We’re very excited!! Colander was always one of those words we were unsure of spelling correctly! A New Year! A New Accomplishment! This year doesn’t stop! Enough exclamations marks. We’re also very excited to be screening Ep. 8; “Jumpin’, Jivin’, Jambalaya” at Karma Lounge in Los Angeles!
The evenings program will feature music, stand up comedy and screenings of different shorts/videos starting at about 8 pm. Come early to try out Karma’s new menu (we’re told not to miss the popcorn shrimp) (SHRIMP!!!!!) (!!!) Episode 8 is a big hit with Dish! Fans and features the amazing Vanessa and French Stewart jazzing up our kitchen. Big Flavors from the Big Easy are tasty tasty/nice nice and since it’s getting so close to Fat Tuesday, don’t you think you should be gettin yo Nola on??? #comehungry
As they say, “Karma’s a bitch, so be Good” and come see the DIO! family and friends January 23rd. Click thru for Karma’s website.
Open everyday from 5pm to 12:00am (Sun to Wed), to 2:00am (Thur, Fri, Sat)
3954 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Reservations (213) 375-7141
Do you know who Louis Prima was? If you think he was a legendary jazz musician from New Orleans with hits including “Just A Gigolo” and “Old Black Magic” you are correct. If you think he’s the guy from that song from the GAP commercials you need a slap. If you think he’s the guy from The Jungle Book that sang “I Wanna Be Just Like You” you’re a child at heart.
“Jump Jive an’ Wail” was a standard in Prima’s repertoire. I fell into his music early in life and craved more. I tell people my gateway drug to Louis Prima was Cole Porter. They smile and keep walking down the market aisle. The blast of the horn, the humor in the voice-I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of this over the top, Sicilian from New Orleans. Are you kidding me? That was many of my favorite things all in one package. Then came the music with Keely Smith………pick me up off the floor. Immediate immersion into Jazz greats commenced. I fell asleep on The Great American Songbook many a night there after. The paper cuts brutalized.
Cut to a few lifetimes in the future. I get to meet a fantastic woman. Stunning, funny and brilliant to boot. She catches me singing some Louis Prima standard and tells me that she’s written and starring in a show devoted to the onstage and offstage relationship of Louis and Keely. Lovingly written, it features many favorite numbers and a band guaranteed to blow my mind. I held on to the promo matchbook she gave me and awaited the opening of “Louis and Keely; Live At The Sahara”. I’m not sure how many times I saw it at The Sacred Fools Theatre in Los Angeles, or at The Geffen Playhouse, but I know it was just shy of ‘Star Wars’ and ten times more than ‘Ishtar’. This was how I met and came to worship Vanessa Stewart (nee Perkins)
OVATION AWARD WINNER for
LA DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER for
GARLAND AWARD WINNER for
LA WEEKLY THEATER AWARD WINNER for
MUSICAL OF THE YEAR!
Vanessa is an award-winning playwright, producer and actress. She’s rubbed elbows with dignitaries and celebrities. She’s rubbed elbow pasta for holiday collages.
She has a gift for music. Vanessa can sing the stars down to the earth. It’s been rumored she can breakdance on water. Vanessa makes me laugh. Vanessa gives so much of herself in her life and career, you lose words in describing the effect she has. Every performance I saw of her as Keely Smith was a gift. I can still feel my skin lift in her “Autumn Leaves”. It was rumored that Vanessa was the prototype for the Dos Equis’ “most interesting man” campaign. Vanessa is an insightful writer. Together with co-star Jake Broder, their Louis and Keely Show filled seats night after night. Their thoughtful text with such great music was a dance still spinning in my head. Vanessa rocks, rolls, wraps and cooks nice food. She smells pretty and makes nice things for the universe to play with. Everything she touches seems to flourish (I’ve had her rub my scalp and am still charting the progress) which brings me to a certain night in the Green Room at The Geffen Playhouse.
So there’s this dude named French Stewart, it’s not a pretty common name. But it is a household name (I looked in the pantry). Yep, he’s the actor who played ‘Harry Solomon’ from ‘3rd Rock From The Sun’ and about a million other credits for television, film and stage. He’s genius, he’s funny and he likes my noggin. I’m sure he even as his own line of seasonings if not a hybrid orchid named for him by the Royal Horticultural Society. French is so funny it’s seen from space. He happened to be in the Green Room while Vanessa’s show was enjoying its huge run. They enjoyed some conversation, probably more than a few laughs. She was smitten by his style , he touched by her flourish. That Old Black Magic…..
I have to laugh here, this post is coming across a lot like the Brady Bunch opening and it tickles me almost as much as the subject matter. I digress, back to our show. They courted and fell in love. Vanessa even had French audition for me in the role of suitable suitor (say that a few times, fast). She surprised me at work with a charming dinner companion. I didn’t recognize him but I knew who he was wearing. He had me at, “could we have a bit more bread..”. I quickly approved (both bread and he) and sent them on their way to enjoy some moonlight. They married last year in her old stomping grounds of New Orleans, and you can see how this is all tying together.
