Monday, December 6, 2010

Secret table
Is not so secret anymore…

There’s an oasis in the heart of Venice and it’s called Big Red Sun.  An indoor/outdoor venue replete with fire pits, cozy communal seating and architectural landscaping that will transport you tranquility.

And starting on the 18th of December at 7:30pm, Secret Table will be hosting a bi-monthly social club.  Dinner, drinks and fellow foodies will gather around several communal tables and dine family style.

Bubbles on Arrival
Spiced Nuts
Traditional Antipasti: Cured meats, reggiano parmiggiano, olives and peppers.
Caesar Salad with Buttery Thyme Croutons
Basil and Spinach Pesto, Puree of Butternut Squash and Bechamel Lasagne.
Chocolate Pots de Crème with Whipped Cream
Prosecco, wines and coffee
$110.00 per person
Seating is limited.  Tickets can be purchased at  Click on the BUY NOW button and you will be directed to a secure site for payment.  Enter the price of the ticket(s) you are purchasing.  A confirmation email and address will be sent to you soon after. 

We’ll see you around the table. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last Chance for Last Minute Orders

Happy Thanksgiving... and yes, it's three days and counting.   Do you have everything you need?  Well if the answer is, "no."  Call or email Secret Ingredients and we'll make sure your holiday feast is complete.  

We have plentiful sides like sweet potato with pralines, braised brussel sprouts with lemon, pancetta lardon and parmesan, savory cornbread stuffing with dried figs, sausage and crispy sage, roasted butternut squash soup with a pesto swirl and cabernet cranberry chutney!  Desserts are decadent.  Choose from pumpkin bread, bread pudding with brandied creme anglaise, chocolate pot de creme, traditional pecan pie and Baba au Rum (our French contribution to the holiday meal).

Please call us at 424.245.8689 or email

Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Secret Table's Thanksgiving Feast

Orphaned?  Hate to cook?  Well come and eat well with us and enjoy an evening of communal feasting and convivial good times!   We've got something delicious on the menu for everyone.  To reserve a seat please email  Happy Thanksgiving. 

Secret Table Thanksgiving Menu
On arrival…
Spiced nuts and sparkling wines
To start…
Cream of celery soup with crispy scallions and poppy seeds
Assorted sweet and savory breads and rolls
Citrus, Rosemary & Madeira braised turkey
Savory cornbread stuffing with sausage, dried figs and crispy sage
Buttery potato puree
Roasted carrots & parsnips
Port infused cranberry and onion chutney
Creamy pearl onions with pancetta lardon
Braised brussel sprouts with lemon zest dusted with grated parmesan.
Coffee, Tea
Pumpkin bread, bread pudding with brandied crème anglaise
Traditional Pecan Pie with whipped cream
Alka Seltzer

Holiday Small Plates and Wine Charity Event

You’re invited…

… To join the owners of The Cottage and the chefs from Secret ingredients for an evening of holiday shopping and a menu of small plates paired with exquisite wines in order to help us raise funds for Para Los Ninos ( Para Los Ninos is a charity devoted to the educational and domestic needs of impoverished children in Los Angeles.  The holidays are the perfect time to give to those who need it most. 

When: Sunday, December 5, 2010.
Time: 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm.
Where: The Cottage Boutique
859 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades 90272
Tickets: $45.00
Click on the BUY NOW button and you will be directed to a secure site for payment. 
An email confirmation will be sent to you
once your payment is received.
RSVP by:
December 1, 2010

Holiday Shopping:
Pacific Palisades best kept little secret is The Cottage… where for one night only you’ll receive 10% off of every purchase.  Choose from luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada, Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.


Gourmet caterers, Secret Ingredients, as recently seen in Daily Candy, LA Times’ Daily Dish,
NBC FEAST, EaterLA, The Minty and the December issue of Angeleno has planned the following
dishes to tickle the palate and fill the tummy.

The Menu:
Bruschetta Bar and assorted Dips:
Artichoke Gratin
Olive and Roasted Walnut Tapenade
Cannelini, Arugula and Gorgonzola
Tomato, Basil and Garlic Cecca
Brandied Chicken Pate
on Scallion Toasts
Potato Crisps with Smoked Salmon, Caviar
& Chive Spread
Garganelli with Puree of Pea & Tarragon,
Asparagus Tips and Artichoke Hearts
Cranberry & Almond Biscotti Dipped In
Alternating White & Dark Chocolate
Red Velvet Cupcakes with
Creamed Cheese Frosting

With the purchase of your ticket, you will be eligible to win…

Tina Hulett for Charlotte James Facial Care. 
Customized facial valued at $300.00

The Cottage will donate a collection of luxury leather goods
valued at $400.00.

A half case of assorted international wines
valued at $150.00
We hope to see you there.

Dinner and A Movie at Surfas Restaurant Supply and Cafe!

