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A Veteran Long Beach Chef Pens Cookbook-Slash-Memoir Set in Cambodia Town

Plus, a meat fest in Culver City, Tokyo Italian pizzas in Hollywood, and more

Cambodia Town signage in Long Beach.
A sign for Cambodia Town in Long Beach.
Wonho Frank Lee

Veteran Long Beach chef Visoth Tarak Ouk’s new cookbook-slash-memoir, Kroeung: Cambodian Cooking with Chef T, takes readers through the chef’s winding journey — from tragedies to triumphs — with heartfelt recipes interspersed throughout. Born in Thailand and of Cambodian descent, Ouk arrived in the U.S. in 1980 as a refugee and got his start by making doughnuts at a family friend’s shop in Long Beach. He graduated from Long Beach City College’s culinary arts program in 2011 and has been the executive chef at Gladstone’s Long Beach since 2018.

The book, which is co-written by Dr. Christine Su, founder of the Khmer Generations Project, an organization committed to “honoring and recording the stories of Khmer (Cambodians) throughout the world,” is available for pre-order now.

Japanese Italian pizzas land in Hollywood

Hollywood’s Tokyo Italian restaurant Magari just added pizzas to its menu. Under the care of Sicily-born executive chef Enrico Merendino, the new offerings feature classic Italian ingredients, as well as Japanese-inspired touches like a tomato-miso sauce. The Neapolitan-style pies are made using a blend of Caputo Nuvola super flour and Mulino Marino type two flour to create a “fragrant, airy and crunchy crust,” according to a representative for the restaurant. The pizzas are priced from $21 to $25.

Six local hospitality pros to attend MAD Academy in Copenhagen

As part of the Audi LA Scholars Award program, six local hospitality pros will be attending the MAD Academy in Copenhagen later this year. MAD Academy is an educational institution that equips students from the hospitality community with the “knowledge, tools, and inspiration to effect positive change in their professional lives and in the world.”

The 2022 scholars include Jacque Pinto-Brickhouse of the Overland in Redlands, Jason Lee of N/Soto in Mid-City, Jennifer Clausen-Quiroz of Tocumbo Ice Cream in Anaheim, Laura Hoang of Pearl River Deli in Chinatown, Sarah Brown of Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, and Zumi Izumi Mizokami of Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra.

Maple Block Meat Co. hosts annual meat fest

For the seventh year running, Culver City’s barbecue standby Maple Block is hosting a big ol’ meat fest on Sunday, October 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Look for a cinderblock pit in the parking lot smoking and grilling house-made sausages, tri-tip, and spareribs. Purchase tickets here.

Pumpkin spice and everything nice

Local bakery chain SusieCakes is baking up a whole bunch of Halloween-themed treats this month. On the menu are pumpkin maple cupcakes and made-to-order jack-o-lantern and “Frankensusie” face cakes.

Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley

For anyone who needs an excuse to visit the buzzy Santa Ynez Valley, the region is hosting a four-day, six-town extravaganza from November 3 to 6. With a slew of events taking place across the towns of Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Ballard, and Buellton, both longtime visitors and those new to the area have good reason to get excited. See here for a full list of the wine tastings, hikes, dinners, and ticket details.