Toast of Los Angeles’ Stage and Screen Societies, Vanessa and French Stewart have embarked on their latest adventure, “Stoneface; The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Buster Keaton”. While courting, French told Vanessa that it was a childhood dream to play the legendary screen idol. Vanessa the writer filed that away under “Useful”. A year of research, drafts and patience brought Vanessa to give French an unforgettable birthday gift, “Stoneface”. The missus went and wrote another amazing script for the husband. Text is the new necktie. Currently running in Los Angeles “Stoneface” is enjoying an extended run at The Sacred Fools Playhouse.
“…highly imaginative… ingenious… I was entertained and impressed by Stoneface and wish it a long life.” LEONARD MALTIN
L.A. Times Critic’s Choice: “In the eponymous central role, [French Stewart] displays a comical gravitas entirely fitting to his subject, combined with sheer physical virtuosity that is, quite simply, a revelation…” F. Kathleen Foley, L.A. TIMES
L.A. Weekly GO: “…the most exciting new play to emerge from this theater since Louis & Keely, andone of the best new works of the city’s theatrical season so far…” Steven Leigh Morris, L.A. WEEKLY
“The intensely theatrical joys of “Stoneface” begin early…and continue through one clever scene after another…” Travis Michael Holder, BACKSTAGE
The play is a joy, and the performance a revelation. This must be seen while it’s around. We have the luxury of Internet where what performance you post has the luxury to haunt you open ended. Live theater like this can disappear fast. Go. See. “Stoneface”.
And in her downtime she agreed to come do Dish It Out! I was over the moon. Vanessa has downtime from scaling tall buildings, etc. I had to hurry. What to make? I knew I wanted to make something cajun or creole to remind her of home. It struck me so funny to make a jambalaya as an homage (a french word, French used it) to Louis Prima, her magic show and New Orleans. And there it came: ‘Jumpin’, Jivin’, Jambalaya’. Titles usually come to me in visions (hop, hop). Sometimes they come in cabinet door injuries. But when they come, oooooh are they just deeelicious. A one pot wonder it would be. And a whole bunch of great flavors (like NoLa herself) would be featured. This city boasts an original American cuisine. A cuisine flavored by French, Spanish, Italian, Arcadians, African, Native American and German influences. A great (wait for it) melting pot if you will. And is there any better day to show you Episode 8 than America’s Birthday? Stop me, it’s getting hot in here. Then the story got a little spicier. She called to ask if it was alright to bring French. He’d seen DIO! and thought it would be fun. She assured me he wouldn’t eat too much and our play date was inked. I bought extra bread just to be safe.
Every little thing she does is magic.
We hope you enjoy Episode 8 of Dish It Out! It’s our season finale and it was a joy to make. As always, big thanks to Chris, Marie and Michael for taking such good care of this project and to all of you that came hungry. Thanks for the support and go get yourselves some Jumpin’ Jivin’ Jambalaya with those nutty Stewarts.
Season One will draw to a close featuring a dish very close to my heart; Jambalaya! All that know me know that I spent some quality time working with a
Master Chef, Sunil Malhotra of Creative Cooking in Westbrook CT aka Yankee Key West. I was his man servant. Actually I was his barman. The food was Cajun and Creole. It made the people’s heads turn and their feet too. Great food. We shared a slew of laughs, beers and GREAT FOOD. There was some debate that people came more to see me than eat his cooking.
Spats: Sunie, you know that the people only come here to see me.
Sunil: Spats, people don’t come here to laugh with you. They come here for a plate of bad food in saucy-sauce!!
Granted this debate was mostly in my head. “Bad” as in “you just might lick your plate”. And “saucy” doesn’t begin to time with Sunil. People flocked to eat Sunil’s delicious cooking. This all went down at The Temple Of The Unusual. Sunil strung out the CT Shoreline 25 years ago with an intoxicating little spice rub on his cajun chicken grinder. My repartee told new diners that heroin was a key ingredient in the cajun season ing that made people come back again and again. I used it until some freak in New Jersey started doing that for real. I was learning to edit myself at the time, good times. Creative Cooking’s cajun chicken grinder is one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever have in your life time. I dare you.
The Creative Cooking Cajun Seasoning is one of the most closely guarded recipe known to man. It’s a safe assumption that the only one knowing it besides Chef is his amazing wife, MB, but that’s not for certain. Sunil flat out won’t share the recipe. Flat out. It’s cool because getting recipes from people that leave out one or two key ingredients from prized dishes fries my bacon. This secret may go down in ‘Grassy knoll’ genre of mystery. Sunil’s balance of flavors is beyond me. He also has the right idea, “If they want it they can come down to the restaurant and buy it here.” Saucy sauce or what?
