They’re a couple of LA-based Grub Gals who launched ‘As You Like It Catering’ and the award-winning restaurant, Grub. They’ve become famous for some of the area’s freshest ‘California Comfort Food’ and insist on beautiful presentation and food preparation from scratch. You might have caught them on television with NBC’s Recipe TV, The World’s Greatest Chefs and the Food Network’s Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels. Betty made the Ba-Da-Bing Betty’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich famous with Al Roker on the Today Show. The tasty sandwich won the Top Chef award, and can now be found on TGI Friday’s menus all over the world, and now The Grub Gals can be found on ThisNext. We managed to catch up with their busy lives for some Q&A.
TN: Where does your passion for grub grow from?
GG: Our passion comes from the joy of creation. To take raw products, experiment with different combinations and come up with something unique and delicious is one of most rewarding things we do as chefs.
TN: Why “grub gals”?
GG: We’re very playful and like to have fun. So in the early days after opening our restaurant grub, one of our regulars starting calling us the grub gals. And like peanut butter, it stuck!
TN: Do you think your homey gourmet has been so well received in LA because
it’s different for a town full of non-fat vanilla half decaf drinkers?
GG: While a lot of eat, and they should, we also think it’s important to have balance and enjoy the fun and pleasure that can come from food. Our menu is based on comfort food, old-time favorites with an updated twist, and we’ve designed our restaurant around that idea too. We want our guests to feel like they are coming over to a friend’s house to relax, be comfortable and enjoy a fun and delicious meal.
TN: Any sneak previews you can share with ThisNext readers?
GG: Sure! Grub is in expansion mode and we are currently looking at spaces to open another restaurant. We are also looking forward to bringing one of our menu items to the grocery store shelves soon and are negotiating with producers for our own TV show. Grub is also opening for dinner in the next couple of months and we are looking forward to serving such menu items as Roasted, Spice-Rubbed King Crab Legs with Corn on the Cob, Cherry Cola BBQ Pork Ribs with Crispy Cole Slaw and Lemon Pistachios and a Peanut Butter Crème Brulee. Good times ahead!
TN: Biggest response a recipe of yours has received from consumers?
GG: Hands down it would have to be our “Afterschool Special” which is our Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Sourdough with Dill Butter served with our housemade Creamy Tomato Soup. It’s become so popular that it’s been copied by other restaurants. But since they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’re glad others find it as tasty as we do.
TN: The product that’s had the biggest influence on your cooking?
GG: That’s a tough question for a chef, but we would have to say cheese. So many varieties, flavors and methods of preparation that it’s an item we really enjoy integrating into our menus.
TN: If you were a food, you’d be a ________.
GG: Since we’re a team, we’ll say a 50/50 bar: One of us is smooth and creamy and the other is fun and fruity! We’re not saying who’s who though!
TN: Your favorite product discovery in the last six months… Or something
that inspired you?
GG: I, (Betty) had the opportunity to appear on the Bravo show Top Chef and I found the experience to be very inspirational. Meeting those amazing chefs and being pushed to the limit to be as creative as possible with limited time and resources took my cooking to another level.
TN: Most prized possession?
GG: That’s an easy one for both of us. Our pets! Although we wouldn’t consider them possessions. They’re more like our kids. Our restaurant is also pet-friendly and we make sure to take care of our two and four-legged friends.
TN: A secret product you love but are too embarrassed to share?
GG: Although in our restaurant we rely on professional-grade equipment, there’s nothing like a George Foreman Grill to make everyone feel like an accomplished chef.
TN: Name an item under your bed?
GG: A dust bunny or two.
TN: Something in your closet that is not apparel, shoes, bags, etc.?
GG: Denise has her baton from her twirling competition days and Betty’s closet is so full of apparel, shoes and bags there isn’t room for anything else.
TN: Fav trend for summer?
GG: Summer is the best time to pull out the grill and do a little outdoor cooking. There are a lot of great grilling methods out there so it’s not just Dad in the backyard burning hot dogs anymore.
TN: Least fav trend for summer?
GG: We are considering making Grub a fake tan-free zone. Of course, being in Los Angeles we’re probably not affected by it as much as those in other parts of the country. Orange skin is never in…
TN: Can’t leave home without my______?
GG: Has to be the car keys. Or our minds. Although sometime when you run a restaurant, it can feel like you’ve lost your mind…
TN: City or suburbs?
GG: Betty is a San Francisco city girl and Denise is from a little Arkansas town. One more factor in our successful yin and yang.
TN: Loft or the perfect house with the white picket fence?
GG: Let’s paint the fence!
TN: Flip-flops or sneakers?
GG: A couple of flip-flopper’s here. But not the political kind…
TN: Coffee or tea?
GG: Betty likes coffee, black and strong, Denise takes tea: elegant and sweet. Did someone say yin and yang?