Show 133, August 1, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s satisfyingly abundant show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

A group of professional journalists from The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association is visiting the show. Their Treasurer and Board Member, Susan Montgomery, joins us. In addition to explaining the mission of the IFTWTA, Sue will highlight her recent visit to Casa Mayoral in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja California.

MJ Hong is the gracious proprietress of The Wine Artist in Laguna Beach. It’s a boutique winery, special event venue (and more) designed to accommodate team building exercises. It’s also a destination for unusual cooking demos and classes. We’ll learn all about it.

ABC’s “The Chew’s” Chef Carla Hall is, fortunately, no stranger to the show. She is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning chef and best-selling cookbook author. Last Saturday Chef Carla was the honoree at the James Beard Foundation’s 25yj annual Chefs & Champagne benefit in The Hamptons. In June she was part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the World Expo in Milan and the USA Pavilion.

When the conversation turns to artisan coffee roasters in Orange County you always hear the name of coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. He grew up in Guatemala where is Family owned a small coffee farm. In late 2005 Martin and his wife, Karen, launched their latest retail venture Kean Coffee in Newport Beach. A location in Tustin has been added to the portfolio. It’s Coffee 101 with Martin Diedrich.

Bobby Navarro left a decade of work in the hospitality industry to fully commit to his own event planning and culinary promotions company, 100eats.com. He cooked with Amar Santana at both Charlie Palmer’s in South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana. Bobby’s passion for branding and business keeps him visiting hundreds of restaurants across the country, stemming from his original feat of dining at 100 restaurants in 100 consecutive days. We’ll meet him…

Simon Majumdar is a food writer, broadcaster, Food TV personality, and author of the recently published, Fed, White and Blue – Finding America with My Fork. You know him as the no-nonsense judge on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen with host Alton Brown. In fact, Mr. Brown penned the enthusiastic Foreword to Fed, White, and Blue.

Majumdar is also the new Master of Ceremonies for the upcoming 2015 Golden Foodie Awards presented in the sold-out, red carpet affair on September 27th at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

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

Play

Show 133, August 1, 2015: Chef Carla Hall

Carla HallABC’s “The Chew’s” Chef Carla Hall is, fortunately, no stranger to the show. She is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning chef and best-selling cookbook author.

Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood. The only thing you should make is a reservation.”

Last Saturday (July 25th.) Chef Carla was the honoree at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne benefit in The Hamptons. In New York this is always the annual culinary highlight of the Summer. It’s held on the grounds of the Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. In addition to free-flowing Champagne over 40 celebrated chefs (including Chefs Tom Fraker and Marco Zapien from Melissa’s) served their own delectable creations.

A silent auction at Chefs & Champagne consisting of fine-dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages raised a record-breaking amount of over $75,000 to support the James Beard Foundation’s mission and educational programs, including culinary student scholarships and the organization’s annual food conference on sustainability, public health, and nutrition.

In June she was part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the World Expo in Milan and the USA Pavilion. The Delegation toured the USA Pavilion which showcases American leadership on global food security and development issues, innovation, climate change and sustainability, and nutrition and health.

Play

August 1: Susan Montgomery, The Wine Artist, Carla Hall, Martin Diedrich, Bobby Navarro, Simon Majumdar

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Travel Journalist and IFWTWA Board Member, Susan Montgomery
Segment Three: MJ Hong, Proprietress, The Wine Artist, Laguna Beach
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall
Segment Five: Artisan Coffee Roaster, Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee
Segment Six: Bobby Navarro, 100EATS.com
Segment Seven: Food Network’s Simon Majumdar Part One
Segment Eight: Food Network’s Simon Majumdar Part Two

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, and now, Irvine at UCI, is back as today’s special Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s satisfyingly abundant show. With any luck we will always leave you hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a good thing…

A group of professional journalists from The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association is visiting the show. Their Secretary, Susan Montgomery, joins us. In addition to explaining the mission of the IFTWTA Sue will highlight her recent visit to Casa Mayoral in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja California.