In 25 years of having my first cajun chicken grinder I’ve dabbled in duplicating the spice rub. Not an easy processes, or inexpensive. I’ve burnt my mouth, nostrils and the kitchen wall. I’ve had red fingers for days. Patience in Process has brought Result. I’ve come to a great seasoning that stands on it’s own. The DIO Creole Seasoning (herein to be known as DCS) made Episode 8’s Jambalaya a Rockstar Dish. It was a key flavor component. We focused on layering flavors in this dish. It starts in our Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven, where Guest Sous (identity to be learned on Episode 8) browned some boneless chicken thighs. The chicken was coated in DCS. On to this tasty base went the andouille sausage. Then went in The Holy Trinity. On another burner we had our chicken stock working some magic (watch episode and learn the magic). As more veggies were plied and saucy sauces slathered the layering made sweet music to the nose. Music that moved Guest Sous to………….again, tune in and turn On.
Came hungry did you? Better Life wanted? Look no further, DIO has you covered, with our DCS!!!!! This is a rub to make you go “a dub a dub dub”. It will rub you the right way. Add more jokes here. Go mix some up and make your Pantry ‘pplaude! You’ll be awfully glad you did.
(Dish It Out! Creole Seasoning)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teasoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Dish some out for yourselves! Soooooo goood.
And for those interested in differences between Creole and Cajun cooking, there are many.
We love us some sandwiches. Give us two (or more) pieces of bread and a couple items in between and the happy dance will commence. On the run, on the lawn or after a major holiday they have mass appeal and by that we mean that church services can make you think of sandwiches. Mass appeal. We digress. The joy of the sandwich is that you get to eat with your hands and it’s okay. It’s revered. Lift and chew, ahhhh the simplicity of it all.
We will eat them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or midnight snack. Dessert is not out of the question either, hello ice cream. They are compact, filling and inspirational. The refrigerator becomes your palate and the bread your canvas. And may we say right here that your palate is very becoming. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.)Your ingredients have the possibility of achieving masterpiece status. We send thanks to that famous Earl that is credited with coining the term. Bread meet meat. Meat meet bread. His reasoning in ordering it was that he wanted to keep his hands clean while playing cards. We can dig that.
in our hearts and often on our minds, the sandwich has so many wonderful little variations and names too. There are submarines, pockets, hoagies, and grinders. The Dagwood, the Club, the Melt and the Hero. We wrap, we open-face, we dip our bread and stuff our little faces. Po’ Boy is one such alias. From Louisiana like so many of our favorite things (Cajun and Creole cooking, zydeco music, Chef John Besh) the Po’ Boy serves up sandwich joy in many varieties of fish, meats and veggies. It’s history stems from a store owner feeding local street car operators during a strike. The workers were considered poor boys for the situation, and the cajun dialect edited the name. It’s the Big Easy y’all, laissez bon temps rouler. The great gumbo/melting pot that makes New Orleans special allowed many different cuisines to spin the Po’ Boy. Cajun shrimp, southern fried catfish and the tasty muffalata are great examples of heritage cooking showcased as easy as slicing bread. The Vietnamese entry is called Banh Mi. Again, great bread keeps it all together. Open a baguette and add a center protein, usually barbecue’d then jazz it all up with pickled vegetables, jalapenos, cilantro and lime. They had us at Ba-.
We’ve been accused of obsessing. When a recipe grabs us we become their slave. We’ll eat it many many many times over. We will stalk the ingredients down to fill our pantry in case we need to improvise in the middle of the night. We will buy multiples and not blink. Walt’s Market on Main Street in Old Saybrook CT has an Italian Combo grinder that became a monday tradition before work. Mind you the market was two towns past where work was, but that didn’t matter when we made our way to checkout then to work. In Santa Monica CA all you need say is Godmother and Bay Cities Deli and people nod their heads reverently. We have mentioned the Cajun Chicken Grinder of Creative Cooking in Westbrook CT. “The Temple Of The Unusual” ‘s owner Master Chef Sunil Malhotra enslaved the Yankees of sleepy little CT Shoreline town with his cajun seasoning. People would return two and three times a week to get their
fix fill of tasty tasty saucy sauce. And now in accordance with the prophecy, sorry wrong tangent there. Bewiched our latest banh mi-bsession has gained accomplices. Dear Sista Sally is made to pick up what’s arguably the best Banh Mi in the country from a little market in Philadelphia. She then must drive it to CT or mail it to Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter if it’s eaten the next day, this sandwich RULES. The most popular one they offer is with a marinated tofu so good you’ll lick the paper it was wrapped in.
Point is Po’ Boy. We’re sandwiching together many things DIO adores in the next episode. We’ve got grinders, pickled vegetables, New Orleans and tofu. We’ve got joy, we’ve got fun, we’ve got Season One almost wrapped. Banh Mi to you is our gift to eat with your eyes and hands. Our veggie Po’ Boy is so good (and easy) you’ll swear Sista Sally just delivered from PA. And if you needed any more teasing. , we’re featuring the beautiful Colleen Foy as our guest sous chef. More on her soon………
You know the drill babies, Come hungry and get ready to taste a better life because we’re……gonna Dish It Out!