February 14: Shirley Chung, Nina Compton, Chop Suey USA, Gisele Perez, Pechanga Resort Casino, Linda Kissam, OC Restaurant Week

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chefs Shirley Chung & Nina Compton of “Top Chef” Season 11
Segment Three: Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America
Segment Four: Food Historian & Chef, Gisele Perez on King Cakes
Segment Five: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part One
Segment Six: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part Two
Segment Seven: LA Travel & Adventure Show
Segment Eight: OC Restaurant Week 2015

Producer and Co-Host Andy Harris is going solo in the host chair this morning. Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish is back in the Guest Host seat on February 21st. Now a preview of today’s abundantly overstuffed show with a dash of romance in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge is hosting its first exclusive Chef Dinner prepared by “Top Chef New Orleans’” star contestants Chef Shirley Chung and Chef Nina Compton. (Chef Nina was voted “Fan Favorite” for her season on “Top Chef.”) This fierce, highly competitive female duo is coming together to present an incredible menu for two seatings per night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th. Twenty percent of ticket sales will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Chefs Shirley and Nina join us with a tempting preview of the stellar evenings.

American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-produced cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America by Yong Chen offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption. Our guest, Yong Chen, raised by his food-loving mother in China, is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

With Mardi Gras in full swing and Fat Tuesday coming up it’s time to talk about the tradition of King Cakes with our New Orleans food authority, Gisele Perez. Food historian and chef, Gisele Perez, is a contributor to SoFab Magazine, the official publication of the Southern Food and Beverage Institute and a New Orleans native who recently returned there after a long stay in Los Angeles. She is also the chef/proprietor of Small Pleasures, a full service boutique catering firm based in New Orleans.

Chef Damian Stanley is the always on the move Executive Sous Chef at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. Since the hotel tower and casino opened in 2002 at Pechanga they have enjoyed an outstanding reputation for the quality and diversity of their food and beverage offerings. Chef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar. Chef Damian will also preview the upcoming 2-day, Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival where fine chocolate and premium wines come together on February 27th and 28th.

The 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show brings thousands of travel options and international culture and cuisine to the Long Beach Convention Center the Weekend of February 21st and 22nd. The nation’s largest travel show features an impressive roster of celebrity expert travel speakers including Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Phil Keoghan. Food, wine and travel journalist Linda Kissam is the President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. IFWTWA is part of the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show and Linda is with us to provide an overview of the event.

It’s the 7th banner year for OC Restaurant Week coming up on March 1st (Sunday) through March 7th (Saturday.) The popular annual promotion provides a wide variety of dining options ranging from casual and family friendly establishments to upscale and fine dining. The values at every price level are especially diner-friendly. During the weeklong event, participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional cost. Veteran restaurateur Don Myers, the co-owner of Brunos Italian Kitchen and ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen (both in Downtown Brea) is participating in OC Restaurant Week. He’s here to provide all the delicious details.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Shirley ChungThe newly launched Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge is hosting its first exclusive Chef Dinner prepared by “Top Chef New Orleans’” star contestants Chef Shirley Chung and Chef Nina Compton. (Chef Nina was voted “Fan Favorite” for her season on “Top Chef.”) This fierce, highly competitive female duo is coming together to present an incredible menu for two seatings per night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th.

Twenty percent of ticket sales will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The organization is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

Chef Shirley and Chef Nina will present a seven-course collaborative menu. Each chef will present three courses inspired by their competition dishes on “Top Chef” Season 11.The dinner will feature two seatings from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each night on Wednesday, February 25th and Thursday, February 26th. Tickets for the Top Chef Duo Dinner are priced at $168 per guest ($68 for wine and cocktail pairings.)

Chefs Shirley and Nina join us with a tempting preview of the stellar evenings.

 Chop Suey USA The Story of Chinese Food in AmericaAmerican diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-produced cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America by Yong Chen offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption.

“Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food’s tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience. This explains why Americans preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald’s, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.”

Chop Suey, USA just received honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards in the category of American History.

Our guest, Yong Chen, raised by his food-loving mother in China, is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

Gisele PerezWith Mardi Gras in full swing and Fat Tuesday coming up it’s time to talk about the tradition of King Cakes with our New Orleans food authority, Gisele Perez. Food historian and chef, Gisele Perez, is a contributor to SoFab Magazine, the official publication of the Southern Food and Beverage Institute and a New Orleans native who recently returned there after a long stay in Los Angeles. She is also the chef/proprietor of Small Pleasures, a full service boutique catering firm based in New Orleans.

