Valerie Gordon: Co-Founder, Valerie Confections

Valerie Gordon: Co-Founder, Valerie Confections

The Queen Of Confections Cooks Up A List of Her Artisinal Faves

ELAINE SAYS: Many will remember her as the beloved manager of Les Deux Cafe. But Valerie Gordon eventually let her love of chocolate lead the way. Now, she not only owns one of the tastiest and lovliest, artisinal confections outlets around but she is also responsible for my personal addiction to salted dark chocolate. Her Durango Bark is the most divine (and I never use that word) blend of dark and milk chocolate with that salty touch that melts me. And she's been known to cater an extremely elegant Tea Party as well (Her Petit Fours are to die for...My favorite is the Black Currant....yum). Yes, Valerie is one of LA's finest but if you can't visit her amazing shop in Silverlake or pick up her goodies at Silverlake Wine, Susina Bakery or the American Tea Room, not to worry. You can shop her sweets ONLINE. Most excitingly, you can also pre-order her new cookbook...FINALLY....by clicking HERE. On top of all of that, this self-professed farmers market addict and small batch food junkie has agreed to share some of her own artisinal favorites....read on for a list of Valerie's personal secrets.

  1. A Mother-In-Law Everyone Loves... VISIT WEBSITE I have been a Kim chee addict for years and must say that Mother In Law's Kimchi is a spectacular version. First of all, the packaging is brilliant, so clean and boldly modern. A glance at the ingredient label shows a surprising additive of beef stock...interesting twist! Unfortunately, you can only pick it up in person on the East Coast and in San Francisco but try the website to order.
  2. Fat's Where It's At VISIT WEBSITE FAT UNCLE'S blistered almonds have a wonderfully crisp bite and none of the oiliness that you might feel in other seasoned almonds. The seasoning is perfectly balanced in all their flavored almonds but the Rosemary is a true standout. Available at both the Studio City Farmers Market (Sunday) and the Santa Monica's Farmers Market (Wednesday) and on their website.
  3. Great Wine Find VISIT WEBSITE AM/FM Wine out of Los Olivos. Adorable graphics and delicious drinking. If only the bottle was a little bigger... Available at owner Matthew Kanar's Silverlake Wine in Silverlake, as well asĀ Domaine LA on Melrose.
  4. Palate Pleasing Pesto VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: Beverly Hills Wine and Cheese 419 N. Beverly Drive [Beverly Hills] and Larchmont Farmer's Market, Larchmont Boulevard at Beverly [Larchmont Village] I had to go on a Dominic diet a few years ago. My weekly spending at his Domenico's Foods farmer's market booths was getting dangerously high and I forced myself to choose one item per week. Everything Dominic makes (from his outpost at Beverly Hills Wine and Cheese) is rudely delicious but week after week I went for the same thing: Marcona almond pesto. Buy four if your budget allows!
  5. Naturally Delicious VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: Los Angeles Granola is damn chic this year and Lauren's concoctions at her Granola Project, are wonderfully addictive. Sure to be a huge hit, Lauren has done the impossible by creating an air of exclusivity around a casual handmade snack. Kudos.
  6. Magnificent Marmalade VISIT WEBSITE My dear friend and canning cohort, Kevin West, created this magnificent preserve late in 2010. Another example of clever packaging filled with a delicious product. I adore the subtle Scotch notes and masculine vibe in his marmalade. Enjoy Kevin's West Preserves, on toast.
  7. Can We Say, "Bespoke Lettuce"?? VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: Windrose Farms, 5750 El Pharo Road Paso Robles, California Barbara's Garden Greens with a lemon vinaigrette, will fortify your soul. You can visit the farm next time you're in Santa Barbara or purchase the delicious greens at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market on Wednesdays....either way, it will be worth the trip!
  8. Cheesey Dream.... VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: Purchase Online, at Gelsons 2725 Hyperion [Silverlake] or at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays Little known fact...I have a fantasy of raising goats and making cheese. The darling folks at Redwood Hills Farms in Sonoma County, are living the dream.
  9. The Best Beans VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: Cafecito Organico 710 Heliotrope, Dr. Los Angeles [Silver Lake] Cafecito Organico. In short....Fancy coffee in casual clothes. Gotta try it...Visit the Silverlake Cafe or the the Farmer's Markets in Silver Lake (Sat) and Hollywood (Sun).
  10. Selection Obsession at the Spice Station VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: The Spice Station 3819 W. Sunset Boulevard, at Hyperion [Silverlake] But which spice? Well, that's up to you...try to choose just one. The roasted paprika or the white wasabi? Too stressful...get both.

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