Erin Eastland, fan of microplanes and Broadway musicals, is the new executive chef at Santa Monica restaurant Milo & Olive, after a seven-year tenure at Cube Cafe on La Brea Avenue. Born in Syracuse, N.Y., Eastland graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut, then moved to New York, working as garde manger at restaurant Calle Ocho then cheese manager at Le Petite Chateau before earning her diploma at the French Culinary Institute. In 2005, Eastland moved to Los Angeles and eventually landed at Cube Cafe, overseeing the seasonal, regional Italian-inspired menu. At Milo & Olive, the menu spans wood-fired, free-range chicken meatballs, pastas such as spaghetti with Dungeness crab and Calabrian chile, and pork belly sausage pizza with escarole.
What's coming up next on your menu?
Persimmons, satsumas, blood oranges ....
Latest ingredient obsession?
Cauliflower — it seems to be flying off the shelves. We are currently doing it wood-fired with orange brown butter and sea salt.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without, other than your knives?
We need Microplanes. ... It's like a fight to get one, and when I buy a new one it's like Christmas.
Favorite kitchen soundtrack?
Mark Knopfler, Phish, Emmylou Harris, any Broadway musical, bluegrass, Snoop Dog, Grateful Dead.... Seriously, I am eclectic when it comes to music. I sang a cappella in college, so I love anything I can sing to.
What's your favorite breakfast? Breakfast burrito, hands down. Fig at Fairmont puts French fries in theirs. Everyone should do that 'cause it's delicious!
Milo & Olive, 2723 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 453-6776.
— Betty Hallock