This is how to make a real Italian beef, according to the culinary producer of ‘The Bear’

In addition to star Jeremy Allen White’s months of training at restaurants, including Santa Monica’s Pasjoli, much of the realism so many have attributed to TV’s “The Bear” is due to the culinary supervision of chefs Courtney Storer and Matty Matheson, who also played handyman Neil Fak on the show. The culinary producers devised on-camera dishes for the FX on Hulu series and also served as inspiration and sounding boards within the writers room.

Plant of the Month for October: The kiawe tree

In this column, I usually write about a plant you might want to grow. Though I don’t want to encourage growing a plant that can be invasive, the kiawe tree has an interesting story and many useful properties, that I’d like to share.

Global warming means palms in surprising places

We are still in Italy but soon to be home. Visiting the Amalfi Coast south of Rome made us homesick mainly because it looks tropical with lots of palms, bananas and other plants that create a tropical ambiance. It just goes to show that one can create a feeling by the plants used in the landscape.

Free Grab-&-Go Ocean Learning Kits to be distributed

One thousand kits will be distributed at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary-sponsored distribution locations on Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island this weekend with fourth graders on Lanai and Molokai receiving their kits via school.

Gretchen’s table: Creamy poblano pepper pasta

Poblanos are most often used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking — they’re terrific stuffed — but because their heat is relatively mild, they also make a fine addition to chili and soup. They’re also wonderful roasted and blended into a cream sauce.

Quick Fix: No need for constant stirring with this ‘risotto’ recipe

This mock “risotto” takes only 10 minutes to make and doesn’t need constant stirring. Instead of using traditional rice for the risotto, I use orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, and a large nonstick skillet for this quick meal. The orzo has a creamy texture when cooked this way. Using a large, nonstick skillet instead of a saucepan increases the surface area so the orzo cooks faster and doesn’t stick. There’s no need for constant stirring as with a rice-based risotto.

Build soils with animal manures and other nutrient sources

When our aina gets scorched by fires or lava, we need to take time to build life again. We are in Italy now and even with the extremes of heat this summer, farmers are working to bring new crops to life. Some lands here have been farmed for thousands of years using age old techniques to bring about healthy soils. In Hawaii we can use these same practices. Where animal manures are available they are probably the best source of fertilizer and organic matter for the organic gardener.