A Truly Tasty Two-Fer

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“So many restaurants, so little time,” I recently lamented to Stasha.

   “Agreed,” she returned. “I’m still amazed by the quality of restaurants in this area.”

   “Great quality, great menus, great culinary events. We could probably write two columns every week and still not cover all of the fabulous dining opportunities around here.”

   “So is that a suggestion to write about two restaurants this week?” wondered Stasha.

“How did you guess?”

“It’s pretty obvious. Which restaurants?”

“The True Food Kitchen cooking class and Capital Grille’s Generous Pour event.”

“Sounds good to me – let’s do it.”




“What do blueberries, artichoke hearts, walnuts, and cinnamon have in common?” I asked Stasha.

“Sounds like toppings you’d probably put on ice cream,” she teased. “But other than that, I’d say they’re four excellent sources of antioxidents.”

“Correct! And True Food Kitchen’s next cooking class teaches tips and techniques for cooking with foods loaded with antioxidants. Executive Chef Michael Stebner is going to prepare some new recipes that are heavy on antioxidents – and taste.”

“That sounds like something you could use,” stated Stasha.

She was correct, which is why I sat in on the class (more a cooking demo than a hands-on cooking workshop).

Executive Chef Michael Stebner conducts monthly classes at True Food Kitchen.

“We’re going to talk about atioxidents and what they are,” Chef Stebner told the 50 people sitting in the classroom adjacent to the restaurant. “An antioxidant is a food or nutrient that helps your cells slow down the oxidation process. When a cell oxidizes, it becomes a free radical that goes around and damages other cells. You can never eliminate oxidation but you can slow it down by eating antioxidant foods.”

Chef Stebner explained the four main antioxidents and where to find them:

Vitamin A (orange juice, carrots, yams), Vitamin C (citrus and other highly acidic foods), Vitamin E (nuts and seeds) and Soy (proteins, lean proteins, beans, soy foods, garlic).

   “We happen to cook with foods rich in antioxidents,” he told us. “People wonder if there’s a magic bullet for good health, but it’s all about eating right. Most diets are out of balance. People don’t get enough fiber and good fats, but they do consume lots of carbs. And you can’t have junk food for lunch and then go to True Food for dinner to make up for it.”

Backyard Summer Vegetable Salad and BBQ Salmon with Marinated Beans: accenting antioxidants at True Food Kitchen.

   “Eat more kale,” he added. “Kale is super high in a lot of vitamins. It’s one of the healthiest things you can eat.”

   I’ve had the Kale Salad at True Food and discovered it’s also one of the tastiest things you can eat. But Chef Stebner skipped the kale in favor of showing us how to make a Backyard Summer Vegetable Salad, and BBQ Salmon with Marinated Beans. All participants got to sample the menu prior to Chef Stebner’s demo, and it more than whetted our appetites for the instruction that followed.

These classes are held on a regular basis, and cover a new topic every time (August’s topic was Good Fat versus Bad Fat). Cost is $35 per person and includes lunch and the cooking class.

For more information on upcoming classes, visit www.truefoodkitchen.com or call 949-644-2400.




   “Chris, you like a generous pour, so this event sounds perfect for you,” said Stasha. “Capital Grille in South Coast Plaza is taking the generous pour concept to another level with their Generous Pour event: nine rare and limited vintage varietals hand selected by master sommelier George Miliotes, each highly rated by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, all available to accompany any lunch or dinner entrée for an additional $25.”

Nine featured wines are displayed at Capital Grille.

“You’re speaking my language – I’ll go check it out while you’re on vacation.”

   “Better hurry – the offer ends Labor Day weekend.”

   I ended up at a luncheon where I got to taste all nine wines, and can vouch for their superb tastes and appropriate matches to various foods. For example, the Freemark Abbey went well with the filet mignon my editorial assistant ordered, while the Byron Pinot Noir was perfect with my cedar planked salmon (one of the most succulent I’ve ever had).

   As Stasha pointed out, take advantage of this offer before the Generous Pour runs dry on Sept. 4.

   For details, visit www.thecapitalgrille.com.

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