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Here’s Who Will Be Representing LA on the Newest Season of Top Chef

Plus, a new fresh pasta player hits the LA noodle scene, and a hip wine and cheese shop opens in Long Beach

A bowl of pasta with a raised fork, noodles and all, shown from above.
Fresh pasta from Jackson Kalb’s Ospi.
Wonho Frank Lee

Ospi and Jame Enoteca chef Jackson Kalb is set to make his Top Chef debut in the show’s upcoming Houston-based season, reports Food & Wine. Kalb, a native Angeleno who first started his culinary career as a young teenager working after-school hours at Melisse, will join 14 other chefs from around the country on the cooking competition series starting March 3. This upcoming run (season 19) also marks the first new episodes back for one of food TV’s most storied competition franchises, after last season was clouded over by the win of chef Gabe Erales out of Austin. Erales was ousted from the restaurant he oversaw, Comedor, after being accused of and admitting to harassment and retaliation against a former female employee that he previously dated. Despite ongoing fan outcry, the show’s network Bravo still has not issued a formal statement about the allegations against Erales that broke ahead of the chef’s win on the show last year.

A new pasta player to pay attention to

Pasta Corner is now open at the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. The restaurant, fresh pasta emporium, and grocery takeaway has been up and running since mid-December but only hosted its ‘grand’ opening last Friday, January 21. The shop is teh work of Vincent Benoliel (Michelina), Matt Pokora, and famous actor, singer, and partner Christina Milian. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with an extension to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

Wine and cheese and everything nice

There’s a new wine shop and grocery takeaway to know about in Long Beach. The simply-titled Wine Cheese Etc. features tons of gourmet market goods as well as charcuterie boards, gelato from Gelato Festival, and more. The shop is owned by chef Stephen Murray (previously of Terroni in Downtown and next-door market Dopolavoro) and his wife, and keeps hours from midday through early evening daily at 2938 Clark Avenue.

Banchan for Echo Park, soon

Korean banchan pop-up Perilla LA has been teasing its upcoming brick and mortar space on social media for a while, and now What Now LA says the arrival could be coming very soon. The shop at 1027 Alpine Street will likely keep early AM through mid-afternoon hours, selling a variety of Korean takeaway dishes from owner Jihee Kim.

Good news for low-carb doughnut lovers

Santa Monica’s Alfalfa is going gluten-free, at least with its doughnuts. The colorful new concoctions are still made in-house using alternative grains — and as for the restaurant’s yeast-raised variety, they’ve sadly been discontinued.

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