MJ Hong is the gracious proprietress of The Wine Artist in Laguna Beach. It’s a boutique winery, special event venue (and more) designed to accommodate team building exercises. It’s also a destination for unusual cooking demos and classes. We’ll learn all about it.

ABC’s “The Chew’s” Chef Carla Hall is, fortunately, no stranger to the show. She is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning chef and best-selling cookbook author. Last Saturday Chef Carla was the honoree at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne benefit in The Hamptons. In June she was part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the World Expo in Milan and the USA Pavilion.

When the conversation turns to artisan coffee roasters in Orange County you always hear the name of coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. He grew up in Guatemala where is Family owned a small coffee farm. In late 2005 Martin and his wife, Karen, launched their latest retail venture Kean Coffee in Newport Beach. A location in Tustin has been added to the portfolio. It’s Coffee 101 with Martin Diedrich.

Bobby Navarro left a decade of work in the hospitality industry to fully commit to his own event planning and culinary promotions company, 100eats.com. He cooked with Amar Santana at both Charlie Palmer’s in South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana. Bobby’s passion for branding and business keeps him visiting hundreds of restaurants across the country, stemming from his original feat of dining at 100 restaurants in 100 consecutive days. We’ll meet him…

Simon Majumdar is a food writer, broadcaster, Food TV personality, and author of the recently published, Fed, White and Blue – Finding America with My Fork. You know him as the no-nonsense judge on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown. In fact, Mr. Brown penned the enthusiastic Forward to Fed, White, and Blue.

Majumdar is also the new Master of Ceremonies for the upcoming 2015 Golden Foodie Awards presented in the red carpet affair on September 27th at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

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

Susan MontgomeryA group of professional journalists from The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is visiting the show. Their Board of Directors Secretary, Susan Montgomery, joins us.

IFWTWA is now a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

In addition to explaining the mission of the IFTWTA Sue will highlight her recent visit to Casa Mayoral in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja California.

Located at the heart of the Baja Wine Country in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Casa Mayoral is a Bed and Breakfast boutique hotel. It’s also an event venue offering culinary experiences. The modern rooms offer unmatched views of the Valley and the nighttime skyline.

It’s a chef prepared-breakfast in the morning. The spread includes fresh juices, fruit, cereal, eggs, pastries, and premium brewed coffee.

MJ HongMJ Hong is the gracious proprietress of The Wine Artist in Laguna Beach. She is a former corporate executive turned entrepreneur. It’s a boutique winery, special event venue (and more) designed to accommodate team building exercises. It’s also a destination for unusual cooking demos and classes.

With over 2,500 square feet, this elegantly decorated Tuscan Winery is perfect for hosting private parties, team building, birthday parties, fund raising and charity events where you can incorporate wine tasting, and bottling your favorite wine.

MJ’s passion for entertaining, food and wine led her to leave her secure corporate job of 15 years to pursue her dream job of The Wine Artist.

We’ll learn all about it with MJ.

Carla HallABC’s “The Chew’s” Chef Carla Hall is, fortunately, no stranger to the show. She is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning chef and best-selling cookbook author.

Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood. The only thing you should make is a reservation.”

Last Saturday (July 25th.) Chef Carla was the honoree at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne benefit in The Hamptons. In New York this is always the annual culinary highlight of the Summer. It’s held on the grounds of the Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. In addition to free-flowing Champagne over 40 celebrated chefs served their own delectable creations.

In June she was part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the World Expo in Milan and the USA Pavilion. The Delegation toured the USA Pavilion which showcases American leadership on global food security and development issues, innovation, climate change and sustainability, and nutrition and health.

Martin DiedrichWhen the conversation turns to artisan coffee roasters in Orange County you always hear the name of coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. He grew up in Guatemala where is Family owned a small coffee farm.

