Gold’s write up of Filipino pop-up LASA, and lucky me, my wife booked us seats.
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Nordic feast with chefs Magnus Nilsson of Faviken & Emma Bengtsson of Aquavit


The majority of gastronomes, myself included, may never have the unique experience of dining at Chef Magnus Nilsson‘s Michelin star Faviken. His famed 24-seat, forage-focused restaurant in the Middle of the Forest, Sweden, is known for honoring seasonal, local ingredients, while pushing the boundaries of what food can be, and how long it can be stored, fermented or otherwise made new from being old.

So when I heard Nilsson was touring in support of his latest book“The Nordic Cookbook,” a collection of recipes from Scandinavian home cooksI jumped on the opportunity to learn through the lens of this talented chef. The event, hosted by Dinner Labfeatured Nilsson with different chefs Stateside to execute the recipes. In San Francisco, we were delighted to see Aquavit New York Executive Chef Emma Bengtsson, a fellow Swede with 2 Michelin stars to her name. … Read more…