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Wednesday, December 24, 2008 

Santa Barbara Resident and Iron Chef Cat Cora

Cat Cora
Originally uploaded by JuliaRosien.

Has opened up a new fast-casual BBQ restaurant in South Coast Plaza. CCQ (Cat Cora's 'Que) partnered up with Macy's and is one division of a 3-1 restaurant concept. The other two divisions involve other "celebrity" chefs, Marcus Samuelsson and Bernie Madoff financial victim, Nancy Silverton.
A brand-new restaurant concept for Macy’s Home opened Tuesday at South Coast Plaza. Signature Kitchen, which encompasses three casual eateries in an upscale food court environment, is the first of its kind in the nation.

The three restaurants within the larger restaurant are Cat Cora’s ‘Que, or CCQ; Marc Samuelsson’s Marc Burger; and Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery. -
South Coast Plaza Blog
“This is not your average rib joint,” Cora says. “The twist is incorporating global flavors and presentation.”

CCQ’s menu will be limited, but varied. Meat is the focal point—slow smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken. Customers can choose from platters, salads, or wraps, which Cora calls “the barbecue version of a burrito.” Vegetarian choices will include fire-roasted vegetables, a signature chopped salad, and sides of beans. Rounding out the menu will be seafood dishes such as skewered shrimp with a Basque rub, chili or lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil.

“I started out with a huge menu, but for fast-casual it has to be formulated and pretty tight,” Cora says.

Consumer health also played a role in Cora’s menu design. CCQ’s meats will be all-natural and cooked with minimal oil. “Smoking and grilling are great options for lots of flavor with not much fat,” she says. -
Home of BBQ has the recipe for Cat Cora's BBQ Pit Beans.

FoodGal has an interview with Cat Cora on BBQ, TV and life. One interesting question of note...
Q: Why did you decide to settle in the Santa Barbara area?

A: I get to live by the beach, mountains and vineyards. Plus the public schools there are probably better than most private ones around the country.

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