Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Viva la Pizzeria MOD!

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow we though we would focus on the world of abundance and choice. 

While in Seattle Edible Skinny was introduced to the world of MOD Pizza.  Our native Seattleite guide, Julia Reed Nichols, noted that the Emerald City’s citizens’ viewpoint on pizza is similar to pretty much every other item they consume: I don't want to be like anybody else, just let me be my quirky self!

MOD, which stands for Made On Demand, brings scratch made organic dough and gourmet ingredients to a pie that’s cooked in three minutes flat over an open flame.  Guests can order one of the company’s Top 10 Favorites (such as the Calexico made of mozzarella, gorgonzola, chicken, jalapenos, hot buffalo sauce, and MOD red sauce or the Lucky Sunshine composed of mozzarella, parmesan, artichokes, garlic, and dollops of MOD red sauce) or they can add or subtract any ingredients they want. 

And the most awesome part, they are always the same price.  Always $6.28, no matter how many toppings you add or remove.

A pretty popular concept since MOD Pizza is now in 9 states and plan to have 47 locations open in the next few months!

CEO Scott Svenson and his wife Ally founded MOD Pizza.  The couple started out and grew Seattle Coffee Co. until its 1998 sale to Starbucks.  Svenson then served as president of Starbucks’ European division until founding the Italian-deli cafe chain Carluccio’s, which went public in the UK in 2005.  The Svensons opened their first MOD pizza in 2008 in Seattle’s Union Square.   "We were the first to bring together the best of made-on-demand, individualized pizzas with the convenience and value associated with fast-casual dining," Svenson says.

Svenson went on to become the CEO of Freestone Capital Management, the largest independent wealth and asset management firm in the Seattle market focused exclusively on the needs of affluent families before leaving to focus on MOD pizza full time.  Turns out a thin and crispy pizza's siren call was stronger than a good portfolio.  

And MOD isn't alone, 800 Degrees, Pizza Rev, and Naked Pizza have all be making waves in the world of "Fast Casual" Food (restaurants that blend the line between traditional quick service and casual dining concepts.  They are known to feature limited service or self-service, average checks between $8 and $15, contain made to order food, and have upscale decor).  So much so that the National Restaurant Association formed a new Pizzeria Industry Council aims to address issues specific to pizza operators.  

But what makes the Seattle MOD different is the ability to be your own quirky self.  Fun, fresh, and as much extra chicken (or veggies) as you want. 

Viva la Pizzeria MOD!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Soul of Seattle: Pike Place Market

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to be in Seattle a few weeks ago (for the burlesque conference BurlyCon as one of Kat’s other profession is creator of the burlesque YouTube channel Workin’ the Tease!) and was able to check out the iconic Pike Place Market.  
Pike Place Market, founded in 1907, is one of the country’s oldest farmers markets.  Encompassing nine acres in the heart of downtown Seattle, the Market’s historic arcade, winding alleys, stairways and lower levels offer a multisensory experience of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and textures. 

Fostered within the Market are year round produce stalls featuring the abundant variety of fruits and vegetables sourced from within the state and around the globe.  More than 80 local Washington farmers sell at the Market, offering seasonal abundance from their orchards and fields such as Rainer cherries, Walla Walla sweet onions, and Honeycrisp apples!

Pike Place Market houses dozens of specialty food stores that carry everyday and exotic spices, ingredients and products for nearly any kind of edible adventure.  One fun stand within this realm is Pappardelle's, a Colorado-proud gourmet food company specializing in handcrafted, flavor-infused pastas, sauces & pesto.  Described as the “Michaelangelos of Pasta,” Pappardelle’s craftsmen have been shaping colorful, flavorful pasta dough into edible art since 1984.  Their stands boasted such exotic flavor choices as Garlic Chive Pappardelle, Porcini Mushroom Linguine, and Dark Chocolate Linguine.  

And Hello Dungeness crabs!!! (Kelly was quite jealous on this one!)  Pikes Place Market’s seafood stalls provide an abundance of fresh seafood from Pacific Northwest and Alaskan waters.  The company Pike Place Fish Market is renowned for their crew of fish mongers who underhand fish to each other much to the entertain customers both in person and online (as they have a live web cam for anyone who wants to watch virtually).   Or if someone you know needs a grand gesture to remember the magic of the Emerald City you can now send them Pike Place Fish Market eFishCard!

Pike Place Market is also home to the Original (love it or hate it) Starbucks.  Starbucks actually opened one block north on Virginia Street in 1971, but moved to Pikes Place Market in 1975 when that building was demolished.  In the beginning they only sold beans, but began selling espresso drinks in 1987 when Howard Schultz took over the company.  Today, the store has become a tourist attraction with its racy original logo (topless mermaids) and has the ridiculously long lines to prove it.  

