Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
The arrival of cold season (See: bleh) means suggestions of remedies from 13 Valley chefs and restaurateurs. Check out their ideas and see if one will work for you.
Shin Toyoda Sushi master at Sushi Roku
A traditional Japanese porridge made from fish and fish bones, rice, and fresh vegetables. I make sure it has daikon radish in there -- it soaks up toxins from your body.
Silvana Salcido Esparza Chef and owner, Barrio Cafe and Barrio Queen
Caldo de Pollo. Chicken soup with calabacitas, papas, zanahorias, and cilantro. Add one whole chile de arbol to help with the flavor and clearing all that sickness out of you. If not, drink a shot of hot tequila with honey and the juice of one lime. Still not working? Try three shots and a good sleep!
Chef Chris Knouse, Litchfield's at The Wigwam
Hot Toddy - 1 Cup hot water - 2 oz. whiskey - 1 T Honey - Juice from ½ a lemon - 5 Crushed mint leaves - 1 Tea bag (I prefer oolong)
Chef Shane Cox, True Food Kitchen, Biltmore Fashion Park
I have one way only: sea buckhorn berry. It's hard to find but worth its weight in gold. I get it in juiced form and it tastes nasty. I like to drink it with orange juice and a little Pom Juice.
Chef Jacques Qualin, J&G Steakhouse
Good old chicken soup with a lot of vegetables and herbs such as rosemary and parsley -- and a lot of fresh ginger. I also like to finish the broth with a good glass of wine in it, "Chabrot" style.
Justin Beckett, Chef and Owner, Beckett's Table
Steep ginger root in hot water for 20 minutes, add fresh lemon juice, local honey, and a pinch of cayenne. Drink it as hot as possible.
Chef Payton Curry, Brat Haus
1 pint of distilled water, 3 tablespoons of raw ginger, 1 tablespoon of galangal, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of lemongrass, 1 Thai bird chile, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of cayenne. Heat, blend, strain, add bourbon.
Joe Johnston, Owner, Joe's Real BBQ, Joe's Fresh Farm Grill, Liberty Market, Agritopia
Tom ka gai at a good Thai restaurant. I'll ask for the spiciness to be on the hot end of the spectrum to burn/sweat out the cold. It works. An alternate is pho with extra spicy condiments (jalapeños, chili paste). Of course, there is the old standby and my favorite medicinal cocktail: NyQuil.
Chef Christopher Nicosia, Sassi
I learned to make this tea from a Filipino guy that I used to work with: Lots of sliced ginger, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mint leaves. Add water and bring it up to a boil. Simmer it for about 8-10 minutes. Don't strain it! Drink it piping hot and nibble on the ginger pieces. It's delicious and it really does feel great when you drink it.
Chef James Fox, Milagro Grill
Zicam and Emergen-C. I take the maximum dosage and then head straight to Da Vang and get an extra-large Pho.
Aaron May, Chef and Restaurateur
Chicken soup from my mother works pretty well. Jägermeister is the cold remedy of choice for some cultures, and I like to believe in its healing properties as well.
Lisa Khnanisho, Owner, Tryst Café
Fresh orange juice throughout the day and mint tea with honey and lemon. And don't forget to gargle with warm water, salt, and red wine vinegar.
Chef Andrew Ashmore, The Arrogant Butcher
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My wife makes me chop a few cloves of garlic, mix them with honey, and eat it in one bite.