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Food

Chef Susan Feniger Writes About Food From Her Youth

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Susan Feniger (Photo by Elise Thompson/LAist)
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If you've ever wondered what inspires local chefs, your curiosity can be sated -- at least briefly -- by popping over to HuffPo, where local restauranteur Susan Feniger has posted a short essay about foods from her childhood. Of growing up in Toledo, Ohio, she writes:
As a kid from a largely Russian Jewish family, my first introduction to any kind of ethnic food was my Aunt Faye's chicken liver-and onion egg scramble and my Grandma Morgan's potato pierogis... Years later, in France, working as an unpaid line cook trying to earn my cooking stripes, I rediscovered a little piece of Toledo. Working in La Napoule and driving a Vespa down to St Trope to the beach, I discovered a tiny little nothing restaurant that served the best chicken liver terrine I'd tasted since Aunt Faye's.

Best known locally for Border Grill and Street, Feniger goes on to describe how she's incorporated the flavors of her youth into some of the dishes at her popular, urban restaurants:
At Border Grill we make Argentine empanadas, one filled with mushroom and one with Swiss chard. And at Street, we did a layered liver/avocados and egg pate, as a Mexico City Passover dish. Also on the menu at Street, a big hit are the Ukrainian verenyky -- little half moons, just like grandma Morgan's, stuffed with sautéed onions, mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, and then finished with a little fried crispy onion on top and served on a bed of sour cream with home-made lemon marmalade.

Yes, please.