In late 2005 Martin and his wife, Karen, launched their latest retail venture Kean Coffee in Newport Beach. It’s named after their son. A location in Tustin has been added to the portfolio.

Kean Coffee has developed a loyal following of customers with its high quality artisan coffees fresh roasted onsite daily by Martin himself. The world-class roaster itself is a family affair. It’s built and manufactured by his brother, Stephen Diedrich in Sandpoint Idaho.

Through his Kean Coffee, Martin is realizing his dream of reviving the community coffeehouse. It also embraces his ideal that businesses should model community and global responsibility and awareness, both environmental and cultural.

It’s Coffee 101 with Martin Diedrich.

Bobby NavarroBobby Navarro left a decade of work in the hospitality industry to fully commit to his own event planning and culinary promotions company, 100eats.com. He cooked with Amar Santana at both Charlie Palmer’s in South Coast Plaza (now closed) and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach.

Bobby’s passion for branding and business keeps him visiting hundreds of restaurants across the country, stemming from his original feat of dining at 100 restaurants in 100 consecutive days.

Bobby’s affection for the hospitality community and similar industries led him to create inspireartisticminds.org, an organization that gives thousands of dollars annually to connecting passionately driven individuals to the things that inspire them.

He also contributes to Foodbeast and Locale.

Simon MajumdarSimon Majumdar is a food writer, broadcaster, Food TV personality, and author of the recently published, Fed, White and Blue – Finding America with My Fork. You know him as the no-nonsense judge on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen with host Alton Brown. In fact, Mr. Brown penned the enthusiastic Forward to Fed, White, and Blue.

Simon is probably not your typical idea of an immigrant. As he says, “I’m well rested, not particularly poor, and the only time I ever encountered “huddled masses” is in line at Costco.” But immigrate he did, and thanks to a Homeland Security agent who asked if he planned to make it official, the journey chronicled in Fed, White, and Blue was born. In it Simon sets off on a trek across the United States to find out what it really means to become an American, using what he knows best: food.

Majumdar is also the new Master of Ceremonies for the upcoming 2015 Golden Foodie Awards presented in the red carpet affair on September 27th at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

Majumdar will lead the Golden Foodie Awards on-stage unveiling winners in over 25 categories including Golden Chef, Golden Pastry Chef, and Best New Restaurant.

The Golden Foodie Awards honor Orange County’s culinary community and creates an environment where nominees and foodies can indulge in an evening of accolades and decadent cuisine.

On-line voting (for seven days only) in the initial seven categories starts Saturday August 1st. These include Best Cocktail, Bartender of the Year, Best Food Talk Radio Show, Best Food Writer, Best Sushi, Best Dessert and Best Service Award.

The next group of categories are eligible for voting starting on August 8th. Vote for the Golden Foodies here.

We’ll meet him…

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel & Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Travel Journalist and IFWTWA Board Member, Susan Montgomery
Segment Three: MJ Hong, Proprietress, The Wine Artist, Laguna Beach
Segment Four: Chef Carla Hall
Segment Five: Artisan Coffee Roaster, Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee
Segment Six: Bobby Navarro, 100EATS.com
Segment Seven: Food Network’s Simon Majumdar Part One
Segment Eight: Food Network’s Simon Majumdar Part Two

March 29: Vine Restaurant & Bar, Spaghettini, Carla Hall, Truck U Barbecue, DOMA, Angels Baseball ballpark cuisine

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Managing Partner Russ Bendel, Vine Restaurant & Bar, San Clemente
Segment Three: Cary Hardwick, Co-Owner & Co-Managing Partner, Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment, Seal Beach
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s daytimer, “The Chew.”
Segment Five: Executive Chef Mike Minor, Truck U Barbeque Truck, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Marissa Sharon, DOMA Beverly Hills
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Gretchen Beaumarchais, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, and Jaisun Ihm, Director of Premium Services, Legends
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris, “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The effervescent Chef Carla Hall, the co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” has a new book out, Carla’s Comfort Foods – Favorite Dishes from Around the World.

