A Banquet for Foodies and the Kitchen-Crazed

SOLI Architectural Surfaces’ new show kitchen cooks up excitement for both designers and food lovers.

Photo courtesy of SOLI Architectural Surfaces This new show kitchen at SOLI Architectural Surfaces on Melrose features Serengeti marble, Poggenpohl fixtures and Miele appliances. Not only is it designed to inspire, but it's also a fully functioning location for culinary events.

Los Angeles kitchen enthusiasts have a new resource now that SOLI Architectural Surfaces on Melrose has installed a new chef’s kitchen. The purpose is not only to showcase cutting-edge designs and diverse surfaces, but to provide celebrity chefs a platform for sharing their secrets with the rest of us.

Soli Besharat, owner and founder of SOLI, says of his recently added kitchen, "The new space allows for personal cooking in a professional environment, intimate 'coffee meetings' and culinary events — while showcasing some of our favorite surface options and products."

To kick things off and give foodies an idea of the possibilities, noted chef Govind Armstrong, owner of Abbot Kinney's newest restaurant hot spot, Willie Jane, presided over a gathering where he not only shared his culinary creations, he served them on trays created for the event out of Lotus vein-cut marble from India, available at SOLI.

Photo courtesy of SOLI Architectural Surfaces Noted chef Govind Armstrong, owner of Abbot Kinney's newest restaurant hot spot, Willie Jane, prepares appetizers on trays made of Lotus vein-cut marble from India, in SOLI's new show kitchen.

Chef Govind enjoyed the opportunity to try out the new kitchen. “It’s great to utilize top-of-the-line products like Miele and modern kitchen storage like Poggenpohl,” he said. “Preparing artisanal appetizers in a well-designed, feel-good space inevitably has a positive effect on your mood and cooking.”

It also had a positive effect on his sense of generosity, apparently, as he offered to share some of his best and easiest recipes with those of us who couldn’t attend the posh event.

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups flour

8 oz. butter

3 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups buttermilk

Cube or grate cold butter. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Fold in buttermilk. Gently work mixture until combined. Fold dough onto itself 3 times. Cut into desired shape. Brush tops with cream or butter (optional). Sprinkle tops with natural sugar (optional). Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Burnt Orange Honey Butter

1 orange, halved

1 cup fresh orange juice (pulp free)

4 tablespoons lavender honey

1/2 lb. butter, softened

In a heavy-bottomed saucepot over medium heat, place halved oranges, cut-side down. Bring oranges to a deep caramelized color, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with juice. Reduce to a syrup. Pass and push oranges and reduced juice through chinoise, then cool to room temperature. Place butter in the food processor. Drizzle in honey. Drizzle in orange syrup. Serve soft.

Store owner and founder Soli Besharat spent years after college traveling Europe, continuing his education and indulging his passion for classical architectural motifs, including ancient stone mosaics and pavements. 

His specific interest in items such as reclaimed hand-painted Majolica tiles, and terra-cotta, antique limestone and Porphyry pavers serve him well at the store he opened in 1997.

Photo courtesy of SOLI Architectural Surfaces SOLI Architectural Surfaces on Melrose now features a show kitchen where culinary events of all types, both private and public, will be taking place. 

Upcoming events at SOLI include wine and cheese soirees, pastry parties, private formal dining events and other gatherings showcasing top chefs and gourmet cuisine. In particular, Soli himself will be cooking a dinner in September with traditional Persian dancers providing entertainment, and on November 21 there will a pre-Thanksgiving sit down dinner party, noted chef to be announced. Go to SoliUSA.com for more information.

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