A Sustainable Kitchen brings people together to learn, share, innovate and discuss sustainable strategies for everyday life. Welcome to the table!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


FIGHTING FOOD DESERTS: A Farmers Market Walkabout With Chef Ari Taymor

How would you like to take a Sunday morning shopping tour of a farmers market with Chef Ari Taymor?

Join the launch of A Sustainable Kitchen's new program with this very special event.
Chef Ari Taymor of Alma, just named by Bon Appetit as 2013's Best New Restaurant In America, will lead an small group on a shopping tour of the Hollywood Farmers Market.
All proceeds will benefit the Lincoln Heights Community Garden build.
Details and tickets here:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

AB551- Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones

By Contributing Editor, Stephanie Georgieff

A few weeks before the election, in September of 2012, barely a third of California voters approved of the job the State Legislature was “doing.” The last major poll conducted in the state has pushed the rating up to a favorable 36%, a level unthinkable several years ago. In some small measure, it may be due because the Assembly and Senate are starting to introduce bills that many Californians actually care about, which will also allow greater freedom to create sustainable small businesses. With California’s global leadership in the food and agriculture sectors, it makes sense to pass laws encouraging entrepreneurship for which the Sunshine state is famous.

Passage of the California Cottage Food Law last year, finally decriminalized bake sales and home made bread purveyors. This law allows the creation of non-perishable foodstuffs such as popcorn, jams and cookies to be made in a person’s home kitchen. Such goods can be sold directly to the public now, and a permit process and limit to the number of employees and profits are in place. In our economically strapped times, allowing a family member to make an extra few bucks selling a family biscotti recipe to neighbors without fear of jail time seemed to many a good idea. It would reduce prison crowding and also increase tax revenues at the same time.

 A new law under consideration in the Assembly, introduced by Democratic Assembly member Phil Ting of the 19th District in Western San Francisco has the dubious title of “Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act,” AKA as AB 551. It seemed only proper if the state was going to decriminalize goods from home kitchens, that house gardens should not only be given the same freedoms but also incentives. With populations booming around the world, development of agricultural land, the issue of feeding people in the future is on the mind of planners and legislators alike. Urban farming is becoming more and more of a need, but in the expensive real estate of California’s major urban centers, it can be out of the question.

The major thrust of AB 551 is to encourage landowners who sign a contract with their county to put their property to urban agricultural use for 10 years. After this contract is signed, their property will be assessed at a lower tax rate based on agricultural use rather than its market value. In places like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco where the median house price can range between $500,000 to a million dollars, allowing a small urban farm in the front or back yard is a triple win. Land owners can lease their property to farmers or farm themselves, providing truly local produce to hungry cities, and cut down on food miles that rural farms must log to bring product to market. Such farms can also improve the air quality of cities, and in some instances such as roof top gardens, actually cut energy costs. Agricultural incentive zones can also create good, sustainably minded jobs surrounding food. With increased demand for farmers markets, one of the main complaints of market managers is getting farmers to come. With the development of back yard or abandoned property as farms, demand can be met while giving meaningful work to many who are struggling to find jobs. Before World War II, Los Angeles County used to be the most productive agricultural  county in the nation boasting 40,000 small family farms. AB 551 may be the solution to improving access to fresh locally grown produce in “food deserts” converting depressed areas back into lush farmland, one yard at a time.

As of this writing, AB 551 made it out of committee, and is expected to pass on to the Assembly and go on to the Senate. It is exciting to see the Sunshine State take the lead on incentivizing the consumption of real, nutritious food. It is our hope, that this will be a model for other states with large urban populations. If you live in California, please contact your local representative and encourage them to vote yes for AB 551

