Food + Drink / Insights

SoFla Flavor

A new cookbook explores the neighborhoods of the Florida Keys.

January 04, 2011

In a quest to find the most soulful items deep in the savory bend of South Florida, Linda Gassenheimer’s The Flavors of the Florida Keys plumbs the passion behind the most distinctive neighborhood dishes of this little-explored culinary landscape.


Whisky Recipes

Johnnie Walker pours us a cocktail.

December 09, 2010

Johnnie Walker, the world’s best-selling whisky, also happens to make some delicious cocktails. Known for its colorful portfolio of labels, the spirit shares some of its concoctions here—from a classic Rob Roy to a wasabi and green tea-spiked Green Label Sky. Pick your color and get mixing

Red Label: Blood and Sand
½ oz. Johnnie Walker Red Label
1 tbsp. orange juice
½ oz. sweet vermouth
½ oz. fresh cherry syrup
Orange peel for garnish

Add the Johnnie Walker, orange juice, vermouth and cherry syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.


Black Label: The Perfect Rob Roy
2 oz. Johnnie Walker Black Label
¾ oz. sweet, dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
Lemon twist for garnish

Add the Johnnie Walker, vermouth and bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until cold and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.


Green Label Sky
1.5 oz. Johnnie Walker Green Label
.25 oz. wasabi paste
Cherry Juice
Green tea
Garnish with 2 cherries
Add the Johnnie Walker, wasabi paste, cherry juice and green tea to a shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with cherries.


Gold Label Frost
1 oz. Johnnie Walker Gold Label
5 oz. Apple cider
Dash apple bitters
Lemon peel for garnish

Add the Johnnie Walker, apple cider and apple bitters to a Collins glass filled with ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon peel.


Blue Label
Drink alone, on the rocks or neat. 


Artsy Champagne

Dom Pérignon makes the holidays even brighter.

December 09, 2010

If you are going to pop a bottle this holiday season, you might as well do it right with a beautiful limited edition Warhol-inspired bottle of Dom Pérignon ($157). The unique collection of three bottles, each with a distinct label in red, blue or yellow, pays homage to the iconic colors regularly used by Warhol. The tribute was inspired by one of Warhol’s diary entries, in which he mentions bottles of Dom.

Dom Pérignon makes the holidays even brighter


Spring Fling

Cocktails to celebrate the season’s triumphant return.

July 26, 2010

As spring keeps unfurling, add a couple of new, sunny cocktails to your repertoire—courtesy of master mixologist Nick Mautone—and continue to lighten up.


1 part Grey Goose vodka 
2 parts coconut water 
1½ parts lime juice 
1 part crème de banane 
½ part simple syrup or 1 teaspoon superfine sugar 
¼ honeydew melon (diced into one-inch cubes) 
2 tablespoons honey (or 2 teaspoons sugar) 
Mint leaves for garnish 
Club soda (optional)

In a bowl, combine the melon cubes with honey and stir well to dissolve honey. (Melon can be stored overnight in the refrigerator.) Let melon sit for five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer melon to a reusable bag and chill in freezer while preparing the rest of the drink. Reserve the remaining melon juice. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add coconut water, lime juice, simple syrup, vodka, crème de banane and one ounce of the reserved melon juice. Shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with moisture. Fill a highball glass with melon cubes and a few ice cubes. Strain cocktail into a glass and garnish with mint leaves. Top with club soda if desired.


1½ parts Grey Goose Le Citron 
1½ parts tart cherry juice 
¾ part parfait amour 
¾ part lemon juice 
¾ part simple syrup 
1 slice star fruit (for garnish) 

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a wineglass with several ice cubes. Garnish with a star-fruit slice (and a splash of spring fever).


Aarti Party

LA resident Aarti Sequeira spices things up on The Next Food Network Star.

July 26, 2010


There are only four women remaining on the hit show The Next Food Network Star, one of them LA resident Aarti Sequeira. We queried her about the show, what sets her apart from other cooking personalities and what she loves about LA.

LOS ANGELES CONFIDENTIAL: Why does the Food Network need a personality like yours? 
AARTI SEQUEIRA: The great thing about the Food Network is that they endeavor to provide something for everyone. And there’s no one on the network cooking the kind of food that I do—familiar American dishes with a splash of Indian flair.

How does it feel to be one of four women remaining in the show? 
I am honored to be included in this group. I’ve walked away from this process with some true friends I know I’ll stay connected with for the foreseeable future.

You have an incredibly popular website, How instrumental was the success of the site to making it on the show? 
Producing my own show before I started on this show meant that I was über-comfortable in front of the camera. It also helped me learn how to cook and talk at the same time.

How long have you lived in LA? 
About seven years. I love it, primarily because of the massive variety of food available here. And don’t even get me started on the year-round farmer’s markets.

What are some of your favorite places to eat? 
At the moment I’m obsessed with Chego, the restaurant from the chef behind the Kogi truck.


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