Saveur Eat the World. Sat, 25 Jun 2022 01:58:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Saveur 32 32 Mojo (Cuban Garlic-Citrus Sauce) Maricel Presilla Mon, 18 Mar 2019 22:30:40 +0000 Recipes Condiments and Sauces Cuban Easy Garlic no cook Spring Summer
Mojo Sauce
Photography by Linda Xiao; Food Styling by Jason Schreiber; Prop Styling by Summer Moore

Add Caribbean zest to your chicken, shrimp, and pork culinary concoctions

The post Mojo (Cuban Garlic-Citrus Sauce) appeared first on Saveur.

Mojo Sauce
Photography by Linda Xiao; Food Styling by Jason Schreiber; Prop Styling by Summer Moore

Mojo is a fragrant garlic-and-herb sauce that adds zest and spice to many Cuban dishes. It can be used as a marinade for pork, beef, or seafood, or passed tableside as a condiment. Unlike Canary Island mojos, which rely on chiles and vinegar, Cuban mojo gets its signature tartness from bitter orange juice. Culinary historian and chef Maricel Presilla, the author of this recipe, prefers using a large mortar and pestle here as tradition dictates, but those who don’t own one (or are crunched for time) may use a miniature food processor with good results.

What You Will Need

Mojo (Cuban Garlic-Citrus Marinade) Mojo (Cuban Garlic-Citrus Sauce)
A staple of Cuban cuisine, this garlicky bitter-orange sauce is often used to flavor roast pork.
Yield: makes 1 cup
Time: 10 minutes


  • 10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cups fresh bitter orange juice, or fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cups fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cups olive oil
  • ½ tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp. dried oregano


  1. In a large mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and salt to a fine paste. Add the bitter orange juice, orange juice, olive oil, fresh oregano, cumin, and dried oregano and stir to combine.

The post Mojo (Cuban Garlic-Citrus Sauce) appeared first on Saveur. 0
The Best Fourth of July Grill Deals Right Now: Traeger, Weber, and More Ellen Fort and Micki Wagner Wed, 25 May 2022 21:07:43 +0000 Shop commerce roundup
Best Grill Brands
Oscar Robertsson/EyeEm/Getty Images.

Save big on July 4th sales from great brands like Traeger, Ooni, Weber, and Char-Broil.

The post The Best Fourth of July Grill Deals Right Now: Traeger, Weber, and More appeared first on Saveur.

Best Grill Brands
Oscar Robertsson/EyeEm/Getty Images.

Fourth of July deals are heating up with great discounts on grills, smokers, and more. Brands like Traeger, Weber, and Char-Broil are all cutting prices ahead of the grill-centric holiday, from pellet grills to charcoal and gas. Our editors are staunch believers that there’s the right tool for every job. Sometimes, that means you need a charcoal grill for searing steaks, a portable grill to take with you to the lake, and a smoker for briskets and ribs.

Grilling enthusiasts should take a spin through some of the very best we’ve picked out below from a portable smoker to wireless, digital thermometers.

The Best Weber Grill Deals

The Best Blackstone Grill Deals

The Best Char-Broil Grill Deals

The Best Traeger Grill Deals

The Best Kamado Joe Grill Deals

Other Great Grills Deals

The Best Deals on Grill Thermometers

The post The Best Fourth of July Grill Deals Right Now: Traeger, Weber, and More appeared first on Saveur.

Your Next Pizza Delivery Might Come From a Former SpaceX Chef—By Way of Robots Adam Kovac Fri, 24 Jun 2022 17:49:00 +0000 Food Chefs news pizza profile
Stellar Pizza Robots Truck
Courtesy of Stellar Pizza

But can a machine knead dough like a nonna?

The post Your Next Pizza Delivery Might Come From a Former SpaceX Chef—By Way of Robots appeared first on Saveur.

Stellar Pizza Robots Truck
Courtesy of Stellar Pizza

You wouldn’t think space exploration would have any influence on how a margherita pie is made, but a new Los Angeles company is drawing that far-out connection.

Launching later this summer, Stellar Pizza hasn’t been shy about advertising its non-earthbound connections: last year, the start-up hired Ted Cizma, a Chicago-born chef who previously worked for Elon Musk to feed 12,000 SpaceX employees. (Now, Stellar Pizza counts numerous SpaceX alumni, including 24 former engineers, among its staff.) But while Cizma, who calls himself the Rocket Chef, might be in charge of coming up with the company’s recipes, his creations won’t be made with human hands.

In a press release, the founders of Stellar Pizza announced that the company has invented a truck manned entirely by machines (with the exception of old-fashioned human drivers) that can “deliver a larger quantity of fresh, made-to-order pizzas” perfectly timed to arrive at the homes of pie-hungry customers.

Stellar Pizza Robots Truck
Courtesy of Stellar Pizza

Though the pizza purveyor on wheels might be the most ostentatious robotic food company to tout its futuristic tech connections (an astronaut theme permeates the website), it is hardly the first. Since the mid-2010s, companies and entrepreneurs have toyed with the (controversial) idea of replacing food workers with machines, but have mostly kept the automation confined to front of house. Now, a growing number of companies are getting robots involved in the culinary arts—particularly when it comes to pizza.

Earlier this month, Nala Robotics, an Illinois-based tech company specializing in artificial intelligence, announced its latest product: Pizzaiola, a voice-controlled and fully automated commercial kitchen with technology that can serve up not just its namesake food but also burgers, wings, pastas, and salads.

According to Cizma, these kinds of changes are a reflection of the current reality: “The combination of fractured supply chains, rising labor and food costs, as well as consumers’ increasing desire to obtain meals on their own terms, will drive the growth and development of technologically advanced food making machines and equipment.”

While sci-fi writers have long imagined that robots would one day handle the day-to-day drudgery of preparing and serving what we eat, the ramifications have often been imagined as a Star Trek-esque utopia or a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy farce. But for restaurant workers, the notion of machines taking over the kitchen has been a simmering threat. In 2018, nearly 50,000 Las Vegas food workers threatened to strike in a move partially inspired by fears they would be replaced. A 2020 survey published in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research found that respondents were generally concerned about the societal implications that food-service robots would have for workers. 