Friday, May 31, 2013

More Details on the Muir Ranch Dinner Tomorrow

Farm-to-Table Dinner at Muir Ranch June 1

Muir ranchMuir Ranch’s third annual Farm-to-Table Dinner will be Saturday, June 1, from 4-7 PM at the ranch, on the campus of John Muir HIgh School.
Come eat a locally grown and harvested, gourmet meal and support Muir Ranch's summer intern program! (Heels are not recommended for mulch pathways!)
The dinner features speaker Robert Egger: As former president of the DC Central Kitchen, and founder of LA Kitchen opening this year, Egger will speak on food justice, food access, food waste, and the importance of involving the youth in growing their own food.
Food  will be catered by Large Marge Sustainables and the Muir Ranch catering class.  Music will be provided by Beex of Icy Lytes.
Muir Ranch is a combination school farm, community-supported agriculture business, and culinary school acting as a teen jobs program.  
The Ranch is seeking donations of kitchen items ( CLICK HERE to check out our gift registry --  First name: Muir Last name: Ranch)
Price is $57, with a $4.13 ticket fee.  Sign up at http://summerinterns.eventbrite.com/

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Saturday, May 18

The two guys in hats, Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms and Chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant


Join us when we welcome two sustainable stars and good friends, chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant and Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms, to collaborate with A Sustainable Kitchen. They will be showing off some of the best Weiser Family Farms has to offer this Spring. There will be two recipes, one chef's choice and one farmer's choice.
We will be getting weekly updates from Alex on what will be coming from the Farm and posting them on our Facebook page!
We can hardly wait to see what they will be cooking up! You know it will be delicious.

This is one of our free public out reach events so please come early for the best seats.


Saturday, May 18, 2013, 11am-1pm

The Test Kitchen 
in Surfas Restaurant Supply and Gourmet Food
8777 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And Now a Word From National Geographic/Ocean Views

Asking the Question, "Should Plastics Be Labeled 'Hazardous' To Reduce Ocean Pollution?"

Every year worldwide, 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used. That is one million every minute of everyday. And that does not included plastic bottles, packaging and the hundred and hundreds of other things we use made from plastic. How are we as a world at recycling them? Well to be honest, not very good at all. So they end up in landfills or the ocean.
Once in the ocean do they disappear? Slowly overtime, they are broken down into small, then tiny bits, but it takes hundreds and hundred of years for them to decompose.Their effect on sea life can be devastating.
So should they be considered "hazardous'? Check out the link to National Geographic's Ocean Views to get their take. 
Should Plastics Be Labeled “Hazardous” to Reduce Ocean Pollution?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

10 Vegetarian Chili Recipes !

How did Meatless Monday go? Did you take the pledge and stick to it? 
We love this free Chili Cookbook from the Meatless Monday Campaign featuring 10 recipes such as Cajun Chili Cups, Cozy Cashew Chili, and Sweet Potato Chili Over Cous Cous.

Monday Chili e-Cookbook:  http://bit.ly/mondaychili

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Meatless Monday - I Dare You !

The Monday Campaigns is a national movement backed by leading public health schools that dedicates the first day of every week to health. Every Monday, individuals and organizations join together to commit to healthy behaviors that help end chronic preventable diseases.
Why Monday? It’s the January of the week, the perfect time for a fresh start. People are more likely to begin exercising, start a diet or quit smoking on Monday than any other day. It’s a call to action built into every calendar – 52 chances a year to live a longer, healthier life!

Why Meatless?

Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Read about these benefits below. But keep in mind that just going meatless is not enough. That’s why we give you the information you need to add healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives to your diet each week. Further, if you do eat meat on other days, we strongly recommend grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

