I love to hate bananas. They’re not the fruit for me. I’ll say that until the day I die, but I have to admit that I love banana bread more than words. Don’t ask me how that happened. I just know these things to be true.
So you know how the NoHo Arts District dot Com team loves to brag about our fabulous North Hollywood folks, right? We also like to give shout outs to our yummy restaurants that have made their home in NoHo. Well, combine both and we have the great news that Chef Aaron Grissom from Bow & Truss joins the cast of Bravo TV’s Top Chef Boston. Mark your calendars and tune in to he 12th season of “Top Chef” on Wednesday, October 15th at 10PM ET/PT.
NoHo's Aaron Grissom will be one of the chef'testants battling it out against the backdrop of Bean Town’s flourishing culinary scene. The chefs will go knife-to-knife at iconic Boston locales including Fenway Park, Plimoth Plantation and The Bull and Finch Pub, which served as the inspiration for “Cheers” and where exterior shots for the show were filmed. Mirroring Boston’s own rich history, Season 12 is full of firsts, including the first meal ever served on the field underneath the Green Monster, a challenge using only ingredients that would have been on hand at the first Thanksgiving meal, the first “Top Chef” food festival and the first fan appreciation challenge where fans of the show were invited to dine inside the “Top Chef” kitchen. The show will also feature a challenge highlighting Boston’s finest from the police and fire departments.
The stakes are higher than ever as “Top Chef” introduces sudden death Quickfire challenges that occur without warning throughout the season and a fiery judges table that puts every chef on the spot. The chefs will be tasked with serving up food for top entertainers, culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: actress Emmy Rossum, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, actor George Wendt (Norm from “Cheers”), “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen, Todd English, Barbara Lynch, Jasper White, Ming Tsai, Jacques Pépin, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette.
The chef’testants will bring out their knives as they battle it out for $125,000 furnished by Healthy Choice, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the title of “Top Chef.”
"I began cooking very young, around the age of 13. I was constantly in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother watching them prepare meals for the family. However these lessons were short lived. My mother stopped cooking when she got sick and we didn’t have much in the way of a “home cooked meal.” I took it upon myself to keep the family traditions alive and turned to some of my grandmother’s hand written recipe cards. I remember flipping through them for things I thought would be good for dinner and then discovered a hollandaise sauce recipe. Previous to my discovery I was, and still am, an Eggs Benedict connoisseur. The hollandaise sauce sparked my curiosity so I began testing, and failing. It was years later I learned how to do it properly in a professional kitchen.
I began cooking professionally at the age of 19 in a restaurant called the Pomodoro in Tacoma. I didn’t enjoy the work environment much so I left the Pomodoro to cook in a fine dining restaurant called Il Fiasco. I fell in love with food. I was responsible for making desserts and tossing salads. One day the chef gave me the opportunity to write the dessert menu and have a couple salad specials on the fresh sheet. I ran with it. I began modernizing classic American desserts like S’mores, Snickers bars, Reese’s pieces cups, baked Alaska so on and so forth. It wasn’t until I began making marshmallows for the handmade s’mores that I truly found myself loving cooking. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but being able to produce something from scratch that have only been previously purchased in a bag must have done it. I was ahead of myself at this point, trying to reinvent classics and deconstruct certain menu items. I would go home and write ideas for hours. Compiling many notebooks of crazy ideas, I presented my ideas to the chef and I just remember him laughing: “Son, this is all very interesting, and quite impressive, but you need to learn the basics before anything." Many years passed before I found he was right in that statement. I trained under Kyle Wnuk and Daniel Hutchenson. These two really sparked my passion. We learned stocks, curing meats, classic Italian, modern American. I treated this job like it was culinary school and to this day credit this restaurant experience to the foundation of my skills.
After Il Fiasco I left to gain some country club experience at a golf course called Chambers Bay. Chambers Bay was involved in many catering events, including the PGA golf tournament, countless weddings, buy outs, event dinners and wine pairings. I trained under Dustin Joseph, who attended Johnson Wells Culinary Academy. I learned the basics from Dustin, what I had been needing. What was gained most was the catering experience on a very large scale...wedding after wedding, tournament after tournament.
I left Chambers Bay and I landed a job at a gastro pub called Dirty Oscars Annex, (DOA). The bar was a dive. Barely any business. We took it from nothing to the front row, premier gastro pub of Tacoma. After building the business for a couple years we received calls from the Food Network asking if we were interested in shooting with Diners Drive In’s and Dives. We became so popular in Tacoma that guests were actually calling into the Food Network explaining that they must come check it out. We shot in October 2012 and shortly after the shoot I was invited down by Guy Fieri to help cater his birthday party in Santa Rosa. I took the opportunity and pursued a job from Guy’s friend who was opening a gastro pub in Venice the following year. I came down and opened Louie’s of Mar Vista as the consulting chef. Eight months in the place was running like clockwork and my job had concluded. Previous to my departure at Louie’s I heard that Bow & Truss was looking for a chef.
I took the interview with Shad Davis and liked everything about the job offer. I enjoyed the idea and challenge of stepping into the Spanish side of cuisine, previously foreign to me and my style. I moved to North Hollywood in February and haven’t looked back."
Here's a sneak peek at Top Chef Season 12.
Like the NoHo Arts (DANCE) District needs an excuse to dance! But we sure are glad we have a special day designated just for dance. After all, North Hollywood is Los Angeles' arts district that celebrates all the arts and one that has stellar dance studios, dancers, choreographers and dance shows. So if you see folks dance walking, Prancercising or dancing in the streets of North Hollywood on Saturday, July 27 you’ll know why - It’s National Dance Day!
In less than a month, 36 short films from 14 different schools throughout L.A. County will be featured at the third annual Los Angeles Student Media Festival.
Don't forget your Valentine!
We have the most beautiful roses!
The GROUP Rep presents
To cap off a really successful year, The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre gives us the extremely funny and suspenseful SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE, written by Charles Marowitz and directed by Larry Eisenberg.
Midtown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council
Presents 1st Annual
NoHo Arts District Holiday Open House
September 21, is World Gratitude Day. It is your opportunity to show your gratitude and appreciation to a person or organization that has done something that contributes to the betterment of the world. Every year it is celebrated on September 21.
If you were with us last blog you got to read about five easy things you can do to ruin your acting career. My hope is that after reading each you did whatever you could to avoid them at all cost. Let’s keep that ball rolling. Here are five more things you can do if you want to ruin your career.
It is a pleasure to introduce the Rico Adair Gallery to the NoHo Community.....
What made you decide to open up a gallery in NOHO?
The decision was really an answered prayer. We knew we needed to reach out to the NOHO arts district. Once that decision was made, we were immediately given an opportunity by Experience NoHo Festival producers, Cella Gallery and nohoartsdistrict.com to curate the Locals Only Art Gallery for the festival. We were supposed to have the show outdoors in the courtyard of the NOHO commons but the rain forced us indoors to our current location.