Daily Archives: March 14, 2012

Featured Foodie: Betty Fraser

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Chef Betty Fraser is the co-owner of the award-winning, Hollywood, CA restaurant Grub (which I’ve blogged about before) and the long-established As You Like It Catering. Known for her signature California Comfort food and never-ending energy, she’s promoted the concept that food should be fun to help carve out a niche in the highly competitive L.A. restaurant and catering industry. Seen on Season 2 of the Bravo hit series “Top Chef,” Betty is a frequent celebrity chef at food and wine events throughout the nation and in her very rare free time enjoys testing new recipes and experiencing the newest restaurants in town.

  1. What was crafts service and catering like on the set of Top Chef? Hahahahaha! Oh, so sorry, but you have to remember we were Season 2 and it was very sad. The budgets were very small in the early days. We essentially got “rubber chicken.” But I will tell you, most of us got to sample each others’ dishes while cooking and that’s where the fun food was. I would not have wanted to have been the caterer on that shoot….
  2. How has your food changed since being on television? Hmmmm….although I’m known as the Comfort Food Girl, which frankly I’m very proud of, Denise DeCarlo (my business partner) and I have been catering since 1995 so we have always done more upscale fare as well. I wouldn’t say it’s changed from the show, I’d say it has changed with the times. We are constantly evolving our catering menus and creating new and exciting dishes. I just returned from a F & W event in Connecticut where I served a fun spin on a Panini, which was an Indian inspired Crab “Nannini” with Coconut Yam Soup, that went over very well.
  3. Favorite Los Angeles bites? Oh, my! This place has really turned into a wonderful food mecca! Thanks to DineLA I recently ate at Fig and Olive, the new Sadie (in Hollywood) and Picca (which was my fav of the week!) I love discovering new hole in the walls though, that’s where the fun is!
  4. A lot of your dishes appeal to my inner child. Do you have any advice for parents of picky eaters? Mind games! Disguising things like adding veggies to a low fat version of mac and cheese, or making cut sliders out of turkey burgers. Kids are smart and savvy, but fun food trumps every time!
  5. Share a quick 5-minute recipe? Caribbean Roasted Crab Legs. Preheat oven to 450, coat legs in quality oil then rub with Caribbean seasonings, place on cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes until warmed through out, serve with lemon and drawn butter. You will fall in love. But ya gotta get messy and eat them with your fingers, that’s how the season gets onto the crab. Sounds messy but man is it fun and good. Experiment with other rubs too…make your own magic!
  6. You must get a lot of attention – both good and bad. How do you deal with negative feedback? Do you mean from the show? That’s done. If you’re talking about food reviews for Grub, we are blessed with 99% excellent and the one person who might not like our flavor profiles. But I will tell you I listen to everyone, it’s my job as a restaurateur. In our book, our customers are gold and we sincerely appreciate each and every one who walks through the door, or books our catering. We really do want to please everyone.
  7. Your grilled cheese sandwich is award-winning. Any chance you would work on a vegan version? Hmmm…sure! My biz partner Denise is vegetarian and has been working on a lot of raw recipes. I might throw that challenge her way and see what she comes up with…
  8. What do you eat when you feel like you’ve er…eaten “too much” grub? I’m a creature of habit. I love my Cheerios in the morning and my go-to quick dinner is stir fried broccoli with garlic, chicken and Sriracha over brown rice. I know, “That’s what Betty eats?!” I actually eat pretty healthy and enjoy the occasional splurge!
  9. You used to be an actress. Any chance you may give acting another shot? I’m an adventurer and I am up for anything of quality that is thrown my way. Not many people know that I was also an accomplished singer too. Now I just sing in the kitchen…..
  10. “Grub” really feels like a home. Where do you get all the cool, kitschy décor? Thank you for such a sweet compliment! Man, I love our little Grub! It’s fun, we have purchased fun things when we come across them. I think our motto is, “If it makes you laugh, buy it and put it on the wall!” Even better though, we’ve had customers give us fun things to add and we definitely do….Grub is for everyone!

Lynnsane

dinner - salads - snacks - travel - vegetarian

Long Tuesday. We were at the airport before the sun was!

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The drive back involved having to pick up Julius and drop Abe off at work, so it was a while before I finally made it home. Munched on the snacks I had in my purse…

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…Fuji + a bag of Cheddar Cheese Halfpops

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Started dealing with everything I’ve been putting off the last 1.5 week for work. But I did take a break for tea time…

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…took some of the Festival home with me:

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Finally, I realized Julius and I had been cooped up all day…

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…we took a walk while I caught up with the latest episode of The Because Show – the one I recorded last Thursday! You can download it on iTunes too – it’s titled “Lynnsanity.”

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For dinner, I threw together a quick pasta with 8 oz. Farfalle, ready-roasted TJ’s beets, about 1/3 cup of honey chèvre…

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…coated in a Madras Curry Mustard Balsamic Honey Vinegar Avocado Oil Dressing. (Never want to type that again.)

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So easy and really delicious! Served over a big bed of baby spinach:

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Nice to have most of the day to decompress before starting up again (it’s back to auditioning today). Quite a weekend to remember; I’m sad it’s all over, but relieved to be home. If you’re still catching up on posts, here’s the highlights: Nice Girls World Premiere, Yes We’re Open + Daylight Savings Double Feature, and the Saving Face Reunion.