Health Benefits

Environmental Benefits

  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Three Reasons to Love Ampelos Wines

from the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association as published on www.sbcountywines.com
"Ampelos" (a Greek name meaning "vine") truly represents the focus of Peter and Rebecca Work which is a shared belief, that all great wines are made in the vineyard. Good grapes produce great wine. As winemakers and farmers, they believe that taking care of and respecting the environment is essential in producing excellent wines.
Rebecca and Peter Work Ampelos is one of the first vineyards in the US to be certified SIP (sustainability in practice), organic and biodynamic.
The estate vineyard has been planted with those varietals that showcase the location, soils and climate at the site. They are thrilled that those best suited to the Ampelos vineyard are those grapes which are their favorites! The varietals they have planted are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and a little bit of Viognier, based on extensive clone diversity to provide their "spice cabinet".
Sustainable - in for the long term
Cover crop at ampelos vineyardSustainable farming utilizes the principles of ecology - the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term."
Sustainable farming is far more encompassing, and more difficult to define, than either organic or biodynamic practices. Sustainability looks to protect both natural and human resources, and oftentimes a sustainable farm will also be organically or bio-dynamically farmed. In addition to farming, sustainability includes practices to enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends, make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources, sustain the economic viability of farm operations and enhance the quality of life for farmers, their community and society as a whole.
Our winery of the week, ampelos, for instance has installed solar power for their vineyard and home. Read about their farming practices here.
SIP certified Vineyards and wineries can become SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified.The comprehensive rules for SIP Certification (known as Standards) address many interrelated elements of the whole farm system. Habitat conservation, energy efficiency, pest management, water conservation, economic stability, and human resources are some of the key elements of the program. The Standards look at the farm in its entirety: the worker, soil fertility, cover crops, wildlife, native plants, irrigation, and more. Click here to check out the Standards for certification and learn more about this program.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Chowder Time


Come visit ASK at the sustainability table. 
This time we are literally "bringing good ideas to the table". 

Joining us will be:
 Edible Westside with current and back issues of the magazine
 Alex Weiser, sustainable farmer extraordinaire, from Weiser Family Farms
 SEE-LA (Sustainable Economic Enterprises) with the latest farmers market news
Burkhard Organics will be sampling their amazing organic navel oranges 
U.S. Green Building Council - LA Chapter with information on the LEED Platinum rated building right on the Aquarium's grounds.

So join us for a delicious afternoon and support Seafood For The Future!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Sneak Peak At the Renovation Project at Food Forward

The Fruitmobile transports volunteers and the fruit they have gleaned to redistribute to over 40,000 hungry Angelenos per month !

A new intern station ! Check out the repurposed fruit picker that is now a lighting element.

Happy volunteers !

Taking advantage of daylighting, reclaimed wood, and a pop of color.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Farmers Market Recipe: Heart Healthy Pesto Baked Turbot

from Contributing Food Editor, Katheryne Phillips
In the spirit of love and Valentine's Day, this recipe is not only a great idea for a romantic dinner for two, but it's super heart healthy as well.
I’m super excited to share this recipe with all of you, because it includes one of my favorite fishes, Turbot. Most people don’t even know about this delicious flat fish. It's firm, yet delicate, with an extremely buttery taste. I would compare it to Sea bass in texture and taste, but it's less than ½ the price per pound. That makes this recipe not only good for your heart, but good for your wallet too. There are a lot of steps to this dinner, but they are easy steps, and so worth the outcome.

Pesto baked Turbot with leeks and roasted tomatoes, rainbow quinoa, and parmesan romanesco.
2 6-8oz fillets of turbot skin off
2/3 cup rainbow quinoa
1 1/3 organic chicken stock
6 crimini mushrooms chopped
2 leeks chopped and soaked clean
Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 head of romanesco (about 1lb)
¼ cup good quality fresh cello grated parmesan
1 shallot diced
2 cloves of garlic (smashed and diced)
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
Teaspoon of dried oregano
Teaspoon paprika
Olive oil
1 sauce pan
Pot with lid
Tinfoil lined baking sheet.
Oven safe glass or casserole baking dish

