Top things I would make for potluck?

So I got an email:

Hi Erik,

Sorry to bother you. I wanna pick your brain. If you had to bring something for a pot luck what are the top 5 things/ dishes (appies can be included) you would make? ūüôā I had to ask.

Thanks in advance.


Short version:

Dear —–,

I don’t like potlucks. ¬†


"Hookup" Ragu

wild boar legs and shoulders marinating in wine & aromatics & herbs

There’s a few principles that I use whether in a duck ragu, a wild boar ragu, or oxtail vaccinara.

1) I like to use the best quality meat in my ragus (all of my dishes, really). ¬†I see chefs doing expensive pop ups using commodity meat. ¬†I don’t personally get it. ¬†For me, an animal has died so we might as well source the best ones. ¬†That’s why I love the flavor of wild, and grassfed, and so on. ¬†End of rant ūüėČ .

2) Intensify the natural flavor with bone and long cooking times […]

Sept 7 Meals on Wheels LA Picnic


I’m pretty blessed to be part of this crew, (read part 1 here) and to be helping this amazing organization St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.¬† Voltaggio won top chef season 6. ¬†Ray Garcia won the Cochon competition for pig. ¬†Neal Fraser is an LA Standout chef. ¬†All the others are legit with some of the top restaurants in the city (God forbid…not NYC but…) #LA #westsiiiiiiide

ME? I’m just a neanderthal m-fer. ¬†Come join. ¬†The format is: each chefs gets a table. ¬†Each of the chefs will be donating all the food and their time to make a picnic for the 30-35 guests who join in their table. ¬†The ticket sales go to help feed the seniors/meals on wheels :). ¬†So it’s a great cause and we’re all in this together. […]

Buccella Winery

^that is a cup on the custom label on the custom bottle. It is supposed to provide the perfect mouthful of wine.

January 2012

There are some places you go for the view, the romanticism of the view, the birds and butterflies and listening to the chirps and flutters in solace. ¬†Or with someone. ¬†Well I guess that’s not completely fair to say, because you are never alone if you’re with a glass of wine. ūüôā

Much like restaurants, I prefer less decor and better food if one had to choose between the two, I prefer good wine to good views, though if you’re drinking enough of the former you may have more of the latter if you know what I mean.

As for vineyards and the Winery “experience” IMO no better tasting “experience” than Quintessa’s in Napa, and once per day at a vineyard is okay with me. ¬†Give me wine and no BS.

Buccella fit this bill exactly(boo-kel-ah, it’s Latin, not Italian, meaning “mouthful”), and had been on my list of places to go for a while, if not solely for the reason that the maker also works on Scarecrow…one of the amazing Napa cult wines up there along with Screaming Eagle and Harlan. ¬†Buccella’s tasting room is in an industrial park in downtown Napa, and for whatever reason when I called, I had no idea it wasn’t open to the public. ¬†How we managed to be so fortunate to score a tasting on a Saturday (when they are only open M-F) bewilders me, but I won’t ask questions, just tell you that the wines were delicious.

Erin came on a Saturday to tell us the Buccella story, pour us the Buccella wines (4 bottles, one sauvignon blanc, a delicious Jam-smelling Merlot, 2 Cabs, one from a single block.  She worked at Harlan among other extremely noteworthy wineries, and was very pleasant as a host.

{Prices, Tasting, & Purchasing}

-The price range is unavailable for the Sauvignon Blanc (sometimes a free gimme for wine-list members, but otherwise can’t be purchased – production low), $70 for the Merlot, $110 for Cab and single block cab $195.
-Buccella’s name mean mouthful, and since we dominated 4 bottles, nothing could have been truer. It wasn’t 4 – 1 oz pours, it was 4 bottles! Yes, they were empty by the time we left.
-If you want to buy bottles, they are available in 3-packs or more; not available by the single bottle.

After Buccella, I watched that amazing 49ers game, and the day could not have been more perfect ūüôā

I just spoke a mouthful, but really I wish to have more Buccella.

4 entire bottles for 5 people? Linning. […]