Chef Laurent ‘LQ’ Quenioux fights fierce competition
By Frier McCollister READ MORE HERE https://arroyomonthly.com/pop-up-king-holds-court/
If there is a classically trained, fine dining chef in Los Angeles who was best positioned to weather the turbulent exigencies and uncertainties of the pandemic, it is chef Laurent Quenioux.
A native of the Loire Valley’s Sologne, Quenioux has been pivoting masterfully since he arrived in Los Angeles in 1981.
Quenioux has had a successful run since moving to LA — the 7th Street Bistro in Downtown Los Angeles opened in 1983; the small and eccentric Bistro K in South Pasadena; and the lauded Bistro LQ, which closed in 2013. He anticipates tastes and trends without sacrificing quality or his vision of French cuisine with a fresh California spin on it. READ THE ALL ARTICLE HERE https://arroyomonthly.com/pop-up-king-holds-court/
For the past 5 years, Chef Laurent Quenioux and his team “LQ Foodings” has resided in Highland Park, featuring their “Ma Maison” dinners. Chef Laurent invited guests into a private home and featured a tasting menu that has been called some of the best underground dining in Los Angeles. Over the years the team has focused on seasonal menus with produce from local farms and purveyors.
With the current change in the economy and unforeseen circumstances, the team had no choice but to look into a new location. Of course, Chef Laurent started to look into homes within the LA area but the options were beginning to dwindle in order to find a viable space to use for the Ma Maison pop up dinners, but that was also within the budget. Unfortunately, the market in LA was not going to work out. So the tough decision came to venture out east. After many months of searching and finding funding, a new location was finally procured.
The new location is situated between the 71 and 91 freeways 20 minutes from Irvine (at the county line). Many people are unfamiliar with the area, but the space and location fit all of the needs for the team. We are excited to be entering a new market but are also hoping that our LA customers will make the trip out to the new location. Although it seems far, because again people are unfamiliar with the area, in comparison to the traffic that we deal with in LA the traffic and distance isn’t that much further off. Most Los Angelenos are used to spending up to 1 to 2 hours in traffic daily to get anywhere within the LA borders, why not spend that time and venture to a new area?
The new space will allow the team to feature much more than ever before. The inside seating will allow guests a first-hand look at the kitchen as well as limited kitchen bar seating at the Chef’s Table. The space will be very interactive and give guests an insight to how the team creates and cooks such a wonderful tasting menu. During the summer our patio area will invite guests to enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding hills and vibrant sunsets – also separate seatings will be available. Being in such a new and creative space, the team is excited to share new menu items as well as take-home items that will be available for purchase in our pop-up shop after dinner. As we do understand that some people may be driving further out, we want the experience to be nothing compared to other LA eateries. We truly do hope as a team to flourish in our new location, and that it becomes an inviting space for our guests, collaborations, cooking classes and so much more.
As part of our new creative outlets we have begun to experiment with more bread making from scratch. The team will be using their own starters along with a variety of different styles of breads from different cuisines.
“Promo Codes + Discounts for Returning Guests”
We understand that the majority of our existing customer base is from further out in Los Angeles, so we would like to extend to our returning guests an incentive to visit our new location. We will be looking into discount codes with Uber directly for guests who are willing to travel together to split costs.
“Extended Tasting Menus + Additional Desserts + Vegetarian tasting once a month”
Since this new location is a new venture for us, we would like to use the opportunity to make a change ourselves. Being a group of creative minds, we would like to entice guests with new menu items, extended tasting menus and even additional desserts. We want guests to experience something different than the traditional restaurant setting.
LQ has been a pioneer on many occasions, and in numerous locations. His vision has proven him right and others have followed where he first trod. In 1983 he opened 7th Street Bistro in Downtown Los Angeles. Most people thought he was insane to open a restaurant in that location, but it turned out to be a huge success from day one until it closed 10 years after fighting the metro rail construction. Then came Alhambra and South Pasadena, leading the way in to the San Gabriel valley in the early 2000s, followed by the opening of Bistro LQ on Beverly Boulevard, revamping the area and paving the way to many trendy eateries in the area today!
Of course then came @ MaMaison pop-up at the home in Highland Park and once again, 10 years prior to the trendy area that Highland Park became. Once again LQ was ahead of the curve! He now believes that the future of the most interesting new food trends will come from the 91 corridor, from Costa Mesa to Riverside via the Pomona area including Claremont and the surrounding towns. This will become the best place to enjoy great foods and local gastronomy!
Review: French bistro from the ‘00s comes back to life as delivery service
Critic Brad A. Johnson reveals how to get a 4-course French meal delivered to your home from a popular bistro that no longer exists.