First step is the quinoa because it will take the most amount of time.
Quinoa: Begin by toasted the quinoa in a hot pan. Toast over med-hi heat for about 3-4 minutes or until you can smell the grain actually toasting. To prevent burning the quinoa, consistently swirl the grain around the pan. Once it’s toasted, set it aside.
Heat your chicken broth in a small pot with a lid until its boiling. Add a pinch of salt, and then toss in your toasted quinoa. Put the lid on the pot, and simmer for about fifteen minutes at low heat.
Now add your chopped shallots to a hot pan and sauté with a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to soften, add your chopped mushrooms, (more oil if needed) garlic, dried oregano, and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and cook for another minute. Once all of your veggies look soft remove from the heat.
If the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid in its pot, remove it from the heat, and mix in the mushrooms and shallot mixture. Lightly stir all together. If you’d like to keep the quinoa warm while the fish bakes, put all of it back into your pan, turn heat to lowest setting, cover with a lid and let sit until dinner is ready. You may want to add a bit more broth at the end of this step if it gets dry.
Fish: Pre-heat your oven to 375F.
Put all of your basil, spinach, chopped garlic, lemon juice and a 1/3 cup of olive oil in to a food processor and blend together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl toss your tomatoes with olive oil and salt.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add your chopped and cleaned leeks, and a pinch of salt.  Sweat over med high heat for about 8 minutes or until the leeks have softened and turned opaque in color. 
Once the leeks become soft cover the bottom of your baking dish with them, this will create a soft bed for the fish to bake in.
Next place your Turbot fillets in the baking dish. Top the turbot with a heaping pile of pesto, and arrange your small tomatoes around the fish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. The fish will be flaky in texture when it’s done. After 20 minutes, remove the fish from the oven and cover it with tin foil. Set it aside and turn your oven up to broil.
In a mixing bowl, toss 3 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika, lemon zest, parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper. Take the romanesco florets off of its core by cutting around the stem in a circular motion.  Once they are all free toss them in the olive oil, parmesan mix and lay them on your tin foil lined baking sheet. Place them in to the broiler for 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the florets, making sure they don’t burn while they broil. They should get soft and somewhat browned on all of their edges. The toasted parmesan should give them a bit of a crunch.
Now all you have to do is serve and enjoy the fruits or in this case fish of your labor.
This is a recipe by Katheryne Phillips of KatheryneCooks.com

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Profile: Red Bread

Who is the Founder of Red Bread?

My name is Rose Lawrence.  I am the founder and fermenter behind Red Bread. Previously I worked for international human rights law firms, education based NGOs, the U.S. Department of State, an architecture firm, and traveled the world performing as an actor. I have always been captivated by food and its significance in community and culture. I am committed to understanding the science, art, and magic of real food treated with care. I am a passionate baker, Master Food Preserver, Juris Doctor and am actively involved with food justice issues.

What is Red Bread?

Along with my husband we run Red Bread a Slow Food eGrocer.  Red Bread was launched in January of 2012 to bring whole, locally sourced, natural and artisanal food to the westside of Los Angeles. Wild Yeasted Sourdough breads and pastries were our first offering and remain at the heart of the eGrocer. We believe that bread should be nutritional and delicious. All it requires is good ingredients, care and time. We extend that belief to all our foods, constantly striving to bring the fields to your door.  Currently, you can pick up Red Bread at the SMFM on Wednesdays from 8am-1pm or have it delivered to your door on Sunday.  We will be opening a market/cafe at 13322 Washington Blvd 90066 in late spring, serving Breakfast, Lunch and Tea.

How does sustainability tie in with Red Bread?

In founding Red Bread, sustainability and our environmental impact at all levels was important to us. We begin with ingredients sourced from farmers utilizing organic practices and a high level of care for the food they produce. In our kitchen, we strive for zero waste; using every available part of an ingredient, preserving and fermenting our own pantry and vermicomposting whatever remains into our garden. The food crafted in our kitchen arrives at your door in compostable and recyclable packaging on one of our electric cargo bikes. Delivering by electric bike ensures Red Bread has a low carbon food print. Purveyors we feature in the eGrocer share many of the same values.  Additionally, 5% of all sales are donated to the LA Food Bank.

We believe all of these commitments, to our customers, to our food, to our packaging are necessary.  It is of the utmost importance that we understand and begin to think in systems.  Knowing our place in relation to the greater whole, our community, and acting always to add value ensures true sustainability.

