Louis' Little Black Book

Chef Louis Tikaram was raised on a 110-acre farm in Mullumbimby, on the coast of New South Wales in Australia. At an early age, he began exploring his Fijian heritage in the kitchen beside his Fijian-Chinese grandmother, but his appreciation for his family’s culture and cuisine was fully developed while living in Fiji as a pre-teen. “That’s when I learned food is so much more than just eating when you’re hungry,” he says.

After graduating from culinary school in Sydney in 2006, he served as an apprentice at Longrain, a highly respected Southeast Asian-inspired Sydney restaurant under Chef Martin Boetz, who would become Tikaram’s long-term mentor. After advancing to chef de partie in two years, he went on to work at Bentley Restaurant + Bar with Brent Savage whose menu was influenced by contemporary European trends.

In 2008, Tikaram moved on to Tetsuya’s, a Relais & Châteaux property that is one of Sydney’s most honored restaurants.  With Chef/Owner Tetsuya Wakuda’s connections around the globe, Tikaram was given the opportunity to stage in restaurants from Barcelona to New York, further polishing his craft.

When Chef Martin Boetz announced he was departing critically acclaimed Longrain, he handpicked Tikaram to take over as executive chef. It was at Longrain that Tikaram was named “2014 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year” by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The opportunity to run the kitchen at E.P. & L.P. in Los Angeles is Tikaram's latest adventure and an exciting prospect for Tikaram, who is keen to incorporate Southern California’s fresh produce into dishes inspired by his unique cultural heritage. 


 
 

 
 

Louis' Fav Tunes to cook to

  • Ice Cube - Check yo self
  • A$ap rocky - F**kin' problems 
  • T.W.D.Y - players holiday 
  • Puff daddy - been around the world 
  • NAS - street dreams 
  • Snoopdogg - ain't no fun 
  • lil Wayne - Mrs. officer 
  • Roses - outkast  
  • jay z - Big pimping
  • Flava in ya ear - Craig Mack

My number 1 lesson from the Kitchen is don’t f$$% with the System
— Louis Tikaram

Louis' Favourite cookbook

 
 

Louis' Guide to LA

 

El Jarocho tacos

Tijuana-style carne asada tacos from a nightly pop up taco stand Located in the parking lot of the El Jarocho tire shop.

The tacos are so good the tortillas are made to order and you can smell the blazing grill from down the street!


Paramount drive in theatres

Once you get your BBQ fix from Compton it is a short drive to the neighboring city of Paramount where you will find The awesome drive in theatre playing all the latest movies its $9.50 for a double feature! Best value in all of LA!! 


NBC seafood restaurant

My wife and I have always had our Sunday morning dim sum tradition, nothing cures me better after a big week in the EP kitchen than a long dim sum lunch with jasmine tea and mango pudding! I love NBC in Monterey Park the decor, smells and flavors are textbook dim sum!! 


Spicy BBQ

A tiny restaurant tucked in an east Hollywood mini mall has a legit Traditional northern Thai menu. I always order the Khanom chin nam ngiao, which is rice vermicelli noodles with spicy and tangy pork curry sauce.


Sun Ha Jang

This Korean duck restaurant is known for their duck ros gui, basically it is sliced duck cooked on the grill and eaten with salad and condiments while acuminating all the duck fat which is then used to fry rice and vegetables for your second course, washed down with some makgeolli “a light fermented rice alcohol” I always sleep well after dinner at Sun Ha Jang. 


Griffith observatory

This is where we take our dog P for walks it is a massive park with a climb to the top of the hill where you can get great views from the observatory. Several different trails can loop you back down the hill or take you as far as the Hollywood sign, its up to you.


Malibu pier

This is where I surf the most, 1st point has a great long boarding wave and the southern Californian beach vibe is awesome.  Parking is easy and Malibu farm café is a great place for a coffee and a breakfast burrito. 

