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Celebrate the New Year by Cooking Together @Surfas: Healthy Cooking French Way!!

































This is the updated menu as there are some additions thanks to Philip:


-Soupe au Pistou (Provençale Vegetable Soup with Basil)

Soupe au pistou, the traditional Provençale soup with various vegetables, bean and pasta in which you add in the bowl a tablespoon of pistou (pretty much like pesto but no cheese nor pine nuts).














-Salade de Lentilles Vertes (French Green Lentil Salad)













-Poireaux vinaigrette (Leeks Vinaigrette)

cooked leeks with mustard dressing and chopped hard boiled egg










-Céleri Rémoulade (Shredded Celery Root Salad)

shredded celery root, traditionally with light mayonnaise and lemon juice, but could use yogurt if we really want to stay in the healthy theme










-Pruneaux au thé épicé (Prunes soaked in spiced tea)

Traditional prunes marinated in spiced tea





-Verveine-Menthe au Citron et au Miel (Verbena with Lemon and Honey)

French verbena infusion the chef brought from France, served cold or hot.









Since we need to have accurate headcount soon in order to buy ingredients, please make a payment if you haven't done so yet. (Please disregard this notice if you have already paid) I

f you can no longer join, please change your RSVP to open your spot.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you in the new year!





I just found a PERFECT instructor for this!!!  Thanks to our member, Wendy who also did an amazing wine tasting meetup in July:

now we have an authentic French chef, originally from Paris, to start teaching us!  I am soooooooo excited!!)

Now let me introduce chef/instructor Philip Sinsheimer from Paris, formally trained at the the Ritz Escoffier and Ferrandi cooking schools in Paris.  Please see his bio below

After Wendy hooked me up, I told him about this meetup doing healthy cooking to shed off holiday gain lol and he said "That's very interesting as French has a traditional way of detoxing/cleansing after holidays using fresh ingredients."   O mon Dieu!!


This is what he says:

"To fit the theme of healthy / "cleansing" cooking, I would like to focus on traditional French soup and salads that you do not get to eat that often in L.A. and that are supposed to be as good for your health as for your palate:

Soup: Soupe au pistou, the traditional Provençale soup with various vegetables, bean and pasta in which you add in the bowl a tablespoon of pistou (pretty much like pesto but no cheese nor pine nuts).



-French green lentil salad

-Poireaux vinaigrette (cooked leeks with mustard dressing and chopped hard boiled egg)

-Céleri rémoulade (shredded celery root, traditionally with light mayonnaise and lemon juice, but could use yogurt if we really want to stay in the healthy theme)."


And a couple of surprises du chef, a drink and a sweet touch)


When I originally posted this meetup, I was thinking of just cooking together, but now I'm shamelessly turning this into a French cooking lesson lol, so I need to charge a bit more than what I originally told you.  The fee will be $35 per person for this 3-hour class, but it's still a bargain.  Hope it's OK with you, but if not you can change your RSVP.

To attend, please RSVP with prepayment of $35 by Paypal.


Thank you very much, and hope to see you in 2013!




Philip Sinsheimer:


- Personal chef for exclusive clients, preparing weekly family meals, gastronomic dinners and
large scale private parties (references provided upon request)

- Caterer and party planner for up to 250 people (weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate parties…)

- Preparation of daily meals for individual weight loss programs

- Instructor for individual and small group cooking lessons

- First cook at the Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey restaurant (June- Dec. 1991)

FOOD, WINE AND TRAVEL WRITER (Paris and Los Angeles since 1994)

- Contributor to various magazines including: Best Hotels, Cuisine Gourmande, Femme Actuelle,
Slow (Slow Food movement magazine), Vegetarian Times, l’Amateur de Bordeaux…
Recipe development, articles on cooking techniques, wine pairing, food trends, chefs, hotels…

- Author: Les Pâtes du Terroir Italien, Minerva (1999), Les Cuisines du Monde, Larousse (2001)
and Collected Thoughts on Taste, Slow Food, Chelsea Green (2001)


- Bilingual in French and English (born and raised in France, American father)
- Conversational level in Spanish, Italian and Russian


- Bachelor of Arts in English, Master of Arts in Philosophy and
Post-Masters Degree in Human Resources, Sorbonne University, Paris
- Doctoral research in anthropology of eating habits, EHESS, Paris

Philip Sinsheimer is the son of an American father from New York and a French mother of

Alsatian background. At 12, he was already flambéing steak au poivre and devoted most of his

free time to cooking, from shopping to chopping, under the supervision of his expert mother and

gourmet French grandfather.

At age 25, after studying English, philosophy and human resources in Paris and working for

a year as a management and quality control trainer, Sinsheimer moved to Los Angeles to

professionally pursue his love of cooking. He first worked as a cook at the Ritz Carlton Marina

Del Rey restaurant and soon after became a private chef and caterer in the Los Angeles area.

In 1994, Sinsheimer returned to France to add to his cooking skills a formal training and a

writing career. He wrote numerous articles and developed recipes for various food magazines

and had the opportunity to attend the prestigious Ritz Escoffier and Ferrandi cooking schools in

Paris. He worked for a year as the editor in chief of a website specialized in recipes and cooking

equipment. He wrote a book on Italian pasta and contributed to two other cookbooks while

working for three years as the private chef and cooking instructor of an American family living

in France. He also organized cooking demos for the American Institute of Wine and Food –

Paris, catered weddings in different regions of France and worked as a food consultant and recipe

developer for several food companies.