What are the challenges ? 

It can be difficult when you are first starting out to locate all the purveyors you may need to stick to your values however, they are out there.  More of a challenge has been the perception that sustainability is a passing trend or marketing gimmick.  Always hoping to educate, we find ourselves talking with the public to enlighten as to why sustainable is not only admirable but the only real option we have in light of the growing burden on the farmer and the population boom.  This is specific to the food industry, but it is a new mindset we must adopt for the future in all endeavors.

Who inspires you? Do you have a sustainable super hero?

Johnny Appleseed for his generosity towards others and his conservationist efforts, for the land and animals.  The American Legend feels about apples much the same as we feel about bread, their worth goes far beyond sustenance.  Sandor Katz is my contemporary hero and an endless inspiration for preservation and sustainability in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spiny Lobster Demo Pics & Recipe

from our Food Editor, Katheryne Phillips
Glutonous amounts of lobster meat, duck fat, matsutake mushrooms, locally grown greens, white wine and a charismatic chef that’s about to show me what to do with all of it.  That’s what went down this week at our Surfas Culver City demo. A Sustainable Kitchen teamed up with Kim Thompson from Seafood for the Future, Edible Westside, and Chef Ray Garcia of FIG, Hotel Fairmont, for a demo that highlighted the beautiful, and sustainable California native spiny lobster.
Chef Ray Garcia and his team did a great job of showing the huge audience how to break down and cook the somewhat intimidating, hence its name, spiny lobster.  The Chef executed an amazing salad combining elegant, fresh, and local ingredients to create a beautiful plate layered with bright colors and rich flavors. While constructing his masterpiece, Chef Ray Garcia explained everything he was doing step by step, all while taking questions from the audience. He was awesome!
Not only did the audience get a great cooking tutorial, a lavish meal with wine, but they also got a quick lesson on the California spiny lobster and sustainable fishing from Kim Thompson.
Did I mention that all of this was FREE!

If you’d like to try to remake this meal yourself most of the ingredients are available at Surfas Culver City, Santa Monica Farmers Market, and Santa Monica Seafood.
Chef Ray Garcia’s recipe is as follows
Grilled Lobster:
2 California spiny lobster
1 in of ginger
1 clove garlic minced
The juice of ½ lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil

To Prepare:
Bring a large pot to a boil. Drop lobsters into pot, cook for 3 full minutes. Using large tongs, remove lobsters from the pot. When cool enough to handle remove tails with a firm twist and then cut the underside of the tails down the center, lengthwise.
Lobster Salad
2 California spiny lobster tails seasoned, cooked and grilled
5 Matsutake mushrooms
1 tablespoon duck fat
1 teaspoon aged soy sauce
2 pink lady apples
3 celery stalks with leaves
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
8 oz chestnuts
Slice mushrooms around 1/8 thick, rub lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper

To Prepare:
·       Slice mushrooms around 1/8 thick on a mandolin. Rub lightly with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill.
·       Remove from the grill and place in a shallow baking dish. Melt duck fat and add to dish with aged soy
·       Cover with foil and bake in a 300 degree oven until soft. Around 25 minutes
·       Once cooked, uncover and allow to cool to room temperature
·       Put chestnuts in a pressure cooker with just enough water to cover. Cook until soft. Once cool enough to handle puree with a little bit of cooking liquid. As the blender is running, drizzle in some olive oil, and then blend until smooth
·       Season with salt and pepper
·       Slice the apples to thin disks using mandolin. Cut assorted sizes of celery and pick the celery leaves from the stalks
·       Toss apples, celery, and leaves with EVOO, lemon, salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, lay some chestnut puree on the plate or a bowl. Arrange apple and celery on a dish. Add Matsutake mushrooms and drizzle a bit of the cooking liquid around.     

Special thanks to Seafood for the Future, Edible Westside, and Surfas.