Show 279, June 30, 2018: “A Gringo in Mexico’s” W. Scott Koenig, Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine

W Scott KoenigNewly published is Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine by W. Scott Koenig. Koenig is known for his blog and alter ego, A Gringo in Mexico, where he reports on food and culture in the state of Baja California — just across the US Mexican border. In Seven Days in The Valle, he focuses his camera lens and writing on the cuisine of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s main wine-producing region.

“Chefs in Baja California have been experimenting with recipes combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with local ingredients for nearly two decades, creating a unique cuisine.” Koenig explains. They often grow their own vegetables and herbs, source meat from area ranches and enjoy a supply of fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific.

Koenig conceived Seven Days in The Valle while assisting the Culinary Institute of America on a seven-day trip through Baja California as they filmed a documentary. “I had hundreds of images from that experience and a backlog of past photos and interviews; I felt it was time for a book on the Valle de Guadalupe. My goal was to tell the story of this magical place through the experiences of its chefs – whose restaurants are some of my favorites anywhere.”

A Gringo in Mexico’s Scott Koenig joins us.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone

Curtis StoneRealizing a lifelong dream, Chef Curtis Stone opened his first solo restaurant, Maude (Beverly Hills, CA), in February 2014. Affectionately named after his late paternal grandmother, the restaurant pays homage to Curtis’ first culinary mentor whose sensibilities are resonant throughout the restaurant experience.

The menu at Maude is a set multi-course chef’s tasting menu that is created around one of the world’s great wine regions. Maude’s “menu-less” format and intimate 24-seat dining room and open kitchen chef’s counter, invites guests to put their trust into the hands of the chef.

Chef Curtis is our guest to discuss the next wine region, The Central Coast, on Maude’s menu.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Gwen and SHARE by Curtis Stone Continues…

Curtis Stone“Get out your sunscreen and put on your Ray-Bans because summer at Maude is a road trip up the Central Coast of California. After our European journeys through the old world vines of Rioja and Burgundy, Curtis and the Maude Squad have decided to embrace the beauty of their own backyard in a bit of a staycation, visiting local farmers, purveyors, and winemakers.”

“Expect Executive Chef Justin Hilbert to unearth a treasure trove of shellfish for this new menu from simple bites that taste of the ocean to conceptual uses of seafood that will surprise and delight. As always, the wine team has uncovered gems from small producers and will also pair seasonal courses with the big guns – the California icons who put this region on the wine map.”

“The Central Coast is a right of passage for wine lovers. The ingredients inspire endless possibilities.”

Chef Curtis also updates us on Gwen, his butcher shop and restaurant in Hollywood. “The opening of Gwen is a decade-long dream realized for Curtis and his brother, Luke, who were first inspired by Gwen’s namesake: their maternal grandmother who lived on a farm outside of Melbourne. It was on Gwen’s farm where they were first exposed to livestock farming, which instilled in them great respect for the process of raising animals for food.”

“Both started their careers in a butcher shop, before Curtis went on to cook in Michelin-starred restaurants while Luke honed his business acumen as the owner and manager of a corporate floristy business in Australia. Working together, they have brought a world-class butcher shop and dining experience to Los Angeles.”

Chef Curtis also has a fine dining association with Princess Cruises. It’s Chef Curtis at sea with SHARE by Curtis Stone on The Ruby Princess, The Emerald Princess and Sun Princess. It’s a six-course fine-dining experience.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: The Wine Exchange’s Tristen Beamon, Bordeaux Barrel Tastings for the 2017 Vintage

Tristan BeamonYou don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the high-quality of wine from Bordeaux, France. It’s one of the great wine grape growing regions of the world.

Our resident wine authority, Tristen Beamon from The Wine Exchange, was recently in Bordeaux tasting wines in the barrel (two trips) from the 2017 vintage. Tristen suggests that the 2015 and 2016 vintages are great. 2017 is the years of “haves” and “have nots.”

We’ll get his insider’s report on what to expect. Who says Bordeaux needs to be expensive?

“So as we like to say here at Wine Exchange…Let the games begin!”

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Proprietors David & Sylvia Brents, Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, Solvang

Succulentm Cafe Wine Charcuterie“Located in the heart of downtown Solvang, we have been open since 2011, Succulent Cafe Wine Charcuterie serves up comfort cuisine with a twist while sourcing local, seasonal ingredients from neighborhood farmers & fisherman to ensure the freshest quality whenever possible.”

“We believe in delicious food served in ample portions that compliment our wonderful local wines and craft beers. Succulent also offers a variety of signature cocktails.”

“Our small cafe is family owned and operated with a focus on the community needs and wants. We strive to go back to the traditions of homemade biscuits & gravy, jams & jellies, hearty meals, and desserts.”

“Our culinary team works hard making all our dishes from scratch, while our service staff strives to make your dining experience a wonderful and memorable one. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, you can enjoy your meal in our rustic & cozy dining room or on our beautiful succulent filled patio.”

“Whether it be a glass of wine with a charcuterie plate or enjoying Sunday dinner with the family, all of us at Succulent Café will do our very best to make your experience a most memorable one.”

Breakfast and lunch are served fast casual style and Happy Hour and dinner are full table service. Closed on Tuesday.

Proprietors David and Sylvia Brents are our guests.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo

Steve SandoIn a few short years, Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen – Everyday Cooking with Heirloom Beans, Vegetables, Greens, and Grains.