In September 2004, Sinsheimer decided to return to Los Angeles. He fulfills his love of

cooking as a personal chef - caterer and shares his food expertise as a cooking instructor s and a

contributor to various food and lifestyle magazines. In 2005, he won both the gold medal and the

grand prize of the Korean Cultural Center cooking contest.

Fluent in both English and French, he can also communicate in Spanish, Italian and Russian.





Dear members,


Let's celebrate the beginning of 2013 by cooking together again at Surfas test kitchen.)

The fee will be announced later, but I will do my best to keep it low, probably in low 20's as I want many members to join without feeling intimidated. After all, to remove the fear out of cooking is one of my biggest goals to achieve through organizing this group for more than 5 years!)

The theme I chose this time is "healthy cooking" so that it helps shed off some extra pounds we would have accumulated during the holidays. If you want to show off your skills and talents in cooking healthy food or try new recipes with other members, or simply want to watch others cook and eat together, please state so in your RSVP now and pay later when I announce the fee amount.


We've been having fun, but I know we are going to have much more fun in 2013 as I guarantee that you'll be cooking more than ever before!))


Happy holidays and new year to you all,




2012 has been very interesting year for me with so many happenings and I feel that 2013 will be even more fun!  Because.... I'm starting the new monthly cooking meetup as I mentioned before. Yeah!))

Although I'm still replying, the numerous emails I got from members on my announcement of this new project literally have given me strength to keep on going. Many people have asked me why and I always say I owe to my members who have supported and helped me for long time. Every time I feel down, I go back and re-read so many emails I've received from you. Thank you very much!

Anyway, you know nothing makes us closer to each other than cooking together and I'm very happy that John, our member and who's in charge of Surfas test kitchen is helping me on this.)

I was thinking to have a cooking lesson for the kick off event, but since we all enjoy cooking together, maybe we could just cook together the food we like or recipes we want to try. (The cooking lessons are being planned from February though.)

I will pay for the kitchen rental as my contribution and you come in and use the kitchen with others. Yes, it has basically everything you need for cooking, so all you need to bring is the food ingredients. You can even purchase high quality stuff on the spot at Surfas too! And John will give us discount coupons of kitchen items, so you can enjoy shopping afterward as well.

Since it's the first in the new year, I think the theme should be "healthy cooking." If you have recipes to share with other members or try together, please let me know.

I haven't decided on the exact format yet, but this is a great chance to show off your skill, or learn from others.

The fee is still to be determined, but I'll try to keep it affordable as I like many novice cooks to join too without feeling intimidated - probably in low 20's.

Please RSVP now and pay later when I announce the amount. Also specify if you'd like to cook or be a sous chef to someone else, or just want to watch and eat!)


I bet 2013 will also be full of fun and great food!)




Join or login to comment.

  • Linda M.

    Wonderful! I learned a lot and appreciated the print-outs.

    January 13, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Linda, thank you, and I'm glad you learned a lot. Philip did a fantastic job and more classes coming on the way!)

      January 28, 2013

  • Julie

    I can't believe all the dishes were prepared and eaten all in three hours!

    January 8, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Julie, it was so nice seeing you again, I wished we could talk longer! Yes, it was fun-packed three hours, wasn't it?))

      January 28, 2013

  • Edgar V.

    It was a fun meet up. Definitely looking forward to more like these.

    January 7, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Edgar, thank you, and it was nice meeting you and talking about some interesting ideas! Hope to see you again soon))

      January 28, 2013

  • Martha

    I love the cooking lesson at Surfas on French Healthy cooking! The chef was very informative and I learned so much! Can't wait to joing other cooking meetups. Thanks Sally!

    January 7, 2013

    • Sally

      Dear Martha, although I was emailing you, it took this long to reply here, but thank you again for coming and yes, I can't wait either!)

      January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks to Sally for organizing such a fun event!

    January 7, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Delia, you're welcome! It was nice seeing you again!))

      January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Could not have found a better way to start off the New Year with a great series of recipes to use throughout the year. Thank you so much for putting this together. When will Phillip Sinsheimer return with more great recipes?

    January 7, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Laurel, thank you for coming and the wonderful comment. Yes, we're planning more future classes by Philip and they will be fun. Hope to announce sometime in the near future!)

      January 28, 2013

  • M H

    Wonderful... The chef was great and the food incrediible. I will definitely make some of the dishes we prepared.

    January 7, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Marcie, it was very nice meeting you finally, and thank you for the nice comment. I'm happy you came and had the experience together. Have you made some yet?

      January 28, 2013

  • Frank

    Hi Sally! Just saw this. If I join, can I pay you at Surfas? Thanks!

    January 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is it OK to join the class at 11:30? I just saw this, but I am meeting someone for coffee at 10.

    January 5, 2013

    • Sally

      Yes, but try to get by then. Thank you.

      January 6, 2013

  • Martha

    Hi Sally - do we need to bring an apron, our own chef knife....or anything else?

    December 17, 2012

    • Sally

      Martha, apron, yes, and usually I would say you don't need to bring knife as there are many knives there, but since we grew to a large class, it might help to bring your own. I'm sooo looking forward to seeing you again!))))))))))))))))))­))))

      January 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Sally.. Is the french cooking class focused on salads and soups? Also, is it possible that a list of what dishes we are going to learn posted here?

    December 17, 2012

    • Sally

      It's already posted.

      December 17, 2012

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