Angel Stadium has a real executive chef in the kitchen and she is with us to discuss all the enhancements at The Big A for baseball season! San Clemente is becoming a popular dining destination. We’ll chat with the proprietor of one of the pioneering restaurants there featuring farm-to-table food.

You don’t expect a long-serving executive chef at a high profile restaurant located on The Strip in Las Vegas in a fancy luxury hotel to give it all up to run a food truck. We’ll talk to the credentialed chef who is doing just that.

Doma, in Beverly Hills, is still generating a lot of buzz a year after opening. Part of the credit goes to their talented pastry chef who is our guest. We’re continuing with our preview of EAT LBC, Long Beach’s first ever restaurant week set for March 30th through April 5th. The co-owner of Spaghettini in Seal Beach joins us.

Jet will be talking about his trip to Cornell University and creating a giant edible sushi roll for Cornell Dining while Producer Andy shares a dining gem of a casual neighborhood spot in Venice.

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

Russ BendelThere is an exciting restaurant resurgence going on in San Clemente right now. Some wags are even calling it the new Laguna Beach. One of the pioneering, chef-driven restaurants there, Vine Restaurant & Bar, has a new proprietor. A former chef (Jared Cook) has returned (as a partner) to oversee the farm-to-table menu. Second generation restaurateur Russ Bendel is our guest.

EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is March 30th to April 5th. It’s your chance to enjoy a three-course meal at 52 of the best, and most diverse, restaurants in Long Beach priced at a real value. The restaurants are all aiming to wow all of their new guests during EAT LBC. All the restaurants involved and their menus are listed on their website. Make your reservations now…

Cary Hardwick of SpaghettiniOne of the participating restaurants is Spaghettini in Seal Beach, a local classic for their food and music program since 1988. Cary Hardwick, co-owner and co-managing partner, joins us to talk about his menu for EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week and their new project in Beverly Hills.

Food fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Recently “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla HallCarla’s newest cookbook is Carla’s Comfort Foods – Favorite Dishes from Around the World (on-sale April 1, 2014.) It’s a brand new collection of 130 recipes that embody the universal appeal of all kinds of comfort food.

Inspired by Carla’s love of family suppers and international flavors, this cookbook offers a mouthwatering variety of foods from around the world together with heartfelt stories of connecting with people through food. Each section of the book offers a brief description of a foundation recipe followed by some international variations.

Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a restaurant reservation.”

Carla is in Los Angeles on book tour on Sunday, April 13th. She is at Sur La Table @ The Original Farmers Market @ Noon and then @ USC for the LA Times Festival of Books @ 3:30 p.m.

Mike Minor of Truck U Barbecue in Las VegasExecutive Chef Mike Minor, a resident of Las Vegas since the age of 5, was the face of Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay for almost 10 years.

Late last year he departed to work on a very personal project. That’s the just-about-to launch (April 5th.) Truck U Barbecue. ‘Cue, with some accents from Mexico, is his thing.

Marissa SharonPastry Chef Marissa Sharon opened Doma in Beverly Hills in 2012 with Executive Chef Dustin Trani. She previously was in the pastry department at Chef Scott Conant’s highly regarded Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills.

Her cannolis are truly outstanding and she also makes most of the pasta used at the restaurant.

DOMA is considered one of the finest new restaurants in L.A. – in the grand European tradition but with a sleek and modern twist.

DOMA is hosting a special “Dinner Party Series” evening to benefit C-CAP on Monday evening, April 7th @ 6:30 p.m.

Gretchen BeaumarchaisThe Angels Home opener is Monday evening, March 31st.

Executive Chef Gretchen Beaumarchais of Angel Stadium joins us to talk about all the enhancements for 2014. The food and beverage is now under the direction of Legends.

Jaisun (Jason) Ihm (Director of Premium Services) joins Chef Getchen.

