A South Los Angeles man of many talents


Cliff is a Los Angeles home grown from South Los Angeles during the 1920s. His love of the jazz scene on Central ave. earned him the moniker of “Satch,” after Louis Armstrong. Having completed service from the Armed Forces, Cliff trained for and became an electrical engineer. Working with his hands seemed his passion.

When I met Cliff over twenty years ago you would find him on any given day working in his well-appointed garage studio on client commissions crafting Japanese Shogi Screens to masterfully executed  Arts and Crafts furniture.

On top of being an all around cool guy, this man puts down in the kitchen. I’ve never turned down a meal at Cliff’s when he asks if I’ve eaten. He seems to just create magic out of what’s in the fridge.

Last week Cliff made a pot of potato leek soup with yellow onions and butter cream potatoes from Daily Organics. He pureed his greens (kale and spinach) then froze them for later use.

When I deliver his box of veggies it a special treat and great time for lunch and catching up on what’s on our mind.

Cliff’s Potato Leek Soup
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
8 leeks, whites only, thoroughly washed
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1 stick) melted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, place potatoes, 4 of the leeks (reserving the rest), celery, onion, bay leaf and chicken stock and bring to a boil, about 15 minutes. Continue to boil until potatoes are soft. Chop the remaining 4 leeks. Mix flour and butter in small bowl to make a roux for thickening the soup. Add the remaining leeks, roux, cream, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor), blend soup until smooth. Pour into a medium pot and simmer for 20 more minutes until soup has thickened and serve.

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