Below, I have listed a lot of my favorite links. They include markets, farm purveyors, interesting articles, fun events, websites, and much more. Enjoy them and let me know if you have additional suggestions.
Master canner Kevin West loves fruits and vegetables. He loves them so much, he saves them all year. On his blog, he writes about buying his fruit from farmers’ markets and making amazing jam, pickles, and other things. Additionally, Kevin is the west coast editor of W Magazine.
David Lebovitz has been writing cookbooks for years. He is an American living in Paris. David is the king of desserts. He also does quite a bit of traveling and always has an interesting story to tell.
Heidi Swanson started with a vegetarian cookbook and then expanded to a blog. She writes about her travels and photos and posts one recipe per week. She has become extremely popular and gets over 1 million website views per month.
The American Tea Room in Beverly Hills carries one-of-a-kind teas. They have a sister store in Paris. Both stores get most of their teas from countries like China, Thailand, and France. They also carry unique mugs and kettles. They also carry tea boxes, which contain a variety of teas and make great gifts. Be sure to stop by and get special teas.
Phoebe Diftler is an entertainment expiate. She has been teaching and practicing Thai massage for over nine years. Phoebe has developed great hands. Once you get a massage from her, you will not want to go see anyone else.
Above is the link to all of the Santa Monica farmers’ markets. At the market, especially on Wednesdays, you will find chefs from LA’s top restaurants.
Ranch San Julian is a farm that’s been in the same family for seven generations. The farm was acquired in 1837 from the Spanish king, who used the land to grow food for soldiers stationed in Santa Barbara. The original house was built in the 1800’s and, even though it has not been retrofitted, still stands. Now the farm is home to 600 cows, three dogs, and one big family. Once the Angus bulls reach 600 pounds, Elizabeth Poett, 29, handpicks the cows from her father’s herd. During this process, she looks for the strongest cows. All of the cows that she purchases are born and raised on the family’s land and have a diet of grass. She even grows most of the food that the animals consume on her land. Every steer that Elizabeth oversees has an ear tag, so she knows the background of each one. Elizabeth only buys steers because heifers are notoriously stubborn. Once the animals have lived a fabulous, two-year life and weigh about 1,000 pounds, Elizabeth “harvests” them on her farm. In my opinion, Rancho San Julian Beef is the highest quality beef in the Country.
I have not really experimented with pressure-cooking but it seems like a great idea. It significantly decreases the time food needs to cook. Beans usually take an hour to cook. With a pressure cooker, I have seen my uncle cooks beans in 25 minutes.
Rancho Gordo lies in the foothills of Napa Valley. They have a relationship with farmers far and wide and get the best beans around. They have been praised by some of the top chefs, including Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and Ubuntu, one of the new top ten restaurants in the country. They have the freshest and most delicious beans I’ve ever come across.
Elana’s Pantry started out as a cookbook. The book was so well recognized that she started a blog to go along with it. Elana usually does one recipe a week, but sometimes more. She works gluten free and always creates inspiring new dishes.