Now, as the industry is undergoing a major overhaul—with COVID-19 serving as a catalyst—the future is unclear when it comes to machines entering the food space. For Cizma, it’s a matter of adapting to the moment: “The pandemic has impacted the hospitality workforce to such an extent that I believe it is irreversibly changed. Operators will need to embrace technology not just to succeed, but to survive.”

The post Your Next Pizza Delivery Might Come From a Former SpaceX Chef—By Way of Robots appeared first on Saveur.

Is Fungus-Based Foie Gras the Next Meatless Sensation? Megan Zhang Fri, 24 Jun 2022 15:54:56 +0000 Food agriculture charcuterie Fish plant-based Salmon Science tuna vegan Vegetarian
prime roots koji charcuterie
Photography by Prime Roots

Charcuterie just went pro-plant—and we have the tasting notes.

The post Is Fungus-Based Foie Gras the Next Meatless Sensation? appeared first on Saveur.

prime roots koji charcuterie
Photography by Prime Roots

Kimberlie Le had already completed the credits for three majors during her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley when she decided to switch her focus to producing alternative meats.

While conducting microbiology research to find solutions for improving food systems, she had become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of animal agriculture. And so, Le abandoned her degree to join the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology’s then-new Alternative Meats Lab . There, she and classmate Joshua Nixon began to build what would eventually become the meat-alternative brand Prime Roots—which will launch a new line of animal-less meats in grocery stores and restaurants later this year. 

So far, much of the meat-free industry has centered around pea- and soy-based options, which are often in ground-up or breaded forms (think nuggets, meatballs, and burger patties). Prime Roots, on the other hand, is focused on charcuterie. And instead of using plants, the company’s proprietary technology involves growing the fibers of koji—a fungus commonly used in East Asia to produce fermented foods like miso and soy sauce—to replicate the stringy, striated texture of meat. Next, fats and seasonings are added, before the mixture is shaped and cooked to produce koji-based imitations of foie gras, pâté, and salami, as well as deli-style ham and turkey.

Familiarity with koji came to Le early on in life. “I’ve been growing [it] since I was four,” she says. Her mother is chef Chi Le, a runner-up of MasterChef Vietnam and owner of the plant-based Vancouver eatery Chi, who taught Le how to use the fermentation agent to make everything from cookies to rice wine. Because the ancient and widely used fungus is already part of many chefs’ culinary toolboxes, Le believed it would be seen as approachable and credible.

prime roots headquarters
Tasting koji-based meats at the Prime Roots headquarters. Photography by Megan Zhang

When I met Le at the Prime Roots headquarters in Berkeley, California, we headed to a showroom set up like a deli of the future. Inside, hunks of meatless meat labeled “cracked pepper koji turkey” and “harvest koji pâté” sat behind glass cases. A team member brought us a board arranged with the company’s koji charcuterie offerings, as well as two sandwiches featuring the koji deli meats. The pâté, which was rich and spreadable, tasted remarkably like the animal-based original, though with a slight coconut aftertaste (coconut oil provides fat in Prime Roots’ recipe). And while the koji ham and turkey didn’t have quite the same brine or sinewy texture as deli meats I’m accustomed to, they were close enough substitutes to make for substantial—and, so to speak, meaty—sandwiches. Though the macronutrient profiles of Prime Roots’ koji charcuterie differ slightly from those of their animal-based counterparts (the fermentation agent naturally has dietary fiber, for example, while meat doesn’t), Le says the caloric density is identical. 

But creating stand-ins that are indistinguishable from their traditional versions isn’t necessarily Le’s goal. She doesn’t have aspirations to adopt a fully vegan lifestyle; rather, she wants to provide omnivores and flexitarians with non-meat options that have a meat-like taste, mouthfeel, and nutritional profile—with less impact on the planet. (According to a Nature Food study published in 2021, animal-based food production results in twice the carbon emissions as plant-based.) The koji-based products also lack the curing agents, hormones, and antibiotics often found in processed meats.

Le likens her hopes for koji charcuterie to what dairy-free milk brands have done for cow’s milk: “Oatly, for example, doesn’t taste like dairy milk, but it has the same functionality. It foams. It has the creaminess. It tastes good.” Rather than expecting koji to replicate meat exactly, Le wants to produce a new category of protein that meat eaters can swap in—say, when they are arranging an elegant charcuterie board, or preparing their children’s lunchboxes—and still feel satisfied. (Of the 30-odd employees at Prime Roots, 29 consume animal meat.) And in comparison to many other eco-conscious habits people are encouraged to adopt, Le adds, “meat makes more of an impact—which is a choice we make three times a day.”

Since its founding, Prime Roots has experimented with koji-based salmon, lobster, and whole-muscle chicken and steak. “Center-of-the-plate proteins are very tough for meat alternatives,” Le admits. In the world of steak, for example, quality can vary widely, and eaters expect a certain experience when paying for the decadence of an expensive, deluxe cut of meat. On the other hand, something like charcuterie—which can still be refined, but is more often enjoyed as an appetizer or snack, and conveniently comes ready to eat—is “much less emotional,” notes Le. The company plans to begin distribution to grocery stores later this year, and Le says chefs at fine-dining establishments have already expressed interest in serving it at their restaurants—not as “vegan charcuterie,” but simply charcuterie.

wildtype cultivated salmon
Wildtype is using living cells to develop whole cuts of sushi-grade salmon. Photography by Wildtype

Prime Roots is far from the only Silicon Valley startup using something other than plants to produce premium meatless meats that don’t require sandwich buns—or even cooking. Wildtype, a start-up founded by Aryé Elfenbein and Justin Kolbeck, has developed sushi-grade cuts of salmon by cultivating cells, another technology driving experimentation in the world of futuristic protein. The process involves taking cells from living salmon and growing them in a controlled environment to produce whole cuts of fish.