A few months ago, I had a chance to visit Greenbar Distillery in downtown. Litty Mathew, one of the founders and makers, had invited me for a personal tour after enjoying a cassoulet night at LQ Foodings. Cassoulet night can do that!
As Los Angeles’ original distillery, she and her husband, Melkon Khosrovian, have been making spirits since 2004. They make pretty much everything you can think of – vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, amaro, liqueurs and even bitters.
What makes these organic spirits interesting to a chef is the use of real ingredients, just like in cooking. I was intrigued so we collaborated on a cocktail pairing dinner with Greenbar Distillery earlier in the year. It was really fun and we’ll be doing it again.
I had a chance to ask Litty a few questions about Greenbar Distillery’s unique approach to liquor and I thought you’d enjoy the answers:
Laurent: So Litty. Welcome to my blog.
Litty: Thank you, Laurent! No one’s ever invited me inside one.
Laurent: What struck me on our distillery tour was how you look at everything as if it were a cooking ingredient. You talked about the wood you use to age your SLOW HAND whiskey as an ingredient. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Litty: It’s true that we have a culinary approach to making spirits, even whiskey. For Melkon and me, the act of eating and drinking shouldn’t be separated. Therefore, there’s got to be certain tasty harmony. And regarding the six woods we use in the SLOW HAND whiskey, each one has a unique taste that reminds me of stuff we eat. The hard maple wood tastes like butterscotch and the red oak tastes like clove and cinnamon.
Laurent: Are you trying to replace wine at the dinner table?
Litty: Don’t get jealous, wine. Cocktails made with Greenbar Distillery spirits add a dimension to the meal because you can mix flavors from the meal into the cocktail. Remember at our first cocktail pairing dinner, you made a sea urchin chawan mushi, which is like a Japanese style savory egg custard? We paired that with a cocktail made with TRU lemon vodka and shiso leaf. You can’t add shiso leaf to wine is all I’m saying.
Laurent: Okay. That was a nice drink. It is fun to change things up because it’s like being on an adventure.
Litty: Adventures in flavor.
Laurent: What I like about you guys is you’re bringing life to something commercial. Alcohol used to be more about lifestyle and entertaining. You’re changing the boundaries of what is acceptable at the dining room. Do you see yourselves that way?
Litty: Thanks! We are trying to change the way people think of spirits. There’s such a disconnect between eating beautiful, locally grown food yet consuming vodka that came in a plastic jug. I hope we’re helping to take the blinders off. When folks try Greenbar spirits, they’re delighted by the taste. Our spirits do belong on the dining table because that’s the place we had in mind when created them.
Laurent: So when you’re not making spirits, what are you doing?
Litty: Eating! Ha ha. I adore coming to your dinners because you have, how do you say in French, and I’m sure you’ll correct me if I say it wrong…ouverture d’esprit. You’re fearless with flavor. I admire that.
July 25 2017
One of L.A.’s Best Tasting Menus Is in the Backyard of a Highland Park House
Chef Laurent Quenioux @MaMaison with a six-course dinner and some seriously spectacular cheese
read the full review
June 5 2017
WATCH THE VIDEO LINK BELOW
Try the Best Cheese Cart in L.A. Again,
Chef Laurent Quenioux @MaMaison with a six-course dinner and some seriously spectacular cheese
Bravotv.com’s digital series Going Off the Menu takes viewers on an exclusive culinary adventure as host Graham Elliot uncovers the most delicious offerings within Los Angeles’ underground food scene. From a secret supper club serving smuggled cheeses to an eight-course liquid dinner, join Lance Bass, Cheryl Burke, Reza Farahan, and more as they give fans the secrets to unlock these extraordinary food experiences.
When it comes to his famous cheese cart, chef Laurent Quenioux doesn’t pull any false modesty. “We have the best cheese cart in the country,” he says, backing up the assertion with facts that are sure to excite those who get excited about such things—overall, the selection, which changes with the seasons and availability, showcases around 50 different varieties, 40 of which are raw milk cheeses from France and around ten that are produced by artisanal makers in the U.S.
We are starting the summer season with a bang on June 30! Tickets are available now for June and July on our Foodings page. Tomatoes from our garden will be irresistible in a few weeks, so treat yourself, and join us for our 6 courses of tomatoes paired with Rose wines from around the world, on July 7th. Heaven!
Apricot Lane Farms has been the perfect partner to us. John and Molly, the owners, are so committed to growing the best produce possible. Not only that, their live stock program keeps on growing, so soon we will be able to get their beautiful hens for our events.