So whatever your reason to visit, next time you’re in the Emerald City make sure to check out the “Soul of Seattle” at Pike Place Market.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Western Spaghetti by PES


This short film was uploaded in 2008, was the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Winner, and TIME Magazine voted #2 Viral Video of the Year 2009 Audience Award, but for some reason its the first time I've seen it.  A great abstraction on cooking while still being adorably clever!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

WTRMLN WTR: Watermelon Juice Makes You Better at Sex!

Edible Skinny was shopping at the local Venice Whole Foods (luckily we walked there and didn’t have to park in its infamousparking lot) when we came across the new to the West Coast brand WTRMLN WTR juice (aptly named as it is Watermelon juice!). 

The juice is made from raw watermelon (both flesh and rind) with a touch of lemon (no added water or sugar). WTRMLN WTR is cold-pressed, that is never heated to maintain all of the good stuff (like enzymes).  The taste is sweetly refreshing, but low in sugar (it has 12 grams of sugar per serving, the same as coconut water).  Plus they never use any artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.

WTRMLN WTR is rich in electrolytes and potassium with almost 2 times more potassium than a banana.  Apparently is also the mothership of Citrulline, which improves blood flow to reduce inflammation, accelerates muscle recovery, and improves erectile strength (Wahaaaah!).


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving at Esterel: One more Reason to be Thankful

If there is one-thing foodies are thankful for, it’s French food. This year Esterel, the restaurant at Sofitel Los Angeles in BeverlyHills, gives patrons a chance to experience gratitude, Parisian style (and where The Thomas Gals will be dining this Turkey Day!). This Thanksgiving, Esterel has created a three-course pre-fixed menu that provides a tasty twist on traditional fare. Executive Chef Marius Blin’s autumnal inspired offerings are the perfect blend of rich and round flavors shaped by savory and seasonal elegance.
This one of a kind holiday dining experience provides guests all the hospitality of home with none of the extra work. While for guests, relaxing should be easy, choosing between the many delectable choices might be difficult. In addition to warm apple cider and a special selection of Thanksgiving bread, guests will begin their meal with a choice of three appetizers, which include Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, a Fennel Goat Cheese Salad with or Pecan Crusted Sea Scallops for starters.
Esterel is also offering a variety of main courses, allowing guest to choose just how traditional they want their Thanksgiving to be. For patrons who are craving a delicious interpretation of the usual staples, Esterel will feature Free Range Turkey with brioche sage stuffing, cranberry relish, and buttermilk red bliss mashed potato. For those looking for a different taste this year, they can select either the Crispy Skin Branzino served with braised baby carrots, parsnip, heirloom spinach, local caviar champagne beurre blanc or Porcini Agnolotti complimented by carrot harissa puree, local beans, welted wild arugula and Black garlic.
And no Thanksgiving feast would be complete without a sweet and sugar finishing note. Esterel guests will have a choice between Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake Brulee, Hibiscus “Soup” or Valrhona Chocolate Cremeux.
Esterel’s three courses prefix menu will be offer from $65 and for children between 6 -12 years old $40 from 12:00pm – 4.30pm. Thanksgiving specials served after 4:30pm along with regular dinner menu. Please visit
For those who prefer to spend Thanksgiving at home, but would like some pampering before braving the shopping crowds, Esterel has you covered. They are offering special two different Black Friday package deals which include the Beverly Center’s passport to shopping, Bloomingdales discounts, spa treatments, and much more. Please call the hotel directly to book the holiday packages by calling 310.278.5444 or visit

Monday, November 10, 2014

Food Tank's 21 Projects Helping Vets Through Food and Agriculture

This Veteran’s Day, the non profit Food Tank brings you 21 organizations from around the world that are working to help veterans heal their wounds through farming and agriculture. These organizations are working to improve the lives of veterans and create a sustainable food system by educating veterans to be sustainable vegetable producers, providing job and skills training, and helping families rebuild their lives after civil war.

In the United States alone, there are 19.6 million veterans. According to the Independent Voter Network, approximately 3.6 million veterans have a service-related disability, 7.6 percent of veterans are unemployed, and veterans make up 13 percent of the adult homeless population. The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans finds that 1.4 million more are at risk of homelessness due to poverty and lack of support. Additionally, up to 20 percent of Iraqi War veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans have suffered from PTSD at some point in their life.

Fortunately, farming can have a positive impact on the lives of veterans around the world. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gardens offer many benefits for both physical and mental health. Not only do they provide healthy food, but they also help people to engage in physical activity, build marketable skills, improve social well-being, and decrease violence in neighborhoods.

To check out all of Food Tank's 21 organizations that help veterans through farming and agriculture you can go to:

Food Tank's is a 501(c)3 non profit organization who's mission is focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. They spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.