Because cells are highly sensitive to their surroundings, fish of the same species can taste vastly different depending on their environment. (The wide variation, Kolbeck and Elfenbein note, is clear in the discrepancy between wild-caught and farmed salmon, for instance.) Manipulating variables to figure out the optimal nutrient composition and growing conditions for the salmon cells has involved a lot of trial and error, largely because relatively little is known about the developmental biology of fish, especially when compared to that of mammalian species. Plant-based “scaffolding” then encourages the cells to structure themselves into “the same cuts of seafood that are familiar to us—at the sushi counter, for example,” explains Elfenbein, a cardiologist who has a background in molecular biology. Though the goal is to create the flavor, texture, and mouthfeel of salmon, don’t expect to see any fins and gills—the company plans to only produce the cuts of fish customers are more likely to eat. 

wildtype cultivated salmon
The founders say cultivated seafood can help lessen the environmental strain on our oceans. Photography by Wildtype

According to Elfenbein, the world’s demand for seafood is putting added pressure on an already increasingly contaminated seafood supply. “There are many elements of our seafood today that shouldn’t be there, everything from heavy metals to antibiotics to more parasites than we’ve seen in the past,” he explains. Kolbeck also points out a 2021 study which revealed that bottom trawling, a fishing method that involves dragging giant nets along the sea floor, releases as much carbon emissions as the worldwide aviation industry—which is destructive to marine biodiversity and threatens the ocean’s ability to function as a carbon sink. “Our ocean’s ability to keep our planet relatively cool will not work as well if all we have in the ocean is jellyfish, which is the trajectory that we’re on right now,” says Kolbeck.

But seafood does offer an abundance of nutritional value, from protein to essential fatty acids, so by giving consumers an option with a smaller environmental footprint, Kolbeck and Elfenbein hope seafood enthusiasts will make the climate-conscious choice that still provides the same omega-3 fats as naturally-grown salmon.

According to the co-founders, the protein content of Wildtype’s fish is still lower than that of traditional salmon, and one of the company’s priorities is bringing that number up. The company is also in the midst of a pre-market consultation process with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). While they recognize that consumer acceptance of cell-based seafood will take time, Kolbeck and Elfenbein have high hopes that FDA approval will make a big impact—and allow them to increase production capacity and bring production costs down. 

Wildtype isn’t alone in the race to produce whole cuts of seafood without harming any fish in the process. Impact Food, another Alternative Meats Lab alum, has produced whole cuts of tuna—similar to raw bluefin you might find in sushi—but rather than experimenting with cells, the company has turned to plants. Founders Kelly Pan, Stephanie Claudino Daffara, and Adrian Miranda combined various kinds of plant-based protein isolate to create a product that imitates the texture and nutritional profile of tuna. Like Wildtype, Impact Food is still constantly working to fine-tune the taste.

“There’s such a fine balance to making an alternative product that has the right texture, whether it be juiciness, fibrousness, firmness, fattiness,” says Celia Homyak, co-director of the Alternative Meats Lab. On top of this already tall order, she notes, fish pose unique challenges because ”a lot of seafood is very light in color and slightly transparent.”

Still, with more and more animal-free proteins hitting the market, Homyak hypothesizes that plant-based meat in general is well on its way to replacing animal meat in a significant portion of Americans’ diets, while cell-based meat is likely further down the road, largely because the research is in earlier stages. But she doesn’t know if alternative meats will ever fully replace animal meats—or even if they should. “Meat serves a purpose in people’s everyday culture and lives,” says Homyak. Rather, she believes the goal should be to “decrease that environmental impact that animals have,” while “increasing our vegetable intake, which is just better for everyone’s health.” 

Whether based in plants, fungi, or animal cells, foods like Wildtype’s salmon and Prime Roots’ charcuterie are often referred to as “alternative meats.” But the entrepreneurs behind the products envision a future in which real, traditional meat is no longer the default choice. “I think there’s a world where we can flip those connotations,” says Le.

The post Is Fungus-Based Foie Gras the Next Meatless Sensation? appeared first on Saveur.

13 Sensational Skewer Recipes for July 4 Grilling SAVEUR Editors Sat, 15 May 2021 05:45:00 +0000 Food Appetizers Backyard BBQ gallery Grilling Main Course Meat Recipe Roundups Summer
Dibi Hausa Senegalese Skewers
Photography by Belle Morizio

From satay to shish kebabs, these flame-licked dishes prove that dinner is more fun on a stick.

The post 13 Sensational Skewer Recipes for July 4 Grilling appeared first on Saveur.

Dibi Hausa Senegalese Skewers
Photography by Belle Morizio

Homo sapiens have been threading food onto sticks and cooking it over open flame for millennia. Kebabs, shashlik, kushiyaki, satay—whatever the local moniker, nearly every culture has some succulent take on skewered protein and vegetables. That’s the beauty of kebabs: There’s a literal world of recipes out there to discover. Some are minimalist and let the main ingredient shine (meat, flame, fin), while others, such as Turkish adana kebabs and West African dibi hausa, are so lavishly spiced the neighbors might come knocking while you grill. The throughline in all of these dishes, of course, is the gratifyingly macabre step of stabbing stuff—objectively fun, no doubt, so long as you don’t accidentally skewer yourself! 

Adana Kebabs (Turkish-Style Ground Lamb Skewers)

Turkish Lamb Kebabs
Photography by Simon Bajada

Dried chiles and red pepper paste lend this grill house classic its signature heat. Get the recipe >

Grilled Chicken Tikka Kebabs

Grilled Chicken Tikka Kebabs
Photography by Thomas Payne

The key to these Indian-style kebabs is the marinade, a heady mix of yogurt, lime, and a half a dozen spices. Get the recipe >

Paneer Tikka Kebabs

Paneer Tikka Kebabs
Photography by Thomas Payne

Skewers get stacked with creamy paneer and crisp veggies in this meatless barbecue knockout.

