Noelle Carter Gives Us A First Look Into LA Food Bowl & Smart Produce

Posted April 22, 2017 by LA Scene in Restaurants

Los Angeles is a city known for it’s dynamic food scene. It is not only centered on up and coming trendy restaurants but houses elements of sustainability, natural foods, and healthy cooking to maintain that perfect glow. With the program schedule officially released by Los Angeles Times for the inaugural LA Food Bowl, it’s time to get food friendly in all aspects and talk the food talk with Noelle Carter, the famed Los Angeles Test Kitchen editor. Welcome aboard the Food Bowl, promoting elements of hunger awareness, dining destinations, and premier chefs that support food access, sustainability and waste reduction.

Los Angeles Scene was on site early Wednesday morning at the Santa Monica Farmers market to chat with Noelle Carter, walk through the market and discuss the season’s culinary splendor. There’s a lot happening here, at the farmers market, in fact many of Los Angelinos favorite restaurants are shopping the produce and changing menus based on what’s in season.

Los Angeles Scene: Can you tell me about how you feel about the upcoming Food Bowl, and what we can expect and look forward to?

Noelle Carter: It’s the first Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. Los Angeles has so many great food festivals, but this is the first long celebration of food. Los Angeles is such a hub, such a food city. To pair Los Angeles’s home grown, chefs, food scene with international food authorities to mesh, learn and collaborate really excites me most. We’ve got Massimo Bottura, April Bloomfield, Fergus Henderson, just all these incredible names to work with in LA. It’s a whole new way to look at food; there’s something about collaboration and learning. No matter how long you’ve worked with food there’s always something new to learn and it’s just exciting!

Los Angeles Scene: Tell us about some of the events that will be taking place?

Noelle Carter: We’ve got restaurants that are participating with different dinners, panels going on, the feeding the 5000 event. We’re really looking at food from all aspects. It’s not just about looking at what this chef could  prepare with particular ingredients. It’s issues of sustainability and issues of food waste and hunger on top of upcoming trends and the latest things chefs are doing with radishes or other ingredients.

Los Angeles Scene: On the note of trends, what do you think is going to be the new hot food trend that we could all look forward to at the Food Bowl or in the next couple of months?

Noelle Carter: One of the biggest trends lately has been the whole nose to tail thing, using the whole animal. This is even applied to vegetables, using the whole carrot. I really hope this continues, taking a carrot for example, you may peel the carrot and discard the greens but there’s so much you could do with the peel or make with the greens. If we just did a whole nose to tail with a lot of the foods we eat, there would be a lot less food waste and a lot less hunger issues, and a lot more creativity.

Los Angeles Scene: How would you use the whole carrot?

Noelle Carter: There’s so many ways to use the actual root, the skins can be thrown into a stock when you peel it. The greens can be sautéed or turned into a sauce, or add them into a soup, or add them into a side dish. I mean there’s so many ways to use absolutely everything, so that you’re not throwing anything away.

Los Angeles Scene: I like that, that’s how we should behave proactive all the way! What about the Farmers Market, there’s so much natural great produce all around us? What do you think the locals of Los Angeles should think about when they’re coming here, if their shopping what should they get?

Noelle Carter: If I’m at the market this week, today we have cherries being sold for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere, I would get chose. Strawberries are in season now, berries and cucumbers are just coming into season. But on a more general level, I would say being in Los Angeles, we have so much great incredible produce that changes from week to week. We’re not a place where finding a supermarket is difficult, take advantage of your local farmers and find out what’s coming into season, find out what’s leaving! And use what’s available now, you could find stuff here that you can’t find in other parts of the US or even parts of California.

Los Angeles Scene: With the season in full flux what will you be baking?

Noelle Carter: I’m going to be doing a lot of pies with the all the berries, strawberry pies. Tomatoes are just coming in, so savory gullets will be great. But as I was mentioning earlier, with so much great produce, just enjoy it raw. I mean I’ll pick up a bag of shelled English peas and eat it on the way to work. You don’t really have to do anything, let the great produce speak for itself.

Noelle Carter shared wise tips for eating, cooking, shopping and searching for fantastic hyper-seasonal produce. Living in Los Angeles, the locals really are lucky to have such amazing, sustainable, fresh produce so close to home. Enjoy fresh fair, and be sure to pop into the food bowl happening in the Month of May.

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