All of their animals roams free and feed on pasture. That’s what sustainable farming is about, and what makes it such a pleasure as a chef. To work with only the best ingredients makes work a joy.So, yes, after 2 months of SOLD OUT “Celebrating Spring” dinners we are making room for Summer with its bounty of gorgeous ingredients from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest and we could not be more delighted. See you in July and August….
The last Menu of the Spring 2017 “Closing the Season”
LQ Fooding“Last Spring Series”
Breads by “Bread Lounge”, Olive oil by “Carre des Huiles”, Vegetables & Herbs by Apricot Lane Farms and our own garden whenever possible
Apricot lane Farms Haricot vert | Foie Gras torchon “Griotte” | Cherry gel | “Elote” | L8 Harvest Vinaigrette | Chanterelles
Soft shell crab, Pork Belly, Crayfish
Confit Pork Belly | XO Glaze | Miso fava Beans & Sweet peas emulsion | Crayfish | soft shell crab | Chimichurri
Daurade Royale “Printanier”
Lamb “jus” | Young Carrots | Young Kohlrabi | Spring Onions | Basil | Zucchini Blossom| Morels | Garbanzo Gnocchi
Escargot “petit gris” Tostada
Green Garlic Cremeux | chipotle | Epazote from the garden | white asparagus | “mousseron”
Sonoma Moulard Duck
Confit leg, Roasted Breast, Heart anticucho | potato in Duck fat | Porcini | Mulberries from Apricot lane Farms | Chards from our garden
Timut Black Pepper Blanc-manger | Apricot “Flora Gold” and Honey from apricot lane farms | peach Sorbet | Pistachio Tuille
Selection of non pasteurized cheeses imported from France
3 cheeses – $12 / 5 cheeses – $20 / 7 cheeses – $28
$5 for add’l Cheese / $5 for Truffle Honey
20% gratuity will be added
18 THINGS THAT DRIVE CHEFS (AND ME EVEN MORE ) CRAZY
1. UNDEPENDABLE VENDORS
Chefs take pride in their ability to produce consistently great food, in a timely fashion, that exceeds the expectations of the guest. This is, after all, the core of their job description. This is difficult to accomplish if vendors fail to produce the right food, at the expected quality level, at the time requested. When vendors fall down in this regard the chef’s system falls apart.
2. SALESPEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THEIR PRODUCTS
Although I do hate to generalize – far too many salespeople today do not understand the chef, the kitchen, or the product that they are trying to sell. “Where is it from – what farm – what part of the country? How was the animal raised? What is the flavor profile of that pork? What is the typical yield from a case of…? What is the shelf life of that cryovac meat? When was the fish caught and how was it handled?” These are not unusual questions, nor are they unrealistic expectations of a person whose job it is to sell a product.
3. BEING LATE
The real test to punctuality is whether or not the person is present, at the scheduled time, and fully ready to work or engage. Failure in this regard is the quickest way to experience the wrath of a chef.
4. NO CALL/NO SHOW
This one is simple – unless you are in the hospital, or are in the midst of a real family emergency, if you do not show up, or call to explain why, you are done in the chef’s mind. Some chefs lose their cool over this while others simply write the person off. The real tragedy here is the impact that this has on the person’s teammates.
5. DULL KNIVES
To a chef, this is the most basic requirement of a cook – take care of your tools! When a chef sees a cook with a knife that is unable to perform because there is no proper edge – well, let’s just say that the cook will not have to wait too long to feel the presence of the chef.
6. A LACK OF RESPECT FOR INGREDIENTS
Everything that a cook works with has value – not just monetary value, but even more importantly a connection to the hard work and passion of the person (farmer, fisherman, rancher, cheese maker, charcutier) who toiled over the process of growing, raising, or preparing that ingredient. When a cook fails to show respect for this – the chef views it as an affront to all of those individuals, the chef, the restaurant, and the guest who will eventually consume the finished product.
7. NOT LABELLING AND DATING
Everybody knows how important this is – label and date, first in-first out. These rules are embedded in every employee’s subconscious in an effort to preserve the quality of ingredients, minimize waste, and make sure that costs are controlled. So – why is it that so many fail to follow this simple rule that takes but a few seconds to accomplish?
Profit margins in a kitchen are very slim. It doesn’t take much to turn a potential profit into a loss. Profitability in a restaurant kitchen is everyone’s responsibility and a good place to start is eliminating or at least – minimizing waste. Use everything! Find a use in stocks, purees, soups, features, staff meals, etc. As a wise French chef once told me: “You don’t make money on the onion – you make it on the onion peel. You don’t make money on the lobster – you make it on the lobster shells.”