Machli Kebabs (Indian-Style Swordfish Skewers)

Grilled Swordfish Kebabs (Machli Kebabs)
Photography by Thomas Payne

These dill-flecked kebabs from India are at their summery best when served alongside saffron rice, kachumber, and thinly sliced onions. Get the recipe >

Grilled Marinated Lamb Kebabs

Lamb Kebabs
Photography by Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

Lamb shoulder is an oft-overlooked cut that takes marvelously to marinating and grilling. Get the recipe >

Galilee-Style Grilled Fish Kebabs

Galilee-Style Grilled Fish Kebabs
Ted Cavanaugh

Once you try the spicy garlic marinade that this recipe calls for, you’ll be slathering it on everything from chicken to lamb to beef. Get the recipe >

Filipino Barbecue Chicken Skewers

Filipino Barbecue Chicken Skewers
Photography by Matt Taylor-Gross

These craveable kebabs rely on banana ketchup for their signature tang. Get the recipe >

Shish Kebabs

Chicken Shish Kebabs
Farideh Sadeghin

A lemony marinade with plenty of garlic makes these Persian-style kebabs both tender and tart. Get the recipe >

Satay Jamur (Javanese Oyster Mushroom Satay)

Oyster Mushroom Satay Indonesian Sate Jamur
Photography by Remko Kraaijeveld

The classic Indonesian street food from the island of Java takes mushrooms to new, meaty heights. Get the recipe >

Dibi Hausa (West African Grilled Beef Kebabs with Tankora Spice)

Dibi Hausa Senegalese Skewers
Photography by Belle Morizio

A ginger-garlic marinade and a roll in spicy crushed peanuts add flavor and texture to these barbecued skewers. Get the recipe >

Sweet and Sour Eggplant Satay

Sweet and Sour Eggplant Satay Sate Terong
Photography by Remko Kraaijeveld

Bite-size chunks of velvety charred eggplant are now a staple in our summer grilling rotation, thanks to this deceptively simple satay recipe inspired by Indonesian street vendors. Get the recipe >

Satay Udang (Shrimp Satay)

Shrimp Satay Recipe on Red Baskets
Photography by Belle Morizio

Ground candlenuts mellow out this spicy shrimp satay that hails from coastal Singapore. Get the recipe >

Mitarashi Dango (Japanese Rice Dumplings with Sweet Soy Glaze)

Japanese Dango Recipe
Photography by Linda Pugliese; Food Styling by Jason Schreiber; Prop Styling by Elvis Maynard

These soft glutinous rice balls with a sweet soy glaze are festival food in Japan, but they’re equally satisfying as dessert at home. Get the recipe >

The post 13 Sensational Skewer Recipes for July 4 Grilling appeared first on Saveur. 0
Green Beans Almondine Shane Mitchell Mon, 18 Mar 2019 22:44:29 +0000 Recipes American Beans Christmas Easy Fall Issue 80 Nuts saute Sides Spring Thanksgiving Vegetarian
Green Beans Almondine Recipe
Photography by Belle Morizio; Food Styling by Victoria Granof; Prop Styling by Dayna Seman

Toasted almonds and buttery shallots lend this simple side dish their enticing richness and crunch.

The post Green Beans Almondine appeared first on Saveur.

Green Beans Almondine Recipe
Photography by Belle Morizio; Food Styling by Victoria Granof; Prop Styling by Dayna Seman

This almondine recipe is a beloved favorite shared by editor-at-large Shane Mitchell. The dish—a study in contrasts between blanched green beans, sharp chopped shallots, and buttery, crunchy almonds—pairs nicely with summer fare, from grilled meats and fried chicken to lighter, meatless mains. Together, the ingredients work in perfect harmony.

Green Beans Almondine Green Beans Almondine
This recipe is best with unsplit string beans, but make sure to use the tenderest beans you can find.
Yield: serves 8
Time: 35 minutes


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lb. string beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water nearby.
  2. Drop the string beans in the boiling water and cook, until they are bright green and just tender, 3–8 minutes, depending on their thickness. Using a strainer or spider skimmer, transfer the beans to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the beans, pat dry, and set aside.
  3. In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foam begins to subside, add the almonds and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until just golden, 2–3 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the beans to the pot and toss to coat. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, transfer to a large platter, and serve warm.

Our 15 Best Green Bean Recipes To Upgrade Your Side-Dish Game

Green Bean Salad Recipe
Photography by Paola + Murray; Food Styling by Jason Schreiber; Prop Styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Reimagine the green bean casserole—and then go way beyond it.

The post Green Beans Almondine appeared first on Saveur. 0
Quick-Broiled Swordfish With Green Olives Ed Koch Mon, 18 Mar 2019 22:39:02 +0000 Recipes American Broil Easy Fish Issue 100 Main Course New York olives Spring Summer
Grilled Swordfish
Photography by Belle Morizio; Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero; Prop Styling by Paige Hicks

A quick broiled swordfish recipe from the late New York City mayor, Ed Koch.

The post Quick-Broiled Swordfish With Green Olives appeared first on Saveur.

Grilled Swordfish
Photography by Belle Morizio; Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero; Prop Styling by Paige Hicks

This quick swordfish dinner-for-one was a favorite of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. For more knockout weeknight dishes, get inspired by our favorite ways to grill fish.

Ed Koch’s Broiled Swordfish with Olives Quick-Broiled Swordfish With Green Olives
Former New York City mayor Ed Koch cooks for himself at least two nights a week. This is one of his favorite main courses.
Yield: serves 1
Time: 20 minutes


  • One 1-in.-thick swordfish steak (about 1 lb.), patted dry with paper towels
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large pitted green olives, such as Cerignola
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Position a rack at the top of the oven and turn the broiler to high. Rub the fish all over with the oil, season generously with salt and black pepper, and place in a small ovenproof dish or skillet. Scatter the olives around the fish and transfer to the oven. Broil until the fish is lightly browned and nearly opaque, 8–10 minutes for medium. Top with the olives and serve hot.

