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LANCE CORRALEZ
Executive Chef/ Consultant
Cooking With Corralez (CWC)

Throughout his extensive career in Los Angeles, Award-Winning critically acclaimed chef Lance Corralez has put his unique spin in all aspects of culinary arts while not compromising the taste of his cuisine. He credits his cuisine to cooking with simple ingredients while not sacrificing the taste of the food. As a result of his refusal to compromise on quality of food, image of the restaurant and overall passion for cooking, Corralez is well known in the industry for building some of the best restaurant profits by at least thirty percent. Some of these landmark restaurants include Micky’s West Hollywood, Dukes Coffee Shop on the Sunset Strip, and World Café. He launched several establishments throughout Los Angeles including Barbarella Bar, the trendy Silverlake neighborhood eatery that opened to praises to foodies and critics alike and Bex Grill, in the recently revitalized city of Lancaster.

In 2006, Corralez held the esteemed position as Executive Chef at the Abbey in West Hollywood where he oversaw a kitchen staff of 35 and exceeded profits beyond expectations of the management. As a result of his success at the Abbey, Corralez parlayed his experience into executive management while consulting for a variety of establishments ranging from BBQ to gourmet take-out, and even launching the food program at Angeles National Golf Club. Additionally, Corralez also been cooking privately for some of Hollywood‟s biggest stars in film and television and as a result, expanding his knowledge in and out of the kitchen.

A native Angelino, Corralez has been cooking for over 28 years in and around Southern California, His resume and experience are simple and clear: Corralez incorporates skill with a vast understanding of different cuisines and restaurants concepts to produce profits. A self taught chef, Corralez developed a love of cooking at an early age; he began experimenting in the kitchen as a young boy spending his days at the Original Brown Derby where his mother worked as server.

Working and learning his way through the L.A. restaurant scene, Corralez‟ first prominent position as chef was at the Broadway Bar and Grill in Santa Monica. Other notable stints followed, which led him to Executive Chef at the famed Morton’s restaurant where Corralez was the esteemed chef and the mastermind behind fourteen Vanity Fair Academy Award parties, serving to A-list talent ranging from Robert DeNiro, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Halle Berry, Goldie Hawn, Charlize Thereon and studio executives including Barry Diller and Marvin Davis. Corralez also served as Executive Chef at Echo Park‟s legendary Taix French Restaurant. Aside from working at established restaurants, Corralez also served as General Partner and Executive Chef at Pasadena’s Old Town Bakery adding entrepreneur to his resume and has also been published in a Mary Lou Henner‟s self-help book.

Additionally, Corralez held the Executive Chef title at Bar Celona and Smittys Grill (both in Pasadena), as well as at the Bel Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades. He was a primary consultant to Food from the Hood, a student owned natural foods company that raised college scholarship funds for LA‟s inner city residents enabling them to become entrepreneurs. The program, a source of great pride for Corralez, was awarded Newsweek‟s American Achievement Award.

Since 2010, Corralez has also been serving as a consultant for some of Hollywood‟s leading executives and celebrities in film and television. Most recently he assisted in the food styling of the successful feature “Little Fockers,” where he helped design many of the turkeys used for the infamous dinner scene. He also assisted in creating unique foods for scenes in NBC‟s hit series “Parenthood.”

In 2011, Corralez created original recipes for “National Blueberry Pancake Day,” and served the cast and crew of the Fox hit show „Glee,” some of his signature pancakes. In April, Corralez was prominently featured in the NBC reality competition series “The Next Great American Restaurant,” where he was paired with an aspiring restauteur hoping to franchise a restaurant concept.

In June, Corralez was featured at the 6th Annual LA Wine Fest where he will be a part of the Robert Mondavi Discovery Wine Tour, offering food pairings to guests and a live cooking demonstration. Corralez marked National Strawberry Shortcake Day on June 14 with appearances in San Diego on “San Diego News in The Morning,” on The CW and in Los Angeles on the KCAL/KCBS News.

In August, Corralez was featured on the Virgin Mobile “Sparah” Web-Series where he taught stars Sarah and Spencer the basics of breakfast. August also marked the launch of Corralez‟ private cooking classes. Corralez exclusively offered first-time students a deal on Living Social, the online marketing couponing service and sold over 100 private lessons to foodies and chefs-to-be.

No Nuts and Bolts

As part of my new years resolutions, I’ve kicked off the New Year with the goal of stepping out of my comfort zone to try some places I normally wouldn’t.

I ventured to Laurel Hardware (http://www.laurelhardware.com/) on a Saturday night about two weeks ago.  My wife and I walked up to the restaurant and there was the doorman stopped a line outside I at the door. I turns out not only was this a restaurant but a happening bar with a huge following.

As I entered, I gave the hostess my name and she walked us though the front part of the dining room. She said there is a table here in the front part of the dining area or she would show us the back dining area. We decided to tour the back room. The back room was dark with a curved bar and packed with the Young Hipsters of West Hollywood.  We decided to sit in front dining room please she gave choices of 2 tables one in the front window or a 2 top next to the kitchen expediter. We choose the one next to the expediter. For those of you who don’t work in the restaurant biz, an expediter is the person who executes the orders and helps get them out the kitchen and on your table.

As we sat at the table we were at a great table to people watch. The server came to the table and asked if we wanted to have a drink.  My wife ordered a glass of wine, and I said I wanted to read the menu first.

We surveyed the menu to find many small bites. When you order small bites, it means that you order more because they are just tastes.  Our waitress returned with the wine. Next, I ordered the crab salad and butternut squash; I also ordered a sidecar to drink. The two appetizers arrived before my cocktail. First we sampled the crab salad. It was served with a little arugula tossed in passion fruit vinaigrette. Since citrus is big this winter, I liked this one. The dressing was very nice on the greens and sweet but very tasty. However the crabmeat was a little too heavy so it actually hid the flavor of salad. We also tasted the butternut squash, which came with coconut milk, lavender and honey. You could barley taste these flavors because the flavor of the squash was so overbearing.  At this point, I was still waiting for my cocktail. We didn’t finish the appetizers when the server finally dropped my drink. The drink was served entirely wrong– a sidecar served in a martini glass with sugar on the rim– what is happening in the bar scene?

I asked our sever what cheese was on the cheese board. She admitted that she didn’t know the answer but that they came from sheep, cow and goat’s milk for a $22 board. As a chef and as a consumer, the server should know better, not ask me if she should ask the chef where the cheese is from. If there’s one thing that frustrates me as a consumer it’s staff not knowing what’s on their menu.

For our entrees, we ordered the burger and a summer squash eggplant pizza. We ordered the burger medium, and it came out medium rare. They served the burger with fixings and house made fries but no ketchup. Our eggplant pizza was very bland and no flavor. Perhaps this is because they were serving a summer squash eggplant in January?!? Call me crazy but that makes no sense.

Overall, I get the hype of Laurel Hardware but I think there are a few screws loose that need find tuning in order to keep customers returning. I’m really big on consistent kitchens and sometimes it takes a little more than a year or so to get the rhythm going and find your niche on the playing field.

 

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