There is now an in-house pastry chef (from the St. Regis, Monarch Beach) for 2014. All baked goods & sweets are now baked in-house. Bread is from OC Baking Co.

New grilled cheese sandwiches & smoked meats.

New emphasis on local craft beers.

The Diamond Club has been remodeled and the menu revamped.

Halo at Angel Stadium (above The Diamond Club) is the new premium seating sports entertainment experience with globally inspired dining.

Jet has been visiting at Cornell University’s Cornell Dining Services (a giant sushi roll) and Producer Andy has been dining in Venice. We’ll talk about it…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Managing Partner Russ Bendel, Vine Restaurant & Bar, San Clemente
Segment Three: Cary Hardwick, Co-Owner & Co-Managing Partner, Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment, Seal Beach
Segment Four: Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s daytimer, “The Chew.”
Segment Five: Executive Chef Mike Minor, Truck U Barbeque Truck, Las Vegas
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Marissa Sharon, DOMA Beverly Hills
Segment Seven: Executive Chef Gretchen Beaumarchais, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, and Jaisun Ihm, Director of Premium Services, Legends
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris, “SoCal Restaurant Show”

January 25: South Coast Collection, Carla Hall, Roger Havot, Sanford D’Amoto, Chefs to the Max

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anais Tangie, Marketing Coordinator, SoCo and The Mix
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall, ABC’s “The Chew,” “Bravo’s “Top Chef ,” and Carla Hall Petit Cookies
Segment Four: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Sanford D’Amato, founder and former Executive Chef of the award-winning Sanford restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

On Friday morning, January 31st catch Chef Jet on NBC’s “Today Show” in the 9:00 a.m. hour PST. He’s sharing his recipe for Peking Duck Sliders for Chinese New Year and The Big Game!

ABC’s “The Chew’s,” Carla Hall, is back with us talking about the very special Culinary Concert she is doing at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on Sunday, February 9th to benefit the scholarship fund of The James Beard Foundation. “Hootie Hoo”…You’ll meet Sandy D’Amato, a kid from Milwaukee, who grew up to become one of the most outstanding chefs in America. Chef Roger Hayot joins us. You may not know his name but you really should. In the 90s Chef Roger had one of the most acclaimed restaurants in L.A. Now he’s quietly making waves again at a hidden gem of a neighborhood place in Marina del Rey.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

The first Saturday of last October we were live at South Coast Collection (SoCo) and The Mix in Costa Mesa for the first Patchwork Show: Edible Edition.

Anais TangieWe showcased the growing collection of outstanding boutique food businesses and restaurants there. The SoCo and Mix’s Marketing Coordinator, Anais Tangie, joins us to talk about the new additions and what’s soon on the way. Think handcrafted artisanal chocolates and also a one-of-kind cocktail education and tools-of-the-trade store owned by a master bartender…

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifestyle series, “The Chew.” Last month “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining, interactive cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

Pastry Chef to the Stars and a multiple James Beard Award-winner, Sherry Yard, is the celebrity MC.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Carla is represented in Saveur’s 100 which is the current January/February issue. Item 13 on the list is Carla’s suggestion of Lemon Olive Oil.

Roger Hayot of J. Nichols KitchenIn 1987 the Authentic Café opened on Beverly Blvd. near CBS’s Television City in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. It was the inspiration of Chef Roger Hayot who was mentored by his prior employer, David Overton, the creator of The Cheesecake Factory. It was initially a small place and from Day 1 they had lines of patient guests out the door…Eventually they expanded into the space next-door to accommodate the strong demand.

Roger’s always intriguing menu was inspired by the cuisines of the American Southwest, Latin America, Asia, and the Mediterranean. He used authentic global ingredients which was unusual at the time. Thai fish sauce was one of his regular ingredients. The exotic appeal of his cooking was always balanced by its hominess.

He had the honor of cooking at The James Beard Foundation in New York.

There is a new chapter to Chef Roger Hayot’s inspirational cooking story in Los Angeles so we continue.