Craving More Swordfish? Make These Magnificent Kebabs

Grilled Swordfish Kebabs (Machli Kebabs)
Photography by Thomas Payne

Chef Meherwan Irani likes using swordfish for these juicy kebabs, but any firm white fish will work beautifully with the bright, herbaceous marinade.

The post Quick-Broiled Swordfish With Green Olives appeared first on Saveur. 0
Rebelling Against the Status Quo Led to the Success of This SoCal Tea Shop Megan Zhang Wed, 22 Jun 2022 21:38:15 +0000 Food Asia Asian California China Chinese Drinks Filipino Japan Japanese philippines profile shop Southeast Asian Tea Vietnam Vietnamese
Paru Tea
Photography by Studio Luniste

How the owners celebrate the diversity of tea culture with every brew on offer.

The post Rebelling Against the Status Quo Led to the Success of This SoCal Tea Shop appeared first on Saveur.

Paru Tea
Photography by Studio Luniste

Like the alchemy of acid and fat, the balance of sweet and salty, and the classic pairing of peanut butter and jelly, two is so often better than one in the world of food. This is Culinary Duos, a series by senior culture editor Megan Zhang spotlighting dynamic pairs—from couples to siblings to friends—whose partnerships produce flavor-filled magic.

When Lani Gobaleza first met Amy Truong in Japan, she noticed Truong seemed to always have tea around. “It was just consistently there in the background,” says Gobaleza. Whenever they met up, “we would go to a cafe and get tea, or go to a little teahouse.”

The two became friends in Yokohama while attending an international studies program at Meiji Gakuin University during their junior year of college in 2010. “I was a little bit shy,” says Truong, recalling that she’d offer tea to her peers to get to know them better. “Everyone else was going out to the clubs,” she remembers with a laugh. “I decided just to stay in and try to live more, like, day-to-day life in Japan. I think Lani also had similar values.” Amidst the delicate fragrance of cherry blossoms permeating the air during sakura season, the quietude and simple pleasure of sharing a pot of tea allowed them to bond over the newness of their surroundings.

This theme that defined the early months of their relationship led them, seven years later, to co-found PARU Tea, a San Diego shop purveying specialty loose-leaf and matcha varieties from around the world, with an emphasis on the lesser-known, sustainably grown teas of Southeast Asia. The now-married couple works closely with small producers, many of whom operate family-run farms, to import their leaves for PARU’s two shops in La Jolla and Point Loma, California.

Paru Tea
Matcha was among the tea varieties Truong and Gobaleza first bonded over in Japan. Photography by Studio Luniste

A few months of studying abroad certainly strengthened Truong’s interest in tea, but the beverage was by no means new to her. Truong’s maternal grandfather had worked in Japan and spoke the language fluently; he developed a love for tea which trickled down to Truong’s mother, who spent part of her childhood in Paris drinking herbal teas such as lavender and chamomile. The refreshment was omnipresent in Truong’s own childhood, and Truong grew up appreciating the ritualized aspects of preparing, serving, and drinking tea. While living in Yokohama, she learned more about the art and performance of Japanese tea ceremonies, from the equipment used to the gestures exchanged between the host and guests. “Even just the way you’re holding the cups is really important,” she says.

Gobaleza, on the other hand, tended to sip coffee more than tea before living in Japan, as her mother had grown up on a farm in the Philippines that cultivated coffee beans. “It was this whole new world that I was intimidated by,” she says of tea culture, as she didn’t want to accidentally flout any conventions surrounding the beverage in Japan. However, she realized over time that, while tea drinking can certainly be refined and ceremonial, it is also simply a part of everyday routine. “Our host families were just so easygoing about tea,” she recalls. “It was always free at restaurants, and to me, that made it seem like more of a communal thing.” 

When the program in Yokohama ended, Gobaleza and Truong went back to UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, respectively, to finish their degrees. A few years passed before Truong reached out to Gobaleza asking her if she wanted to catch up—over tea, of course. They’d been on each other’s minds in the intervening years, and their reconnection blossomed into romance. After two years of a long-distance relationship (during which Gobaleza returned to Japan to study the language more deeply) and time spent living together in the Bay Area, the couple moved down to Gobaleza’s hometown of San Diego.

Paru Tea
The duo wants to acquaint tea drinkers with the diversity of varieties across Asia. Photography by Studio Luniste

Throughout the years, Truong had been toying with the idea of starting her own entrepreneurial venture. She was passionate about tea, but the idea of pursuing a business around importing it didn’t become concrete until 2017, when Truong won a trip to Japan—an experience she wound up turning into a sourcing trip. “To this day, we carry tea from the farmers I met there,” says Truong. Gobaleza credits that event for encouraging the two to take a leap of faith: “I don’t know how long it would have taken us if we didn’t see some sign that, like, this was meant to be.”

The world’s introduction to PARU Tea came in the form of a pop-up. “I was selling iced teas because I thought people just wanted a nice little beverage to go,” Truong recalls. “But then people started asking, ‘Oh, what’s this tea blend? How do you make it at home?’” Encouraged, they launched a digital storefront and began hosting more events around San Diego. After two years, they decided to open up a brick-and-mortar shop—even though “everyone advised against it,” says Truong. But they had built up enough of a following that a long line of customers wound out the door when the storefront finally debuted. 

Inside, Truong’s aesthetic sensibilities are on full display. Clean and minimalist, with lots of natural wood and soft lighting, the shops are thoughtfully designed to make the colorful tea varieties lining the white walls stand out. Truong and Gobaleza also have plans to unveil a photo exhibition featuring images captured by their farmer partners, so customers can get better acquainted with the artisans behind the leaves.

Paru Tea
PARU Tea’s minimalist interior design allows the tea to shine. Photography by Studio Luniste

San Diego is already home to a strong specialty beverage scene teeming with small breweries and coffee roasters. Yet, there isn’t anyone focusing on the diversity of tea culture, much less spotlighting the artisans and cultivars behind the craft. Though Gobaleza had grown up wanting to leave San Diego, it was living in the similarly coastal environment of Yokohama that made her reconsider her perspective on her hometown (which just so happens to be Yokohama’s sister city). “[San Diego is] this international city where a lot of amazing things have been imported and exported,” she says. 

