Friday, July 20, 2012

Ricardo Zarate and Mike Brown Among Featured Chefs of LA Street Food Fest

Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to engage Los Angeles based chefs Ricardo Zarate and Mike Brown in coversation. Both are featured chefs at the LA Street Food Fest on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the Rose Bowl. A $45general admission  fee which must be purchased in advance covers all one can eat from the food trucks and other food vendors that will be participating in this 3rd annual food event occurrring in the late afternoon and into the evening. Ricardo Zarate from Mo-Chica will be in the sponsored booth from Los Angeles Food and Wine, while Mike Brown will be at the helm of the newest Los Angeles food truck Peking Duck making its debut. Here are my pictures from the press preview for the LA Street Food Fest event that might make you want to attend this great food event and meet these and other featured chefs.

DSC_4471Ricardo Zarate is perhaps the hottest chef in downtown Los Angeles, and I had the chance to talk with him after the ALOUD presentation of various downtown Los Angeles chefs earlier this week.  Since this was a sold out event, that proved why one should be a member of the Los Angeles Library Foundation, you can hear the Evan Kleiman moderated discussion from a podcast that is now available soon from the ALOUD website.  Ricardo is the owner/executive chef of Mo-Chica located on downtown Los Angeles 7th Street restaurant row that has been open at this location for just over a month.  I have already eaten at his restaurant twice and plan on several more visits to make my way through the entire menu. Here are my Mo-Chica pictures on Flickr from my first visit. Ricardo as a Peruvian chef has honed in skills in Japanese food at the Biltmore and in London. Ironically, there is a major Japanese influence today on modern cooking in Lima, as I discovered during my two week January 2012 culinary adventure in Lima Peru.  In fact, what makes modern Peruvian food so great is the influence of European and Asian on the traditional Peruvian cuisine.  Ricardo in order to achieve authenticity is using the distinctive large Peruvian corn in his dishes.  And of course they are makking great pisco sours.

Mike Brown who has an esteemed history cooking in Los Angeles for Octavio Becerra at Patina, various Wolfgang Puck restaurants, for Top Chef Master winner Rick Bayless at Red O in Beverly Hills, and now Executive Chef for Google Venice employees, is using the event to debut his Peking Duck Food truck.  This will be the featured dish, but he has many more ideas for interesting dishes that can be served in style from a food truck.  He explained to me and others, how it took a long time to perfect a Peking Duck recipe that can hold up from being served from a food truck such that the skin will still be crispy.  I was even more impressed by the bun that he perfected for serving as shown here.

I also had the chance to meet with Brian Chong, the owner of Iota coffee in Koreatown and the Hansik food truck that will be at the LA Street Food Fest event. Iota is among the more interesting coffee houses in Los Angeles and probably has among the largest evening crowd of any coffee house anywhere in Los Angeles and Orange County.  More than likely you will have a chance to taste some of his ice coffee at the Rose Bowl food event.  Watch for twitter posts from ExperienceLA during the event.

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