Best Dessert and Ice Cream Spots in LA
Chatting Cookies and Local Desserts With MasterChef and Batch From Scratch Founder
Esther Kang is the type of girl you want to have in your crew. Not only was the LA native and former lawyer a contestant on FOX's MasterChef (she got voted off last week), she's also the founder of one of my favorite booths at LA Food Fest, cookie company Batch From Scratch. I got a chance to chat with Esther about her reality TV gig, why she left law for cookies, and her favorite dessert spots in LA.
PSLA: How did you get involved with MasterChef?
EK: My friend forwarded an email about the MasterChef auditions being held in LA so I decided to just go for it. I thought that if nothing happened I would still have fun trying out and be able to say that I tried.
PSLA: Talk a little bit about Batch From Scratch. How did it all start?
EK: In 2010, I quit my job as an entertainment attorney at a large LA law firm to pursue my passion in food. I was at a great firm, was practicing the type of law I wanted to be practicing, but I couldn't imagine myself at 50 and content that I spent my life as an attorney, even if I was an equity partner. I knew that I didn't have the resources to open a full-fledged restaurant or a retail store, so I decided to do something small and personal so I could learn the ropes and hopefully gain more capital for bigger ventures in the future. I just needed to start somewhere.
Why cookies? When I'm pressed for time and need to give someone a hostess gift, thank you gift, thinking-of-you gesture, holiday treat, or birthday treat, I always defaulted to baking cookies. Cookies are fast, sweet, comforting, and always deliver a smile. So when I needed something small as my first food endeavor, there was nothing more perfect than an online cookie company.
To find out Esther Kang's favorite local dessert spots,
PSLA: What are some of your favorite desserts in LA?
EK: That depends on the time of day, time of year, and my latest dessert obsession. So many great places in LA. For ice cream, Scoops Westside (3400 Overland Ave., 323-405-7055) for their amazing flavors; for brunch/breakfast treats, Joan's on Third because being there just makes me happy; for cakes, Porto's (315 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818-956-5996; 3614 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, 818-846-9100) and King's Hawaiian Bakery (2808 Sepulveda Blvd., Torrance, 310-530-0050); for cookies and pies, my kitchen!