Now, the two are carrying on the port city’s tradition as a gateway for international culture by working directly with small tea producers across Asia—and making it a priority to develop and nurture strong relationships with these farmers. Rather than ordering one single variety from many different sources, the pair aims to source multiple teas from a handful of long-term partners, in hopes of making a more meaningful impact on the farmers’ lives. “Something we thought about was, is that really going to help them support their family and their workers—just the one tea?” says Gobaleza. By keeping their partnership network small as PARU Tea grows, “we’re also ordering more from our tea partners, so they grow each year, too,” explains Truong.

Paru Tea
The shops carry both single-origin teas as well as blends made in-house. Photography by Meg Nobriga

In addition to stocking popular varieties such as Longjing (sometimes called Dragon Well), hojicha, and chrysanthemum, the duo emphasizes lesser-known tea-producing countries. PARU’s inventory includes—to name a couple—tea cigars from Phongsaly, Laos, the leaves of which are hand-picked by Phou Noy minority women, as well as a raw pu’er-style tea called Witch’s Broom from Tây Côn Lĩnh in Vietnam’s Hà Giang Province. Gobaleza and Truong also source from regions in China and Japan that aren’t as recognized as their more famous neighbors. “[Tea from] Kyoto is huge, and we do source from Kyoto,” says Gobaleza, “but Nara is right next door, and nobody really talks about Nara.” Now, Taro Toki, a tea cultivator in the city who has become a long-term partner of PARU, is helping develop the shop’s very own 10-acre tea estate, where varieties are cultivated specifically for the business. That includes “many things I have never done before, such as growing mint,” notes Toki. “Through [their] offers, I am exploring new areas, always.”

To promote sustainable tea-growing practices, not only do Truong and Gobaleza seek out leaves that are cultivated without pesticides, they also try to support farmers’ efforts to minimize waste. One partner of the shop in Wawee Village, in Thailand’s city of Chiang Rai, produces a tea blend from the year’s leftover harvests, which PARU sells as Thai Earl Grey.

Paru Tea
Truong (L) and Gobaleza’s business celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. Photography by Bhadri Kubendran

Truong herself produces blends for the shop, including Ingat (which means “take care” in Tagalog), which was inspired by the Filipino herbal tea salabat. Ginger is “such an important ingredient in so much Filipino food,” says Gobaleza, and the root’s refreshing pepperiness takes center stage in the blend. Another creation Truong loves is Pandan Waffle, the aroma of which reminds her of the bright green pandan coconut cakes her mother would buy when Truong was a child. “I went down a nostalgic path of recreating memories of my favorite desserts growing up,” she says, adding that the flavor combination of pandan and coconut is beloved in the Philippines as well and was similarly nostalgic for Gobaleza. Though many tea purveyors shun blends, Gobaleza and Truong hope to inspire customers to look at blends differently, as they can be a way to highlight flavors from different parts of the world in a single cup.

Likewise, the couple themselves make a dynamic pairing. PARU wholesale partner, Julie Nguyen, describes the two as “yin and yang”—opposite personalities who bring out the best in each other. “A few months out of our lives,” says Truong of that fateful study-abroad program in Yokohama, “really changed the course of everything.”

The post Rebelling Against the Status Quo Led to the Success of This SoCal Tea Shop appeared first on Saveur.

The World’s Best Restaurant Has Big Changes Ahead For 2023 SAVEUR Editors Wed, 22 Jun 2022 20:35:13 +0000 Food copenhagen news profile restaurants
Noma Restaurant News
Photography by Ditte Isager

Chef René Redzepi just shared what’s next for noma “as we know it.”

The post The World’s Best Restaurant Has Big Changes Ahead For 2023 appeared first on Saveur.

Noma Restaurant News
Photography by Ditte Isager

Nine months after being awarded a third Michelin star, noma (currently topping The World’s Best Restaurant list) has big changes ahead—that are largely still a mystery following a cryptic Instagram post

Yesterday, chef René Redzepi announced via the social app that his team will be uprooting to a yet-to-be-disclosed location this fall and putting the Danish dining space on pause for the rest of the year—much like they’ve done in the past for pop-ups such as in Tulum in 2017. Still, the next chapter of the famed restaurant could involve a very different version of noma (or perhaps a completely new iteration).

Noma Restaurant News
Photography by Ditte Isager

“This trip will be the starting point of one of our biggest transformations so far,” writes Redzepi. “When we return to Copenhagen in 2023 we will celebrate our 20th year. The last year of noma as we know it and the beginning of a new and exciting phase.” 

If you thought getting a reservation to noma was hard before… Hop on that reservation list now!

The post The World’s Best Restaurant Has Big Changes Ahead For 2023 appeared first on Saveur.

The Best Grilling Gifts for Dads, Grads, and Fans of Fires Tamara Palmer Tue, 31 May 2022 18:45:46 +0000 Shop buyers guide commerce performance roundup

BBQ pitmasters, chefs, and authors agree that these are the best gifts for grilling.

The post The Best Grilling Gifts for Dads, Grads, and Fans of Fires appeared first on Saveur.

Now that the outdoor barbecue season is in full swing, it’s a good time to shop for presents for the favorite grilling guru in your life. We reached out to barbecue pitmasters, chefs, and grilling authors around the country in order to share expert-driven recommendations for the best grilling gifts that aim to ensure your presence at all the future cookouts. Below, you’ll find essential tools, fun enhancers, and thoughtful touches that make the best grilling gifts, available for prices ranging from affordable to splurge-worthy.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: ThermoWorks Thermapen One

Brand: ThermoWorks | Item Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.7 x 0.74 inches | Color: Gray, White, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, Black, Orange, Pink, Purple  | Weight: 0.25 lb.