9. THINGS NOT RETURNED TO THEIR PROPER PLACE
We learn to practice mise en place at our stations, and most cooks through trial and error, pick up on this rather quickly. The same mise en place needs to take place throughout the rest of the kitchen. How much time and product is wasted because items were not returned to their rightful home?
10. SLOPPY COOKS / POOR SANITATION
Cleanliness is the first rule of the kitchen. Personal cleanliness, uniform cleanliness, station cleanliness and sanitation – these are the absolutes of any kitchen. When a cook doesn’t look or work clean the chef has every right to be livid.
11. BEING THE TASTE TESTER
“Chef – taste this and let me know what you think?” This is, of course, a reasonable request by a cook – one that every chef insists on until the cook has built a trustworthy palate. The typical response from a chef would be: “Have you tried it first – what do you think?” When the cook states that he hasn’t tried it yet – the chef sighs with disappointment. This transference of responsibility drives a chef crazy.
12. CARE FREE ATTITUDES ABOUT BROKEN CHINA AND GLASSWARE
It happens – a misplaced item on a shelf, an over-burdened server tray, a plate too hot to handle, or a glass rack stuck in the dish conveyor. Suddenly we have china casualties. We expect this in a kitchen, but we must try to avoid it. That tray of broken dishes might equate to much of today’s profit margin. When carelessness and an aloof attitude result in breakage, or even worse, when people laugh at the broken result – the chef has to pause and collect him or herself.
13. NOT BEING READY
Whatever it takes, when those dining room doors open, when the bus arrives, when the bride and groom return from the church – the kitchen must be ready. There is no excuse – this is the Cardinal rule. If the kitchen is not ready it is ultimately the chef’s fault – when a cook or other staff are the cause, then the chef’s temperature is near boiling point.
Learn how it should be done, ask questions, make corrections, but when you know how it should be done, it must be done that way each and every time.
15. CUSTOMERS BEING RUDE AND CONDESCENDING TO SERVICE STAFF
Many things happen inside the restaurant that create tension – we deal with this. When a guest causes this tension because he or she feels entitled to do so at the staffs’ expense, then the chef will always come to the defense of the team.
16. NOT DOING YOUR JOB TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY
If you don’t know then it is the fault of inadequate training. When you know and fail to execute towards excellence, then the chef will shake his or her head in disbelief. When this happens frequently, then the chef may lose it.
17. LACK OF TEAMWORK
If a staff member fails to step in to help, if he or she is opposed to taking a few minutes to help the dishwasher, if a line cook who is caught up doesn’t see the need to help service staff by clearing trays or making more coffee, if the right hand avoids helping the left hand then a chef will find it necessary to state his or her disappointment.
18. NOT MY JOB
These are three words that can only be uttered once in a kitchen.
The most renowned and tasty wild black truffle is from a specific part of the Dordogne region in France, called the Perigord (that is where my godfather live). The landscape and natural resources of Perigord make it a phenomenal, unspoiled region rich in history and wildlife, with fine quality fresh produce. Perigord has a reputation for duck confit and goose Foie gras products, but it is the heartbeat – the center – for black truffles in France. Our last Black Truffle dinner was March 3rd and here is the menu below to get you ready for our Black truffle season returns in 2017.
The Menu (3/3) 8 courses of black truffles from Perigord – “Closing the Season”
Cauliflower Cremeux | Caviar de sologne | Santa Barbara uni | Truffle relish | “Elote”
Savoie, Royal Seyssel, Savoie, France
Truffle Chawan Mushi (steamed egg custard) | Spot Prawn | Ikura
2014 Chablis 1er Cru, Bourgogne, France
Crosnes | Black Chanterelles | First of the season english peas | Pea tendrils | Salted Haddock Beignet | Truffle tapioca
2015, Figari Rose, “Clos Canarelli”, Corse, France
Braised endive | Jamón ibérico | truffle soubise | Spiny Lobster
2012, Bengoetxe, getariako Txakolina, Spain
John Dory | wild Watercress emulsion | Miso Salsify | Lardon | Truffle tuille
2015, Muscadet les gras moutons, Loire, France
Truffle Celery Root Risotto | “anticucho” duck hearts | Smoked Duck crisp | Leeks
2015, Morgon “Vielles Vignes, Beaujolais, France
Last of the season Wood pigeon | cabbage “Embeurre” of truffles | Boudin blanc | Ramp emulsion | Walnut Foie Gras “gremolata” | Carrot crepe
2014, Domaine le Sang des Cailloux, Vacqueyras, Cote du Rhone, France
Cheese cart (Extra)
Ganache Truffle | Pistachio mousseline | Mandarine ice cream | chestnut whipped | matcha meringue