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New menu, chefs every week at L.A. restaurant

September 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Eating out in Los Angeles usually means a theme restaurant with a celebrity chef, but one restaurant is taking it a bit further, offering one chef each week. "I think it's a great avenue for people to get their name out there [and] show some food," said chef Amy Pressman.

"This is really about the chef, and the chefs having fun and the chefs getting to express themselves," said Brian Saltsburg, co-owner of Test Kitchen.

At Test Kitchen in Los Angeles, you can forget the saying, "too many cooks spoil the broth." Here, the more the merrier.

"We have some chefs who are coming on their day off from their normal job to cook food totally different and things they can't put on their own menu," said Saltsburg.

For foodies, it's a culinary who's who making magic in one tiny complicated kitchen.

Much like a musician that drops in at someone else's rock concert to play a set, the same can happen at Test Kitchen. Ricardo Zarate is still the headliner, but a couple other chefs dropped in because they too felt the need to feed, including Amy Pressman, who's opening Short Order restaurant at the Farmer's Market, Walter Manzke formerly of Church and State, and John Sedlar, who owns Rivera downtown.

"This is very different and you know what makes this all possible is that the customers are ferociously interested in what's new, what's going on, where I can go that's somewhere that's unique," said Sedlar.

Pressman, who specializes in healthy desserts, had fun with Fruity Pebbles for a Peruvian blue corn shortbread dessert.

"If you make a mistake, you don't have to do it again, but it is kind of freeing because when you run a restaurant you do the same thing every day," said Pressman.

The main chef sets the culinary theme, even the music, then the other chefs follow his lead. There is also a celebrity mixologist on board. Prices vary with each chef's menu.

Test Kitchen takes website reservations only, but allows walk-ins to sit at the bar. So far, there are sellout crowds so get there early.

"It's kind of special that they're only here for like three or four days, so it's really awesome and really good food," said diner June Bote, a Yorba Linda resident.


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