The LA Restaurant Helmed By Home Cooks From Around the World

The pandemic has ushered in an era that has proved to be the hardest time to own and operate a restaurant. But that hasn’t stopped Meymuna Hussein-Cattan and Christian Davis from opening one the same week Mayor Eric Garcetti issued Safer At Home orders…

The pandemic has ushered in an era that has proved to be the hardest time to own and operate a restaurant. But that hasn’t stopped Meymuna Hussein-Cattan and Christian Davis from opening one the same week Mayor Eric Garcetti issued Safer At Home orders for the city of Los Angeles in the third week of March.

At Flavors From Afar’s brick and mortar location in Little Ethiopia (located in L.A.'s Mid-Wilshire district), the menu changes every two weeks, intermittently featuring cuisines from numerous countries: Belize, Guatemala and Venezuela to Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia and Kenya. There’s more behind the menus than variety, however. Each one has a story behind it, and that is the life of a cook who has found a new beginning in the U.S.

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Dirty Lemon

It’s been quite a year for businesses in Paris. From the gilets jaunes movement, to the longest transit strike in French history, then a pandemic, they’ve had to tough a lot of things out. One of the troopers has been Dirty Lemon. After a major remodel of a space that formerly held a LED-lit sushi restaurant, I had a night out with friends – Jennifer,…

It’s been quite a year for businesses in Paris. From the gilets jaunes movement, to the longest transit strike in French history, then a pandemic, they’ve had to tough a lot of things out. One of the troopers has been Dirty Lemon. After a major remodel of a space that formerly held a LED-lit sushi restaurant, I had a night out with friends – Jennifer, Jane, and Forest – at Dirty Lemon, tasting and testing some of the cocktails on their menu. And even better, enjoying the food of cheffe/owner Ruba Khoury.

Ruba’s goal was to create a bar and space that was for everyone, but especially women-friendly, something she said was lacking in Paris. The name comes from a bad experience she had with a funky lemon she was served, and ate (with unfortunate results), at a cocktail bar in the Marais. But Ruba knows her stuff. She worked at such esteemed restaurants in Paris at Septime, Yam’Tcha, and Frenchie before creating the menu at Ibrik, which I loved, that reflected her Palestinean heritage and growing up in multicultural Dubai.

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Chef JJ Johnson on Harlem, Community & Tomato Salad

COVID-19 changed the restaurant industry as we knew it. And even as businesses begin to reopen across the country, there are countless challenges ahead. In this series, Restaurant Quality, we’re checking in with a few of our favorite chef-slash–cookboo…

COVID-19 changed the restaurant industry as we knew it. And even as businesses begin to reopen across the country, there are countless challenges ahead. In this series, Restaurant Quality, we're checking in with a few of our favorite chef-slash–cookbook authors and seeing how they're holding up. Along the way, you'll get signature recipes to make at home—and find out how you can support the chefs and their staffs. Today, get to know JJ Johnson.


JJ Johnson feels like his Harlem restaurant Fieldtrip is doing the work he’s always strived for. While a global pandemic led to widespread job loss in the food industry, this slowdown brought about a certain clarity to the chef. As schools, offices, and construction sites closed down, Johnson noticed his customer base shift. His regulars, “the everyday worker in Harlem,” as Johnson calls them, were slowly replaced with more new faces—locals who had never visited the restaurant—than ever before.

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The Tunnel Cocktail (from Cravan, Paris)

Note: Join me and Franck as he mixes up this Tunnel cocktail today on my IG Apéro Hour, live from…Cravan! Join us at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT. Go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means we are live. You can also watch us in replay on…

Note: Join me and Franck as he mixes up this Tunnel cocktail today on my IG Apéro Hour, live from…Cravan! Join us at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT. Go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means we are live. You can also watch us in replay on my IGTV channel. More information about how to tune in, and watch live, as well as in replay, here.