Dear friends,
Join us on Monday nights for Dinner and A Movie at Surfas Restaurant Supply and Cafe in Culver City.  For more information, email  

November 29, 2010
Dinner and A Movie:  7pm to 10pm.
Film:  Big Night starring Stanley Tucci and chef’s former partner, Minnie Driver.
Traditional Antipasti: Cured meats, reggiano parmiggiano, olives and peppers.
Cesar Salad with Buttery Thyme Croutons
Basil and Spinach Pesto, Puree of Butternut Squash and Bechamel Lasagne.
Prosecco, wines and coffee

December 6, 2010
Dinner and A Movie: 7pm to 10pm
Film: Babette’s Feast winner of Best Foreign Film 1987
Anchoiade with Toasted Baquette
Tomato stuffed with Soft-boiled Egg and Tarragon Vinaigrette
St. Tropez Poulet (Roasted Chicken with grapes, olives, rosemary, lemon and wine)
Cubed, roasted potatoes
Carrot Puree with honey and cream
Chocolate Pots de Crème

December 13, 2010
Dinner and A Movie: 7pm to 10pm
Film: Like Water For Chocolate
Fresh guacamole with Homemade white Corn Chips.
Jicama Salad with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Chutney
Saffron Rice with Peas and Smoky Black Beans with Chipotles
Mexican Hot Chocolate and Chimichurri

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Calendar of Events

Secret ingredients’

Dear friends,

Our last communal dinner was a great success, we had the loveliest guests and a few members of the press.  As a result, Angeleno will feature us in December’s issue focusing on our upcoming New Year’s Eve event.  We’ll also make a second appearance on The Bikini Chef on KABC so we’ll be back for more fun with Susan Irby and her gang (  Please scroll down for our calendar of events for the rest of the year…

Calendar of Events:

Secret Ingredients’ Dinner and A Movie

Dates:  December 6 & 13th
Where: Surfas Restaurant Supply & Café – Culver City
Why:    Because we love classic cinema.  So join us for a dinner paired with wines planned around each movie. 
Interested:  Email  Let us know what date(s) and we’ll email you the menu, movie, price per ticket and how to purchase.    

Secret Table Communal Dinner

Dates:  December 4th & 11th
Where: It’s a secret
Why:    Because it’s a great way for intrepid foodies to meet and eat.
Interested: Email  Let us what date(s) and we’ll email you the menu, price per ticket and how to purchase. 

Secret Table Thanksgiving!

When: November 25th, 2010
Where: It’s a secret…
Why:  Instead of cooking, join us for a festive Thanksgiving feast.  Traditional menu with a few extraordinary spins such as pumpkin bread, bread pudding with brandied crème anglaise.
Interested: Email  Let us know how many are in your party and we’ll email you the menu, price per ticket and how to purchase.

New Year’s Eve Fete!
Classic Parisian Celebratory Dinner

You know when!
Where:  It’s a secret but there’s art on the walls.
Why: Because Paris is the best city on earth to celebrate New Year’s so come and join us for a several course dinner that will feature the best Paris has to offer: fois gras, caviar, rich filet mignon roast, seared Muscovy duck breast, sumptuous sides, cheese course, decadent dessert,  French wines and champagne. 
Interested: Email  Let us know how many are in your party and we’ll email you the complete menu, price per ticket and how to purchase.

Take Away Cooking Classes

When:  December 6th, 13th and 20th: 2:30 to 5:30.
Where: Surfas Restaurant Supply and Café
Why:  Because it’s really really fun to know how to cook, and you can take what you make, home for dinner.
Interested:  Email   Let us know the date(s) you’re interested in and we’ll send you an email with a menu, price per tickets and how to purchase.

Custom Holiday Gift Baskets

When: Now throughout New Year’s.
Where: We make them here and deliver them to the lucky recipient.
Why: Because we custom make every basket to suit your vision and your price range.
Interested:  Call us at 424.245.8689 and we’ll take your order over the phone.

See you around the table!

Lisa & Michelle

Friday, November 5, 2010

Communal Dinner October 30, 2010

Secret  Table...

Last Saturday night we held a very fancy communal dinner that fell under the category of "Dinner Impossible" and we are still traumatized by it!   Don't get me wrong -- it was picture perfect in every respect and I do believe that our guests were well fed and enjoyed themselves tremendously.  But here's the behind the scenes scoop. 

Since this was our first event covered by the press we had no idea how many guests we'd be serving until the press hit and ticket sales closed.  We were interviewed early in the week and then we waited for the press to hit.  Daily Candy blasted us first on Thursday in their Weekend Edition.  About 300 emails came in requesting more information in uder an hour.  Next LA Times' Daily Dish hit around 1:30 and we got more emails.  NBC FEAST closed out the day and our ticket sales were still open.  We found out on Friday that EasterLA was also posting about us so we held the door open for last minute sales.  At 10pm on Friday night we had the maximum number of people we could sit at ourr communal table which was 24.  And it was supposed to rain.  And we couldn't move the table inside under  any cirucumstances.  So we called the party rentals only to find out that a well lit and heated tent would cost us $1,500.00.  We wanted to cry. And we wanted to quit.  Instead we drank some wine and implored the great universe to please quash the rain. 