Bludso's BBQ

Some of the best Texas- style BBQ in LA. The Angus Beef Rib that is available only on weekends and the Chicken Links are my favourite! Together with some potato salad, green and mac & cheese I’m in heaven. 


Quan Hy Restaurant

This busy traditional Vietnamese restaurant in “little Saigon” Westminster serves the best Banh Beo: fresh steamed rice cakes with shredded shrimp, so fresh and so clean! Wrap them up and eat them quick, I could eat 5 serves to myself!


Kang Kang food court

This humble restaurant/food court in Alhambra has all the smash hits from all over China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, there is a buffet and also a huge menu to order off, dumplings, pancakes and soups though I think my favorite is the breakfast dumpling menu. 


Aburiya Raku izakaya restaurant

When I first moved to LA I drove all the way to Vegas to eat at this famous Izakaya restaurant so you could imagine how excited I was when they announced they were opening just up the street from EP in West Hollywood. I go late night after work for the Robata grill menu though I also love Raku’s tofu!!


Dino's Famous Chicken

This is my guilty pleasure when i am driving home after a Clippers game, even after my nutritionist wife's advice i cant resist to stop in for the marinated & grilled 1/2 chicken on top of a bed of soggy fries with a side of coleslaw and tortillas. Eat it all together; wrap it up in the tortilla or save the fries for the last leg of the drive home. Whichever way you choose Dino's is out of this world tasty! 


NBA game at the staples centre

I love Basketball and the Clippers are my team so I try and watch as many games as possible down town at the staples centre. The atmosphere and passion of the fans is electrifying. 


Santa Monica Farmers Market

Every Wednesday morning you can rub shoulders with LA’s best chefs down at the farmers market, get there early to grab some of the freshest and best produce from all over southern California. 


Louis' Fav Instagrammers


Recipe
Turmeric & Coconut Curry of Scallop and Mussels 

Serves 4 as part of a shared meal. 

This light aromatic coconut based curry from Thailand is a great way to showcase beautiful fresh seafood; in this recipe I am using scallops & mussels though you could substitute it with and kind of fish, squid or even a combination of them all.  

 

For the curry paste

At EP we make all our curry pastes fresh daily, it is a labor intensive process though the result is delicious, when I am making a quick curry at home I use a store bought yellow curry paste which does the job.   

  • 1.5 Cup dry long red chili peppers, seeded.
  • 1-cup galangal peeled and sliced.
  • 1-cup lemongrass outer tough leaves removed and sliced. 
  • 0.5-cup turmeric peeled and sliced 
  • 0.5-cup garlic peeled.
  • 0.5 cup sliced wild ginger (Karachi)
  • *You can find this at your Asian grocer in a small jar
  • 1 tbsp. cup shrimp paste 

Soak the dry seeded chilies in warm water for 20 minutes then drain and add all the ingredients together, blend in a food processor until a smooth uniformed paste, if too dry add a little water to help blend.

 

Ingredients

  • 1lb black mussels in the shell (cleaned) 
  • 1lb or about 6 large sea scallop (meat only)
  • 1 x quart Chicken stock
  • 1 x cup Coconut cream
  • 2 x Lemongrass stick
  • ¼ cup x Kaffir Lime leaf (whole)
  • 2 x Red Fresno chilies, seeded and cut into thin lengths 
  • 2 x Thai eggplants, quartered
  • ½ cup Thai Basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Tamarind liquid
  • 2 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. white Sugar

To finish

  1. Bring stock & coconut cream to the boil in a medium sized saucepan with lemongrass & lime leaf to infuse.
  2. Once boiling add 4 TBS of curry paste and cook till aromatic and no longer tastes raw.
  3. Season the broth with oyster sauce, fish sauce, tamarind and sugar.
  4. Add the scallops and mussels and cook on a low simmer for about 3mins till the mussels open and the scallops are almost cooked, add Thai eggplant, chili, Thai basil and continue to simmer till the seafood is cooked, the vegetables should still be nice and firm. 
  5. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve with steamed Jasmine rice.