Long recognized for impeccable service, incomparable cuisine and world class hospitality, Chez Melange has been at the forefront of the flourishing South Bay food scene for over a quarter century.
Always in the vanguard of emerging dining trends, co-owners Michael Franks and Robert Bell have established an affable environment for local chefs, growers and foodies to experiment and expand their gastronomic repertoire.
The latest chapter of their ‘Trust the Chef’ dinners featured 12 year-old, Redondo Beach native Jack Witherspoon.
Jack is a three time leukemia survivor and during his convalescence, he stumbled upon the Food Network when he tired of cartoons.
He began cooking at the age of six.
Since then, Jack has become a kitchen prodigy and has written Twist It Up, a cookbook filled with his favorite recipes.
In December 2012, Jack was notified that his book had been awarded a top prize at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in France, in which 102 countries submit over a thousand books for competition. Twist It Up won ‘Best Charitable Cookbook in North America’ and qualified for the next “Gourmand Best in the World” competition.
On Sunday night, Jack served up a four course meal to a sold out house.
The evening began with a Caesar salad served with Jack’s own twist, Yorkshire pudding, followed by an eggplant parmesan course. The entrée, a savory pot roast, was served with mac & cheese and an assortment of grilled root vegetables. The meal concluded with a spiced baked apple stuffed with walnuts.
Jack and his family - including taste tester extraordinaire, younger brother Josh - were on hand to meet, greet and sign copies of his book.
Jack, decked out in his chef jacket, worked the room, flitting from table to table explaining his inspirations and cooking techniques and wowed a crowd that included established Chez diners, family friends, supporters and media.
It was an evening the South Bay won’t soon forget.
For more information on Jack and to purchase his book, visit his website at http://blog.chefjackwitherspoon.com/.
Chez Melange is located at 1611 South Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach. Visit the website at http://www.chezmelange.com/.