Recently I was invited to attend a lunch event at Seasons 52 in Century City. As I was whisked back to our private dining room, I went past a gleaming open kitchen, a bustling dining room filled with dark wood, happy lunch guests, and attentive servers.
Our event was a comfort food for cold and flu seasons cooking demo by Seasons 52’s Chef Russell hosted by Braun to showcase their new thermometer. We started off with some of their delicious signature flatbreads, Chicken Pesto and Roasted Roma Tomato. My favorite was the Roma Tomato, I love how the tomatoes just burst in your mouth when you bite into them!
We then got to meet Executive Chef Russell Johnigan. Chef Russell has been cooking for over 20 years and just recently relocated to Los Angeles. Originally from New Orleans, he studied in Italy and was formerly cooking up in the Bay Area. Chef started off the demo by making a savory Roasted Butternut Squash soup. Once the veggies are roasted, which is pretty hands off cooking wise, you can have soup on the table in about half an hour. Perfect for a busy family, you can even roast the veggies ahead of time and store them in the fridge for when you are ready to cook. Roast on a weekend, soup on a weeknight. When our bowl of the Roasted Butternut Squash soup arrived we were all enjoying it, but reservedly, knowing that there was more demoing and more food coming up. Then Chef shocked us by telling us that all of Seasons 52’s menu items are not only seasonally selected but also under 475 calories. There wasn’t any soup left after that.
Then on to the entree- Roasted Chicken with root vegetables and mashed potatoes. But before he cooked the chicken, it was brined. Brining the chicken allows it to cook up juicy and moist with loads of flavor. It does require a little forethought, but the end result is totally worth it! One of my fellow lunch guests was a vegetarian and they made up an amazing plate for her as well, Seasons 52 has dining options for people with special dining needs, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten sensitive, sodium sensitive, lactose/ dairy sensitive.
We finished up with a selection of Mini Indulgences, still all under 475 calories, the majority of them around 250 calories- about the same as a candy bar only way more decadent! Seasons 52 has all of their nutrition information online so if you are so inclined you can look it all up and plan your meal in advance. I’ll be headed back, a restaurant that has so may delicious options for me and my vegetarian husband is a winner in my book. Did I mention they get their name from having 52 wines by the glass? Seems like a great reason to go a few times doesn’t it?
Seasons 52 is graciously sharing two of their delicious recipes with our readers! Enjoy!
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- 1 whole butternut squash – about 4½ packed cups
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and diced ½”
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 quart vegetable stock (low-sodium)
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 apple, washed, cut in small slivers
- Dollop sour cream, reduced fat
- Pinch chives, sliced fine
- Pinch pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Gather and measure all ingredients. Wash and prep veggies, cut squash in half, lengthwise and spoon out seeds.
- Place squash halves and apples on foil-lined cookie tray, cut side up. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle mix evenly onto squash. Roast squash halves in 350ºF oven for 45 to 60 minutes until tender. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes until able to handle. Scoop pulp from skins. Reserve pulp for soup.
- Heat oil in soup pot at medium heat. Add apples, onion and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes until tender and sweet. Add vegetable stock. Stir in cooked squash pulp. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Add Tabasco, honey, and salt. Puree fine in a blender until smooth.
- For plating, garnish puree with apple slivers, sour cream, chives, and toasted pumpkin seeds.
SIMPLY ROAST CHICKEN
- 1 whole chicken, 5 lbs
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 6 dashes Chipotle Tabasco
- 6 fresh garlic cloves
- 6 sprigs of rosemary sprigs
- Extra virgin olive oil in a spray bottle
- Bamboo skewer or some string
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- About an hour prior to roasting, unwrap chicken and remove innards and any excess fat.
- Rinse chicken under warm water, pat dry inside and out, and place in bowl.
- Combine all ingredients, except salt and rosemary, and coat chicken evenly with mixture. Season the cavity with half of the salt and place fresh rosemary and garlic cloves inside.
- Put skewer through drumsticks so the legs don’t flop or use string to tie. Tuck the wing tips under the bird. Place chicken on a rack over a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle skin with remaining salt and roast at 375°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- You can check the temperature in the leg near the bone and in the thick part of the breast near the bone; internal temperature of chicken should be 165°F.
- Remove chicken from oven at 155°F and it will raise in temperature as it rests.
Seasons 52 is located at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 195, Los Angeles, CA 90067 in the Westfield Century City shopping center.
* Jennifer attended a luncheon hosted by Braun for editorial purposes. Her opinions are solely her own.