URBAN adj: relating to, or characteristic of a city or town. FORAGE v: the act of looking or searching for food or provisions. URBAN FORAGER: searchers for provisions in towns and cities; those who uncover the rare and wonderful.
When visitors to Los Angeles think of food in the city, they think Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Malibu…the westside of town. But author and arts educator Elisa Callow spent years exploring the communities in her neighborhood on the east side of Los Angeles and learning about the chefs and stores in little-known areas that no one was talking about. She put all that love and research together in her new cookbook, The Urban Forager: Culinary Exploring & Cooking on L.A.’s Eastside (Prospect Park Books/March 2019/Hardcover). Elisa shares her culinary foraging through one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures in Los Angeles, the diverse communities east of Hollywood.
Food makers representing the L.A. eastside’s diverse traditions share beloved personal recipes, ingredients, innovations, and neighborhood resources. A hands-on, stunningly photographed collection of inspiring recipes, profiles, and references for novice and adventurous home cooks and the culinarily curious, it includes conversations with Sumi Chang (Europane) and Minh Phan (porridge + puffs), as well as such acclaimed home cooks as Mario Rodriguez, Rumi Mahmood, and Jack Aghoian.
“Los Angeles has an unending number of flavors, culture, and food possibilities—many of which are tucked within the checkerboard of neighborhoods on the city’s eastside,” explains Elisa Callow. “I realized that to even begin to appreciate the various cuisines emerging and flourishing in Los Angeles requires time, respect, and attention. My urban foraging adventure yielded a deeper connection with the communities I explored—one of the most gratifying outcomes of my obsession. The chefs, cooks, and stores owners I met and include in this book offer a hint of the variety of delicious and unique food representing the diverse communities of L.A.’s eastside.”
Part cookbook, part guide to foraging the best L.A. has to offer, The Urban Forager is a compelling bridge to the unfamiliar, inspiring readers to enrich their culinary repertoire by foraging in own their communities.
The Urban Forager has recipes from the author’s own kitchen, along with beloved recipes from great cooks, friends, and family. Elisa provides a curated list of one-of-a-kind neighborhood shops offering quality ingredients, information on culinary basics, what to keep in the pantry, meal planning, essential equipment, and tips and techniques. There is something for everyone, from the novice cook to master chefs.
Some of the recipes in The Urban Forager include:
Madzooneh Shorba (yogurt soup)
Tart Cherry Soup with Lemon Thyme
Vegetable Soup – One Recipe, Ten Versions
Minh’s Vegan Porridge with Spring Green Sauce
Ricotta Corn Cakes with Peppercorn Sauce
Marinated Kale Salad
Pasta with CountryStyle Pesto
Mario’s Queso Fundido
Rumi’s Shrimp Dopiaza
Tri Tip Roast
Christiana’s Beet Chocolate Cake
Polenta Almond Cake