  • Reads temperature in one second or less
  • Motion-sensitive sleep and wake modes
  • Five-year warranty


  • Over $100 — Expensive
  • No Bluetooth control
  • Large

Why we chose it: The top gift of choice by grilling professionals.

We surveyed chefs, grilling authors, and pitmasters across the country about great grilling gear, and an instant-read thermometer from ThermoWorks appeared time and time again as one of the best grilling gifts to give enthusiasts at every level. The Thermapen One is consistently praised for speed, offering temperature readings in one second or less.

Knowing the temperature at all times becomes even more crucial when you’re grilling for a group with varying tastes. “ThermoWorks are my favorite, and they go on sale all the time,” shares Alfredo “Fredo” Nogueira, chef-partner at Vals in New Orleans. “They take a lot of the guesswork out of grilling, especially when you’re hosting people who have different temperature preferences.”

“Even with professional training and experience, I still appreciate having one to ensure everything is cooked perfectly,” seconds James Peisker, author of Homemade Sausage

The ThermoWorks Thermapen One is also the instant-read thermometer of choice from America’s Test Kitchen. Executive editor Lisa McManus deems it “pricey but totally worth it. Think of all the expensive food you won’t ruin on the grill.”

Best Value: Romanticist 20-Piece Stainless Steel Utensil Set

Brand: Romanticist | Item Dimensions: 17.32 x 7.48 x 2.68 inches | Color: Silver, Black | Weight: 4 lbs.


  • Hanging loops to keep tools close
  • Includes meat thermometer
  • Rust resistant


  • Heavy
  • Large
  • More utensils than some may need

Why we chose it: A set in a sleek and durable case with every cooking and cleaning tool you need for an affordable price.

“Nothing beats a quality tool set,” says Jeff Osaka, a James Beard-nominated chef in Denver who owns the multi-location Sushi-Rama. “A good set of tongs, a spatula and a good grill brush to keep the grates free of baked-on foods are in my personal grill toolkit.”

Besides those essential utensils to keep your grill clean and your hands burn-free, Romanticist’s affordable 20-piece stainless set includes vitals such as an extra cleaning brush head, a silicone brush for sauces, and four skewers for your masterpieces. The sleek and durable case keeps it all together and easy to store.

Best for Meat Smokers: YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Soft Cooler

Brand: YETI | Item Dimensions: 11.5 x 8 x 10.5 inches | Color: Black, Harvest Red, Alpine Yellow, Field Tan/Blaze Orange, Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue, Navy | Weight: 4 lbs. 


  • Lightweight
  • Leakproof
  • Thick insulation


  • Starts at $200
  • Too small for a wine bottle
  • Zipper easily damaged

Why we chose it: The pros rely on YETI to give their proteins a proper resting place.

A portable cooler comes in especially handy if you’re cooking in the great outdoors and not near your fridge or you don’t want to constantly run in and out of the house while grilling. YETI’s portable model is lightweight, leakproof, and built to withstand the elements. Its small size may not be sufficient for all your wares, but good if you want a dedicated spot for your meat once it’s finished on the grill, but not quite ready for prime time.

“I think the best thing to buy somebody that loves grilling meat is a YETI cooler to rest the meat in after they cook it,” says Justin Brunson, chef, and owner of River Bear American Meats in Denver. “That’s the move that all the main barbecue guys do to finish the process.”

Best for All Skill Levels: Western BBQ Smoking Wood Chips Variety Pack

Brand: Western | Item Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 2 inches | Color: Brown | Weight: 6.41 lbs. | Material: Wood


  • Works with both gas and electric grills
  • Experiment with different flavors
  • Adds more flavor


  • Burns through faster than charcoal
  • Cooks slower than charcoal
  • Needs replacing more often

Why we chose it: A versatile gift that will be used by both gas and electric grillers at all levels of expertise.

“One of the best ways to impart a distinctly unique flavor when smoking meat is to change up the wood chips you use,” shares David Guas, author of Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro. “For even the more experienced smokers, a great gift is a nice variety of wood chips. I’d recommend trying hickory, pecan, apple, or cherry.”

Western’s variety pack bundles up bags of apple, mesquite, hickory, and cherry flavors, so your griller can have fun figuring out which one they like the best and can even experiment with combining them. They can be used with both gas and electric grills to add smoky flavor to any dish, from meats to mac and cheese and veggies.

Best Natural Tool: Firecorn Fire Starter

Brand: Firecorn | Item Dimensions: N/A | Color: Red/Yellow | Weight: 0.5 lbs. | Material: Corn


  • Biodegradable
  • Doesn’t leave chemical taste
  • Long lasting


  • Kids could accidentally mistake for food
  • Not recommended for indoor use
  • Could attract insects

Why we chose it: An all-natural fire starter that doesn’t release nastiness into the air or your food.

Traditional fire starters can pollute the air and impart a whiff of toxic chemicals into your food, but Firecorn’s Fire Starter is made from real corn cobs for a cleaner burn and no unwanted flavor additives. The cobs last for a long time but are also biodegradable, so they won’t last forever. If your giftee likes to grill outdoors, this is an ideal present; it’s also suitable for indoor pizza oven or fireplaces. Basically wherever you have a fire, this nifty little starter is the best choice.

Best Chimney Starter: Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Brand: Weber | Item Dimensions: 13 x 7.5 x 12 inches | Color: Silver | Weight: 4.6 oz. | Material: Aluminized steel


  • Lightweight
  • Works quickly
  • Ergonomic handle


  • Can burn yourself
  • Breathing the fumes is unhealthy
  • Needs a lot of refilling

Why we chose it: Charcoal and wood grillers can get an efficient, centralized fire started quickly before their skills really shine.

“This is a gift that keeps on giving for anyone that lives to grill,” says Shannon Snell, Sonny’s BBQ pitmaster and brand ambassador, and former NFL player from Tampa, Florida. “Being a person who loves to use charcoal and wood, I need something to get the fire started. The Weber Chimney gets the job done with very little direction or hassle.” It’s a classic method to get the grill going, and we recommend it for use everywhere from your home charcoal grill to barbecue pits and beachside fire pits.

