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By Justin Chao 

Frying up some chicken in my iron skillet

Popo's fried chicken 


 I can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day than frying up some chicken.  My house still smells like fried chicken the day after.


Due to unexpectedly high demand, we have just sold out of Caramour.  Thanks everyone for trying out our new Valentine's Day Flavor! 


Every year, the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas, I make a fresh loaf of bread to eat Thanksgiving leftovers with.  In past years, I would never take to much turkey home because I wouldn't know what to do with it.  Now that I've started to bake bread, I've noticed that the turkey leftovers are gone within a day or two.

 I recently met Bill Disselhorst, the owner of Fiore Market Cafe.  He told me about Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery's recipe for a no-knead bread.  I rushed out and bought the book the next day because I was so curious about the recipe.  I've tried to make homemade crusty bread in the past but I've never had much luck.  I could never get the crust right.  

 This recipe is so easy and consistently makes a great loaf of bread.  The recipe calls for baking the loaf in a pre-heated cast iron pot.  The inside of the bread is incredibly moist and the crust turns out really crunchy and flavorful.


Click on the link below for the recipe:

New York Times Recipe for No-Knead Bread

By Justin Chao

Fresh Cherry Tart with Amaretto Creme Fraiche Bavarian Filling

Cherries are in season--and curiously, I have never seen a fresh cherry tart before.  After making my first one, I'm not sure why I've never thought of it before.  Fresh cherries are so good on tarts!  This tart has a lemon crust with almond cream baked inside of it.  On top of the almond cream, I put a layer of creme-fraiche bavarian cream that I laced with amaretto. 

Making this tart, I learned a little trick to pitting cherries.  Since I wanted the cherries to stay intact, I didn't want to use a pitter.  Plus, I don't really have room in my kitchen for anything else.  I just used a paperclip that I had unfolded into an "s" shape.  You can then use that to scoop out the pits.  It was quick and the cherries didn't bleed all over the bavarian cream.


Thanks to Chefs Center of California for organizing The Friday Food Festival. 


Every Friday through October from 6pm - 9pm, Chefs Center of California invites food trucks as well as artisanal food producers to come sell their products on their premises.  Through organizing the Friday Food Festival, Chefs Center provides even more support to the start-up food producer.  It can be very difficult when first starting a food business to find a place to sell since most farmer’s markets have a waiting list to get in.  It’s also great place to meet fellow food entrepreneurs!


Chefs Center of California

Friday Food Festival

45 N San Gabriel Boulevard

Pasadena, CA   91107

The "IN" Show

Jun 16 2011 | 0 comments

 Thanks to Gus Summers for having me on the "IN" Show this afternoon.  I had a great time talking to Gus who made me feel comfortable right away. 

Gus will post the interview soon on his website, but until then check out his website:


I was a busy man on Saturday. 


Not only was I at the Bakesale for Japan in the morning, but I also donated caramels as party favors to the USC Marshall Business School Challenge for Charity benefit gala.   Challenge for Charity is a nonprofit organization that organizes MBA candidates from nine graduate business schools to help support charity organizations such as Special Olympics, Junior Achievement, and A Better LA.  Challenge for Charity is organized as a competition in which the nine different business schools compete to see who can not only raise the most money but also volunteer the most hours for these charities.  The competition culminates in C4C weekend where the schools compete against each other to win additional points by playing competitive sports.


I was honored to be able to make a small contribution to Challenge for Charity by providing the party favors for the gala.  Unfortunately, none of my classmates were there, but I was happy to be able to get to know some people from the class of 2007.   Everyone I met was very kind and had gone on to do interesting things.  One of them had even gone on to start up a magazine called Halftime Magazine! 


Another highlight of the night was the speakers.  One of the speakers was a Special Olympics athlete.  She told us about some of the positive changes that Special Olympics had made in her life. 


Hopefully, I will be able to contribute to the C4C gala next year as well!




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