Sensational Sandwiches

  • 01/29/2019
  • Reporters Desk

By Gretchen Williams, Dining and Cuisine Contributor

 Karen Kaplan knows her way around a sandwich.  Her style is bold and open, colorful and topless and fun! From the original French trencher, meant to be both vessel and victual, to the modern Scandinavian art of Smørbrød, Kaplan covers the territory.  Everyone’s granny had a favorite little something on toast, from nonna’s olive oil and tomatoes from the back yard to abuela’s mashed avocado on toasted bread rolls.  Russian dark pumpernickel provides stout support for paté or sturgeon.  Germany boasts 300 varieties of bread and 1,200 types of rolls, suitable for cheese, ham or salami, butter and jam.

Kaplan’s new book, Open Faced is a stunning sandwich study, telling the story of the open faced phenomenon in every culture.  Gorgeous photos and simple, straightforward recipes tempt even the timid cook and open faced entertaining seems easy.  Kaplan was editor of Bon Appetit magazine for years and has extensive experience in culinary publishing.

Open Faced and Karen Kaplan came to San Pedro as part of a series of talks and demonstrations sponsored by the Pacific Food and Beverage Museum and the Museum of the American Cocktail, both now based in Los Angeles.  Newly established in San Pedro on Pacific Avenue at 8th Street, the Pacific Food and Beverage is director Philip Dobard’s West Coast baby, a division of the national organization. A New Orleans native and veteran of various venues of entertainment like  opera houses and  television sound stages, Dobard and the PF&B aim to showcase the cuisines of the Pacific Rim.

Also a veteran of the opera ranks, Tracey Mitchell is on board PF&B and The Museum of the American Cocktail.  As a San Pedro resident, she believes the move to Pacific Avenue was natural for both orgainzations, which found an open and welcoming atmosphere, to go with the culinary history of the community. The next event is Feb. 2 — a talk and tasting showcasing the wines of the Valley of Guadalupe in Baja California.

Details: (657) 204-2478;

Venue: Pacific Food & Beverage Museum, 731 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

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