(Originally published August 28, 2015 on Examiner.com)
Thursday night on a closed off Grand Avenue in front of the Disney Concert Hall, the 5th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 2015 presented as its opening night event “Ultimate Bites of L.A.” This event featured bites from many of L.A.’s top chefs as well as bites from several of the other celebrity chefs participating in the activities over the next few days.
One of the chefs participating from Los Angeles was Chef Dakota Weiss representing Sweet Fin Poke in Santa Monica with one dish and her forthcoming restaurant Estrella in West Hollywood with a second item. Chef Weiss took some time to explain here dishes. What follows is some Q & A regarding her dish for Estrella.
LAC: What is the name of the dish?
DW: Grilled Hobb’s Bacon, on a smoked vanilla bean polenta with a date and red chili salsa, cocoa nibs, and fried rosemary
LAC: When was it put on your menu? Or is this dish on your menu?
DW: This will be on the menu at her forthcoming Estrella.
LAC: What is the inspiration or precedent for the dish
DW: THis is one of those dishes that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, very comforting
LAC: What’s your preferred sourcing for key components, plus are ingredients seasonal?
DW: The bacon comes from Hobbs out of San Francisco. It a really spectacular product. The rosemary comes from my yard. The dates are from Palm Springs kinda local. California bacon
LAC: Were any special cooking techniques or equipment used to cook and finish this dish?
DW: Buy bacon from Hobbs. We slow grill it for two hours, that we finish it in the oven to crisp it up. Then we slice it.
LAC: What’s the inspiration for the plating?
DW: For tonight, Wanted it to have a classic feel to it so put the items into the little gold casserole dishes. In the forthcoming restaurant that will be on a more traditional though rustic plate .
LAC: How does this plate reflect the restaurant’s menu and chef’s cooking philosophy?
DW: Estrella is going to really be based on locally sourced products as much from California as we can get. It’s a very simple dish that’s layered in textures and flavors