One of my favorite spots in Paris is Cravan. It’s not right in the middle of town, nor is it in the popular St. Germain area, or the trendy 10th or 11th arrondissements. But a few métro stops is all it takes to find yourself at one of the loveliest little outposts in the city.

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Restaurants Support Our Communities—Here’s How We Can Support Them

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


Hugh Acheson is still cooking. Though he had to lay off 100 hourly workers in March, while closing one of his Georgia restaurants and pivoting the other to takeout only, the chef and author will never not cook. In fact, Acheson was cooking while we spoke on the phone last week. But I’m not going to tell you what he was making, because that matters less than the act itself.

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3 Ways to Support the Hospitality Industry—From Your Phone

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


I’m an engineer by day, curious cook and blogger by night. I started my culinary journey over a decade ago by asking chefs on Twitter how to make something they posted, and was surprised to actually receive answers. There was one specific event when I knew that anything was possible using social media: Chef Jose Andres not only saw my tweet, but invited me to chat through my questions in person.

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Remembering Floyd Cardoz, Champion of Indian Food

Beloved chef and restaurateur Floyd Cardoz, 59, died earlier today at a hospital in New Jersey.

For many, Cardoz is best known as the chef who introduced Indian food to the mainstream—those who thought they already knew it and those who had never vent…

Beloved chef and restaurateur Floyd Cardoz, 59, died earlier today at a hospital in New Jersey.

For many, Cardoz is best known as the chef who introduced Indian food to the mainstream—those who thought they already knew it and those who had never ventured beyond chicken tikka masala. As he told David Chang in an episode of the Netflix series Ugly Delicious, “Indians have to tell the story that our cuisine is amazing, and it doesn’t have to be thought of as something that’s pedestrian, or cheap."

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How Food Delivery Is Working in the Time of Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is on track to change every aspect of how we live, with how we procure and consume food near the top of the list. As of writing, 15 states and six U.S. cities have already banned dine-in options at restaurants, and a…

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is on track to change every aspect of how we live, with how we procure and consume food near the top of the list. As of writing, 15 states and six U.S. cities have already banned dine-in options at restaurants, and a nationwide call for people to socially isolate and stay inside has substantially emptied the dining institutions that remain open.

This is, as you can imagine, hitting restaurants hard. Many in the service industry have been laid off, and still, many restaurateurs find themselves with no choice but to seek donations just to offer “substandard unemployment wages.”

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Our 14 Favorite Places to Eat in NYC’s Chinatown

The World Health Organization has now classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has officially surpassed 1,000. As an unfortunate side effect, there’s a false connection being made betw…

The World Health Organization has now classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has officially surpassed 1,000. As an unfortunate side effect, there's a false connection being made between the virus and entire nationalities, or even races, of people—and Chinatown restaurants in particular are losing business for it.

"Xenophobia is a real thing. I feel it," Wilson Tang of Nom Wah Tea Parlor told Elyse Inamine in a Bon Appétit story last week. "I feel those weird moments, like a few days ago when I dropped off my kids for their gymnastics class. I got extra stares, as if I don’t get them already, being a six-foot-five Asian guy."

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The Secret to New York City’s Best Mozzarella Sticks

I had been seeing the name all over New York City, first at Smorgasburg (an open-air food market in Brooklyn), then at Chelsea Market: Big Mozz.

Their specialty (in case you hadn’t guessed) is extra-large mozzarella sticks. Bigger than the kind you’d …

I had been seeing the name all over New York City, first at Smorgasburg (an open-air food market in Brooklyn), then at Chelsea Market: Big Mozz.

Their specialty (in case you hadn't guessed) is extra-large mozzarella sticks. Bigger than the kind you'd find in the frozen section of the grocery store, yet structurally sound and far more flavorful. Every time I happened upon one of their stalls, I couldn't help but grab a basket of fresh-from-the-fryer mozz sticks and devour them in five minutes flat.

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