One of the most popular foods during Mardi Gras is the King Cake, consumed by the carload and traditionally sold in bakeries, grocery stores and delis from January 6th to Ash Wednesday. Locals and visitors alike eat King Cakes for breakfast, coffee break, and dessert. In fact, almost any excuse to grab a slice will do.

The tradition of King Cakes dates back to the Middle Ages when a popular devotion during Christmas was placed on the Three Wise Men (or Kings) who followed the North Star to find Christ. The twelfth night after the birth of Christ marks the end of Christmas and the celebration of the Epiphany. Thus, Twelfth Night in some cultures becomes a time for pageants and giving special presents to children. Along with gifts came the celebratory cake, or King Cake.

Danian StanleyChef Damian Stanley is the always on the move Executive Sous Chef at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. Since the hotel tower and casino opened in 2002 at Pechanga they have enjoyed an outstanding reputation for the quality and diversity of their food and beverage offerings. Chef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar.

Chef Damian will also preview the upcoming 2-day, Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival where fine chocolate and premium wines come together on February 27th and 28th.

Hundreds of wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, food samples from acclaimed Pechanga Resort & Casino Restaurants, live music, silent auction and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for the two days of events inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom in Temecula, CA.

Chocolate Decadence on Friday, February 27th features more than 30 wine varietals that have been shown to masterfully partner with chocolate and other sweet desserts. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and is $50 per guest.

The 7th annual Pechanga Wine Festival goes from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 28th. Tickets for this unforgettable event are $65.00. Combo tickets for entry into both events are available for $100.00. Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Attendees on Saturday will get to partake in wine varietals from the Temecula Valley, Central California, Napa/Sonoma, the Pacific Northwest, as well as international winemaking regions. Pechanga Resort & Casino’s chefs will prepare delectable tastes for guests to savor with their favorite wines. Country/pop live music will be performed by singer Alaina Blair and her band.

Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar at Pechanga Resort and CasinoChef Damian was the project manager for one of their newest interactive fine-dining spots, Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar which launched after Thanksgiving in 2013. Umi means “sea” in Japanese. Sushi, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, oysters on the half shell, seafood platters, specialty cocktails and lots more are on the varied menu at Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar.

There is a hint of the South on the menu, too. Look for authentically prepared gumbo and jambalaya. The specialty bouillabaisse has clams, fish, shrimp, scallop, and mussels in the hearty seafood broth.

Linda KissamThe 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show brings thousands of travel options and international culture and cuisine to the Long Beach Convention Center the Weekend of February 21st and 22nd.

The nation’s largest travel show features an impressive roster of celebrity expert travel speakers including Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Phil Keoghan.

The event will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies and countries representing some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, tour offerings and travel experiences. The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show promises a weekend of discovery and inspiration to help travelers “dream it, plan it and book it.” Event attendees will be able to shop exclusive travel deals, attend travel seminars on three educational stages and meet prominent travel experts.

Food, wine and travel journalist Linda Kissam is the President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. IFWTWA is part of the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show and Linda is with us to provide an overview of the event.

OC Restaurant WeekIt’s the 7th banner year for OC Restaurant Week coming up on March 1st (Sunday) through March 7th (Saturday.) The popular annual promotion provides a wide variety of dining options at over 100 restaurants ranging from casual and family friendly establishments to upscale and fine dining. The values at every price level are especially diner-friendly. During the weeklong event, participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional cost. Food lovers simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like.

Veteran restaurateur Don Myers, the co-owner of Brunos Italian Kitchen and ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen (both in Downtown Brea,) is participating in OC Restaurant Week. Brunos is offering a $30 dinner menu while ChaCha’s presents a $15 lunch menu and a $20 dinner menu. Myers is here to provide all the delicious details.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chefs Shirley Chung & Nina Compton of “Top Chef” Season 11
Segment Three: Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America
Segment Four: Food Historian & Chef, Gisele Perez on King Cakes
Segment Five: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part One
Segment Six: Damian Stanley, Executive Sous Chef, Pechanga Resort & Casino Part Two
Segment Seven: LA Travel & Adventure Show
Segment Eight: OC Restaurant Week 2015

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