Ready For Some Hot Chat?
Rumor has it here in Orlando, Fl. that you are going to be opening a restaurant here. Any truth to that?
No, Paul. Sorry, not yet -- unless a great offer came in! We are opening new restaurants -- Los Angeles, Las Vegas. So far they're all Border Grills, but we are looking for a new City Restaurant location.
City Restaurant was our first restaurant, back in Los Angeles. We opened it in 1981. And when our TV show and our radio show started up, we had the opportunity to sell it, so we did. But now we're itching to do it again. Especially since a lot of food on
the Tamales World Tour was from there. We had it for a long time. It was our baby.
Did your restaurant business increase dramatically after your success on the TV show?
Yeah, it actually not only increased -- it definitely did that -- but also, our clientele grew in a different way, which was wonderful for us. It was not only the new trendy hip people, it grew into people that might not have known about the restaurant.
And that's exciting.
Michael in Miami:
I just returned from Islamorada. They had something called the Eco-Weekend there. It showcased chefs doing ecologically safe foods. It was great to see all the alternatives. Talking about
natural foods, what do you use?
We try to buy as much as we can from the farmers' markets, which are all over LA. We go every Wednesday and every Saturday to the Santa Monica farmer's markets -- It used to be just produce
there, but now they get mussels and all sorts of stuff there.
We also work with a lot of individual farmers. For instance we work with the veterans hospital, which has a 15-acre garden, all organic. We buy dairy from Alta Dina or we try and buy, for example, dairy that doesn't have bovine growth hormone shot into the
cows, you know. So we really try to make a concerted effort.
We're not there totally, but we're making an effort and we're getting there more and more. If you're a chef, there's a group called the Chef's Collaborative and it's connected with Old Ways out
of Boston. The Chef's Collaborative is made up of a group of us that is committed to doing exactly what you're talking about.
A note: not only are you great chefs, you both sound like terrific humanitarians. Keep going!
Where do you see the Two Hot Tamales in five or 10 years?
In five or 10 years -- well, I think those are going to be two different places.
At five years, you know, I hope we'll have four or five restaurants, and probably a couple more cookbooks. Hopefully we'll still have a TV show. Our radio show will be on National Public Radio instead of on the LA affiliate. And I hope to be reading a lot
of books, not necessarily food-related, and working in my garden.
In 10 years, I hope to be working at a relaxed pace in my restaurant. And still teaching. I love to teach.
Do you guys ever teach cooking classes?
We've been teaching literally from the day we opened City Cafe in 1981. We still continue to teach -- usually every one to three months we teach a class at Border Grill in Santa Monica. We don't do
that much outside of Border Grill anymore, because we tape in New York so much, but we still try to teach that one class. It's open to the public -- I mean you have to sign up, but anyone can take it.
Spicy/citrus-y salsas have been coming more and more popular lately. Do you have any recommendations on what to drink with that flavor combination?
This is coming from my own taste, not necessarily what David Rosengarten might say -- I tend to like to balance a spicy-sweet with a dry white wine, a Sauvignon Blanc, or a beer. So there's a
contrast. I wouldn't want, say, a margarita. People tend to drink a lot of margaritas with Mexican foods, and there you're having citrus with citrus, and I just don't know.
What was the hottest (spiciest!) dish you've ever had?
Spiciest? Hmm. Probably a habanero sauce.
It's been my pleasure chatting with both yourself and your partner for the last hour. I wish you both much success in your new endeavors.
Thanks for coming Susan, and thank Mary Sue for us, too!
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us here on CuisineNet!
We love to do it! This is a great way for both Mary Sue and me to stay more connected to what people's questions are, what people are interested in -- That's why we keep teaching at the restaurant, and why we have our restaurant's web site. When we can hear what people are looking for, it helps us keep in touch.
I hope that you will do this again.
Thank you everyone! Good night!
Don't go anywhere! Winners of the books are coming up!
We have just drawn the winners of the three cookbooks, and the winners are...PaulMc, Oscar, and email@example.com -- Congratulations!
Thanks for coming everyone! Make sure to come back for next month's chat with Graham Kerr on Tuesday, October 14th.
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