How We Chose These Products

We surveyed chefs, pitmasters, and authors across the United States to learn about their most indispensable tools and discover their recommendations for the best grilling gifts. Specific experts who are highlighted in this guide include Alfredo “Fredo” Nogueira, chef-partner at Vals in New Orleans; Lisa McManus, executive editor of America’s Test Kitchen; Justin Brunson, chef and owner of River Bear American Meats in Denver; David Guas, author of Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro; Shannon Snell, Sonny’s BBQ pitmaster and brand ambassador and former NFL player from Tampa, Florida; Jeff Osaka, owner of Sushi-Rama in Denver; James Peisker, author of Homemade Sausage; Ed Randolph, author, owner and pitmaster of Handsome Devil BBQ in Newburgh, New York; Taryn Solie, host of the Grill Like a Mother podcast; Rick Mace, executive chef and owner of Tropical Smokehouse in West Palm Beach, Florida; and Leonard Botello IV, owner and pitmaster of Truth BBQ in Houston and Brenham, Texas. In selecting products to include in this guide to best grilling gifts, we considered items made by well-reputed companies. Products were also selected to reflect prices that fall into a giftable range of around $20-200. Highlighted gifts all have flexible return policies.

Features to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Grilling Gifts

Cooking Style

Is the person you’re shopping for a delicate chef, or are they a rugged cook that throws their tools around and loves to cook giant pieces of meat? If you know something about their cooking style, you’ll be able to find something especially suited to them, whether it’s a sturdy Yeti cooler or a set of aesthetically pleasing grill tongs.


Digital meat thermometers are a crucial tool that, if inaccurate, will have a negative impact on your flavors. Consider going with an expert’s pick such as ThermoWorks Thermapen One to reduce the chances of that happening.

Easy to Use

While you may know a grilling enthusiast who particularly loves to read manuals, you may want to consider giving them a gift that is easy to use without having to learn much. A gift with a steep learning curve is likely to gather dust.

Set Vs. Single Piece

When you’re shopping for grilling gifts, think about what you want the recipient to get out of it. For example, if you don’t want them to have to buy additional accessories to go with your present, you may want to purchase a complete set of cooking utensils or cleaning tools.

Ask the Experts

Q: What to buy someone who loves to grill?

If you don’t want to shop for grilling accessories or ingredients, consider a cookbook. “Whether you’re looking to perfect your classic steaks and tenderloins, venturing into new recipe territory, or are just learning the art of grilling, I always recommend cookbooks,” says Handsome Devil BBQ pitmaster and owner Ed Randolph of Newburgh, New York, whose latest book is called Hot and Fast BBQ on Your Traeger Grill: A Pitmaster’s Secrets on Doubling the Flavor in Half the Time. “Tools and new tech gadgets aside, a classic cookbook holds so much lesser-known information and expert advice to not only have fun with creative recipes but to truly improve in the craft.”

Q: What do I need for a cookout?

If you’re wondering what you need for a cookout, the beauty of hosting a gathering is that you can design your own menu to share with your friends and family and there are no rules as far as what to eat. Beyond the food items that you are going to prepare and serve (including all sides and toppings), you’ll want to make sure you have the essentials to power your grill.

“The biggest thing is to double-check that you have enough fuel,” says Taryn Solie, host of the Grill Like a Mother podcast. “Whether that be propane, charcoal or wood pellets, there’s nothing worse than going to fire up the grill and you don’t have enough fuel. Other than that, make sure you have a clean grill, a pair of tongs and a spatula to cook with, a thermometer to check the temperature of whatever meat you’re grilling, and a large platter ready to take the meat off the grill as soon as it’s done.”

Poise is also an important ingredient in hosting a solid cookout, so don’t make it too difficult on yourself, advises Rick Mace, the executive chef and owner of Tropical Smokehouse in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Keep the menu simple and the company close to heighten the experience,” he says. “Pulling off a memorable cookout is best viewed as three separate acts: advanced planning, advanced prep and day-of actions. Plan for a menu that is in your wheelhouse. Think of the things that either bring you great joy to cook, like family recipes, or those things with which you are well rehearsed. Keep the mood light in the kitchen and focus on your guests. You can pull off that new recipe on another occasion to see how it comes out.”

Q: What to buy someone who loves smoking meat?

If you’re wondering what to buy someone who loves smoking meat, there are many options that are easily available to purchase, such as a meat thermometer or stainless steel utensil set. Start by delving into the products highlighted above and see where inspiration strikes you. If you’ve got a decent budget for your grilling gift, shop for high-end coolers such as the YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Soft Cooler, which barbecue professionals use to allow just-cooked meat to rest before serving.

And for something a little bit more affordable that’s still thoughtful and specific, Solie of Grill Like a Mother suggests a gift of pink butcher paper. “It’s explicitly made for smoking meat and is something someone who loves to smoke will appreciate,” she says.

Q: What is the most popular thing to grill?

Fruits, vegetables, poultry, and seafood can all be taken up to the next level after spending time on a grill, but beef and pork products like hamburgers, steaks and hot dogs remain among the most popular things to grill in the United States.  

“There’s a nostalgia to that, I think,” says Leonard Botello IV, owner and pitmaster of Truth BBQ in Houston and Brenham, Texas. “We all grew up with our dads or uncles or grandfathers grilling a steak or a great burger for family events, weekends, summer BBQs—you name it.”

Our Take

The challenge to find the best gifts for chefs can be more difficult if your gift recipient is laser focused on grilling, a type of cooking that has its own specialized products. However, experts agree that a perfect place to start is with a trusted brand of digital thermometers such as ThermoWorks Thermapen One to eliminate the guesswork involved in cooking meat in particular. This is considered one of the best grilling gifts for cooks who need to accommodate different preferences, like medium-rare or well-done steaks, and it may just earn you the best piece of the day, too. 

Every product is independently selected and vetted by editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

The post The Best Grilling Gifts for Dads, Grads, and Fans of Fires appeared first on Saveur.