A little more than two years ago, Amir and I made our first okonomiyaki. Up until that point, we had never even heard of it, but without any hesitation, we decided okonomiyaki would be the best dish to feature in our upcoming Ethnic Exploration series. Some called it a Japanese pancake, others a Japanese pizza. Regardless, it was a vegetable-filled, pork belly-covered, sauce-doused, bonito flake-dusted creation on a plate. A bit intimidating, but definitely much better tasting than it looks. Fast forward to earlier this month when I received an invitation to attend FoodStory led by chef and self-proclaimed Japanese food storyteller, Yoko Isassi. In a Downtown loft, I spent a couple of hours with fellow food lovers reliving the okonomiyaki experience.
Not too long ago, we were invited to a brunch event hosted by Starbucks in featuring their new line of Natural Fusions coffees. Chef Paul McCullough, well known for his time on “The Next Food Network Star” and his Los Angeles catering company, would be at the helm guiding us through a collection of recipes that would make the perfect meal for a brunch party. Unfortunately, Amir had to report to work, so I took up the difficult duty of representing The Duo. To be honest, I’m not a coffee drinker. The last sips of any sort of coffee happened in Rome this past January, and prior to that? Well, let’s just say I don’t know. I do cook with coffee and espresso, and I figured adding new brunch ideas to our repertoire couldn’t hurt. It sounded like a great way to spend the morning.