Saturday morning we awoke to the most gorgeous morning... sunny with big white fluffy clouds floating lazily overhead.   Okay one for the team.  Now we had to shop and prep for a nine-course dinner for 24 that would commence at 8pm that night.  Our relief was short-lived.  We jumped into action.  Called the party rentals, told them what we needed and hit the stores.   We had also lost our sommelier earlier in the week and realized as we were selecting wines that we had no one to pour or present the beautiful grapes.  And then a tall, handsome stranger offered me a box to hold the bottles I was juggling.  His name is Bryon Holley and he happens to affiliated with the number one wine importer of the year (a company thoroughly explained below).   When we found out who Bryon is and what he does for a living we tackled him and asked him to please come to our party and pour.  He was and is a superstar.  He showed up, uncorked the wines and got the party started by pouring a very inexpensive sparkling wine that beat out Dom Perignon in a blind taste test.  This wine was purchased at Trader Joe's in another flukey twist of fate that had me shouting the story out loud to Steven who was waiting on me and everyone else within ear shot.  That makes three big fat blessings in a row.  But we still had to cook.

And we did.  And then we packed up the truck to take everything over to our venue where our gorgeous communal table awaited.  The last thing in tow was a bubbling pot of Michelle's seafood brodetto which of course burned us both.  So we hit the road and once we arrived at the site our lovely sous chefs, friends and servers awaited.   Must give the biggest shout out to Carl Montgomery, friend, fellow foodie, tennis mate and extraordinary amateur chef who left his family in the Palisades to work in the kitchen with us for the mere pleasure of participating in our psychotic work load.  We could not have made the night such a success without him.  Kevin Winston, sous chef and upcoming Le Cordon Bleu graduate, we adore you.  Maki Metzger, total kamikaze in the kitchen.  She gets it done.  Amanda and Patrick we want to work with you from hereon out.  And of course, we thank all of our beautiful guests for their patience, support and great vibes throughout the evening.  Flowers were  by Mae Appel and captured a little bit of Tuscany in the arrangements of heirloom Hydrangea, Scarlet Dahlias and Antique Roses.  Divine desserts by Daniel Shapiro at Modern Bite.  And photography by Christina Nickerson... It takes a village right?

Our contribution  was a menu that started with a vichysoisse amuse served over crispy leek and crowned with a parmesan crisp. Next we served zucchini di fiori stuffed with honeyed goat cheese served with pumpkin jam.  Followed by a petite beggar's purse stuffed with creamy sherried crab and tied with a chive.  Gargenelli sauced with pureed peas and tarragon was followed by palate cleanser of pineapple sorbet.  Main course consisted of cabernet braised short ribs served over silky gorgonzola polenta or the seafood brodetto with garlic aioli topped crostini.  And we didn't stop there. We proceeded to an opulent cheese course: Comte', Manchego, Delice de Bourgogne, Morbier and Blue d'Auvergne.  Followed by Chocolote Mocha tortes and pumkin profiterolles.  Cognac and port were served and then it was over.  The complete list of wines we served follows Bryon's company information. 

My goodness.  Now we're on to the next one.  Wish us luck.  

Lisa & Michelle 

As promised....

About Us

TGIC Importers, Inc. began 25 years ago as a wine import company with only a single Chilean winery in our portfolio. While our beginnings were small, our dreams were big and today our portfolio has grown to include the finest wineries, representing the best winemakers in the world today.
TGIC was founded with the singular focus to bring the best wines of the world to its customers. Our mission is to establish ourselves as a leading international producer, importer and marketer of the finest wines of the world with a rich and diverse portfolio. Through our strong commitments to our suppliers, wholesalers, accounts and consumers, we achieve this through establishing long-lasting relationships and alliances with the best winemakers and distributorships in the world.
Today, we are proud to represent 18 wineries from around the world as a national importer. We also offer a large selection of select imported and domestic wines for wholesale in the state of California. It is our pleasure to introduce to you the exceptional wines of the TGIC portfolio.
*Wine Enthusiast announced the 2010 Wine Star Award winners and TGIC Importers has been chosen as Importer of the Year.*
**Bryon Holley is a WSET Certified Wine Specialist and continues his education in the world of wine and spirits. His goal is to have a diploma in wine and is working to become a Sommelier. He works for TGIC Importers as a Chain Sales / Merchandising Representative for the Southern California Market.**

Wines from the Dinner Event.
1) Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 
2) Montes Alpha Syrah 2007 
3) Norton Reserve Malbec 2007 
4) Opolo Summit Zinfandel 2007 
5) Nugan Chardonnay 2008
6) Villa Maria Cellar Select Sauvignon Blanc 2010
7) Conundrum White Table Wine 2008
8) Chateau Ste Michelle / Domain Ste Michelle Brut Sparkling