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March 05, 2018

During an Eventful Spring Swing, Coast Packing Chef Ernest Miller Takes Southern Californians on a Cook’s Tour

During an Eventful Spring Swing, Coast Packing Chef Ernest Miller Takes Southern Californians on a Cook’s Tour

From Los Feliz to Newport Beach, from the City of Industry to San Marino, Coast Packing Company Corporate Chef Ernie Miller will serve as a regional culinary tour guide during a very busy March and April.

From delivering a primer on the state’s agricultural history to sharing the real skinny on fat, from explaining the reasons why you can’t make a great tamale without chiles and lard, to appreciating the culinary wonder that is California’s state vegetable, the artichoke, Chef Ernie will be educating and enlightening on all things (or at least, many things) gastronomic.

Miller, who has been called “the Huell Howser of California food,” is a chef, historian, teacher, consultant and speaker – a familiar presence in museums, schools and kitchens throughout Southern California.  “Food is never just food – it always has a narrative,” Miller says.  “The more you know the history and story of food, the better it tastes.  Food is central to our shared cultural heritage, and it’s at the heart of the stories I’ll be telling.”

So mark your calendars accordingly.

Pacific Taste: The Edible Gold Rush A Brief Introduction to California Agricultural HistoryWednesday, March 7 – 7:00 a.m.; Thursday, March 8 – 9:00 a.m.Los Angeles Breakfast Club, 3201 Riverside Dr., Los Angeles

Gold brought a brief boom to California, but food brought lasting prosperity. The area that provides most of our agricultural bounty was once regarded as useless desert, but visionaries saw profit and security in land experts thought worthless. Under the auspices of the local chapter of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, join Chef Miller and PacFAB President Philip Dobard for breakfast and culinary conversation in Los Feliz.

A Brief History of Fat Monday, March 19, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.Chef Connect: Newport Beach, Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa, 900 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach

Of the three macro-nutrients, most of us are familiar with a wide variety of proteins and carbohydrates.  Yet many pay little attention to fat.  Butter is well known, certainly, and we’ve all heard of saturated and unsaturated fats, but what does that really mean and how does that affect cooking?  It’s not all technical; fat plays important roles in science, culture and history.  Led by Chef Miller, the session provides a chance to learn everything you wanted to know about fat but were afraid to ask.  If you’re a chef exploring new ideas and flavors, a student looking to gain experience or a foodservice professional keeping atop the latest and greatest, ChefConnect — a project of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – offers a wealth of educational and networking opportunities.

Chile Workshop Rancho DaysSaturday, March 24, 8 a.m., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.The Homestead Museum (museum’s website), 15415 East Don Julian, City of Industry

Take a bite out of history!  Join Chef Miller for the first in a series of three hands-on workshops that explore the history and flavor of chiles in regional cuisine.  In this first workshop, investigate the tasty history of tamales in California.  Participants will make and take home two types of tamales: green chile cheese with a chile verde sauce and pork with a California red chile sauce. The workshop fee is $30 for adults, $25 for seniors (55+) and students. Children age 12 and older must be accompanied by a participating adult.  Reservations are highly recommended.

Autry Flavors Dinner Series: From Trail to Table in the 21st CenturyFriday, April 6, 7:00 p.m., The Autry in Griffith ParkAdmission: $55 Autry members /$65 nonmembers (RSVP/reservations recommended)

The cowboy on the cattle drive taking the herd to market is a classic image of the American West. But there’s a lot more to a cow than just a steak wrapped in leather, and a lot more to raising them than just putting them out on the range.  Taste delicious and innovative twists on an American classic as you hear from the modern cowboys who raise cattle and the ranch chef for Meyer Natural Foods, supplier of natural grass-fed beef for this event, and experience the many ways that beef can be used in food, from unusual cuts of meat to suet crust pies. Tickets include plates from multiple food stations, access to the galleries and garden, and presentations by chefs and food history experts, including Chef Miller.

Children’s Culinary Workshop — The Artichoke: A Flower Bud You Can EatSaturday, April 14, 9:30 a.m. (check-in at 9:15 a.m.); registration is not available day of the event.Ages 7 and up; fee includes one accompanying adult. Members: $30, non-members: $40.Ahmanson Classroom of the Brody Botanical Center, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

It must have been a very hungry person who first decided to eat an artichoke. The large green buds covered with sharp spines can look a bit intimidating. Turns out they’re delicious — they’re also the state vegetable of California.  Kids will learn the lore of the artichoke and how to prepare and enjoy them in this cooking workshop with Chef Miller.

To speak with Chef Ernie Miller, please email