“My first harvested heirloom bean was Rio Zape. They were pretty and easy to grow but I had no idea what to expect when I cooked them. They were similar to the pintos I liked but there was so much more going on. “Hints of chocolate and coffee mixed with an earthy texture made my head spin. I was blown away by Rio Zape and the other heirloom beans I was growing, but also really confused why they were such a big secret. I took the beans to the farmers market, organizing things on my kitchen table. Soon there was a warehouse, followed by more markets and mail order. It seems we had struck a nerve. People agreed that heirloom beans were worth saving, growing and cooking. Currently our warehouse, a retail shop and offices are in Napa, California and a stop here is part of many tours of the wine country. We were asked to open a store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and as you can imagine, we jumped at the chance.”

“All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. One of the things that originally drew me to beans was the fact that they are indigenous to the Americas. It seems to me these indigenous ingredients should be familiar, if not common. American cuisine is re-inventing itself and I’d love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from north and south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it’s just as important as the European heritage many of us share.”

On Sunday, July 8th, Rancho Gordo will hold is first-ever supper in Southern California at Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana. The event is “Rancho Gordo Goes to Alta Baja with More (Culinary) Stars than in the Heavens!”

The special event will feature three courses prepared by Steve Sando’s favorite SoCal chefs and restaurateurs. Two seatings for the supper at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Optional Valle de Guadalupe wine pairings available.

All the food is donated by Rancho Gordo. All proceeds go to the arts program at Valley High School in Santa Ana.

Reservations a must. Call Alta Baja Market @ 714.783.2252.

We’re shelling heirloom beans with Steve Sando.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosChef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of Ask the Chef.”

Abalone, a tasty delicacy once abundant in California waters, is making a well-deserved comeback. It still can’t be harvested from our coastal waters but farm-raised abalone is coming into its own. Abalone feast on sea kelp which is constantly renewed in the ocean. It’s just a really slow growing process.

Abalone is delicious pounded and then sautéed. Chef Andrew describes the flavor as a cross between a sea scallop and squid. Chef Andrew provides the informative overview.

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Show 278, June 23, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now a salivating preview of this Saturday’s extra rich show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday with an action-packed show typically overflowing with tasty treats.

When it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz. We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

We chatted with Chef Ricardo Zarate recently about his new restaurant in Las Vegas, Once, located at The Palazzo Resort. His new flagship in West Hollywood (launched last June) is the high-energy Rosaline. Here Chef Ricardo takes his guests back to his roots with a menu of classic Peruvian dishes alongside “street-food” fare updated with a California sensibility.

Journeyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real discovery and a true dining experience. The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian. We’ll meet the enthusiastic & passionate Chef Zach.

Lido Bottle Works is a craft beer, wine, bottle shop and public house owned by Newport Beach natives located at Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village. Enjoy a wide array of carefully collected and selected small batch beers, wines by the bottle and glass, and a tapas style menu of small bites, tasty offerings and delicious California coastal cuisine from Chef Amy Lebrun. Lido Bottle Works is focused on offering locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in a stylish yet casual environment for locals and visitors alike. On the menu are winemaker and brewer events, an art gallery, live music, and more. Brett Karas, Operating Partner/General Manager is our guest.

The Landsby is perhaps the newest and most comfortable hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley. This stunning 50-room boutique hotel in Solvang offers warm hospitality and refined, stylish accommodations. The Landsby features a clean contemporary design, with a hint of traditional Scandinavian aesthetic. The completely remodeled, bright and open guestrooms are finished with blonde woods, brushed brass accents, and elegant but comfortable hand-crafted furnishings complete with updated bathrooms, 47-inch flat-screen HDTVs, minibars, and impressive artwork commissioned from regional artists. The Landsby’s signature restaurant is Mad & Vin showcasing wine-country inspired cuisine. General Manager Barry Prescott, a hospitality veteran, shows us around.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us with another installment of “Ask the Chef.” There is still a lot of unfortunate confusion out there regarding the desirability and safety of farm-raised seafood. The myth persists that wild-caught is always best. As Chef Andrew explains most of the seafood we enjoy domestically is farm-raised. It’s all a matter of best practices for the farm-raised seafood and uniform standards. That’s the wrinkle. Chef Andrew provides more helpful insight.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

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Show 278, June 23, 2018: Chef Colin Fukunaga, FukuBurger, Las Vegas

Colin FukunagaWhen it comes to award-winning burgers for the true enthusiast the place to go in Las Vegas is FukuBurger. They have their original rolling grill food truck on the road (now mainly used for special events & catering) as well as a bricks-and-mortar location in Chinatown. They were recently in L.A. at the Sunday Smorgasburg LA as the invited guest of noted burger authority, George Motz (Hamburger America – A State-By-State Guide to 200 Great Burger Joints.)

Our emeritus Co-Host, Chef Jet Tila, is a big fan of Fukuburger’s Tamago. Chef Jet even profiled it on Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures.” It’s an all-beef Fukupatty topped with a fried runny egg, furikake, crispy onion strings, and finished with house-prepared teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo.

A 2nd brick-and-mortar FukuBurger will soon launch is Vegas.

We’re flipping a Tamago Burger with Co-Founder Colin Fukunaga.

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Show 278, June 23, 2018: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Rosaline in West Hollywood

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaWe chatted with Chef Ricardo Zarate recently about his new restaurant in Las Vegas, Once, located at The Palazzo Resort. His new flagship in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave. (launched last June) is Rosaline. It’s dinner and Sunday Brunch.

Here Chef Ricardo takes his guests back to his roots with a menu of classic Peruvian dishes alongside “street-food” fare updated with a California sensibility. Also a ceviche bar.

The restaurant is named after Chef Ricardo’s mother, Rosaline. It’s what he calls the “next phase of Peruvian dining.”

All the menus include vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free-options.

Chef Ricardo Zarate joins us.

 

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