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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Me and Top Chef Master Mark Peel


Please allow me to nerd out a little bit here.  I live in LA, where celebrities are as ubiquitous as the year-round sunshine.  I have cooked for some of these celebs, from D-List to A-List (Brangelina!), but nothing makes my head swivel like the sight of a Top Chef Master like Mark Peel.

Now chefs are notorious for being boisterous creatures who don't know how to use their inside voices.  After all, cooking is a craft and art form, and you know those creative types...

But Mark Peel was kind enough to let me have a picture taken with him in the kitchen of his new venture, Tarpit.  Tarpit, located right next door to Cube on La Brea, is a retro-fabulous cocktail lounge and restaurant that just opened 4 weeks ago.  In this age of "Tapas" and small plates I have come to expect miniscule portions and a disproportionately large bill, but the serving sizes were generous on the bar menu items.  For example, for their $9 duck sliders, I expected to receive one slider, but was happily surprised to get double. The Mac n Cheese was earthy and distinctive with mushrooms and sage and arrived at our table in a cute black cauldron; and the steak tartare was clean and classic and nicely textured. They have some kinks to work out, like all new establishments, but I loved the service, the atmosphere, and the menu selection.

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