Mezze Plate at J. Nichols KitchenIn 2012 Roger moved into the Executive Chef position at J Nichols Kitchen in Marina del Rey. This originally opened as Nichols Family Restaurant in 1974 as a friendly, neighborhood coffee shop with reasonable prices and big portions. When the founders’ son and daughter took over the operation they faced a dilemma. The retail center they were in was about to undergo a major renovation (and upscaling) and their clientele was aging and the younger crowd wasn’t patronizing them. The Nichols made the tough decision to remodel and reposition themselves as a destination neighborhood restaurant with more serious food and no snootiness. That’s a major transition…

The first 6 months of the new concept was a bit rocky. The seniors didn’t like the new menu or pricing and the Millennials thought it was still a coffee shop. A lot of guest confusion…Chef Roger joined the team in progress with the mission of improving the food and consistency. Over the last 18 months that has happened and the successful transition accomplished! A great turnaround story…

Virtually everything is now made from scratch from the pizza dough (3-day process) to the fruit preserves served at breakfast. Chef Roger takes the time to make his own biscuits (very popular) as well as flavorful premium sausages. He has his own smoker. All the desserts are house-prepared. The novel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake is perhaps Chef Roger’s tribute to The Cheesecake Factory. It’s light, has a graham cracker crust, crushed pistachios, and a honey drizzle. Yum…

Sanford D'AmotoGood Stock: Life on Low Simmer was written by Sanford “Sandy” D’Amato, one of America’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs. It is a special memoir of a life in cooking that weaves more than 80 recipes and both personal and food photos in a beautiful and engaging way.

Chef D’Amato tells his life story in brief episodes that are keyed to more than 80 of this James Beard Award-winning chef’s favorite recipes.

Sanford, the restaurant D’Amato opened in his native Milwaukee in 1989 (in the space that once housed his grandfather’s grocery store,) has long been one of the highest rated restaurants in America.

D’Amato and his wife, Angie, currently split their time between Milwaukee and their mini-farm in Hatfield, MA, where they are preparing to open a cooking school (also called Good Stock.)

If you really want to understand what it takes to be a successful, career executive chef this is the book for you. It’s also highly entertaining and a fascinating read. Chef Sandy’s encounters with the legendary Julia Child over the years are priceless.

Max JacobsonMax Jacobson is a serious food journalist who relocated to Las Vegas from Southern California in 1999 to cover the burgeoning dining scene there. Southern Californians remember his coverage of the Orange County dining scene for The Los Angeles Times. He is currently Vegas Seven’s restaurant critic. His colleagues have great respect for him.

Two days before Christmas 2013, Jacobson was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was in a crosswalk. He sustained severe brain trauma from the accident. He remains hospitalized in serious condition and his prognosis is uncertain.

Chefs to the Max benefit for Max Jacobson at RX Boiler RoomIn true hospitality industry fashion a group of prominent, celebrity chefs have joined together to launch the Chefs to the Max fundraising series to assist with Max Jacobson’s horrendous medical expenses.

The first dinner was January 19th at Chef Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Place on the Las Vegas Strip. The evening raised an impressive $275,799.

Fellow Las Vegas-based food journalist, Al Mancini, joins us to talk about the Chefs to the Max benefits and working with Max. Al and Max collaborated (with a third Las Vegas-based restaurant writer) on the three editions of the very popular Las Vegas dining guidebook series, Eating Las Vegas.

Republique Restaurant in Los AngelesLet’s talk food…Chef Jet and Producer Andy share some of their recent dining adventures.

Jet has experienced the much talked-about Republique with Walter Manzke and Chef Margarita Manzke behind the stoves at the former Campanile space. Andy has dined at Downtown’s Orsa & Winston, the new fine-dining spot from Josef Centeno (Bar Ama & Baco Mercat.)

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Anais Tangie, Marketing Coordinator, SoCo and The Mix
Segment Three: Chef Carla Hall, ABC’s “The Chew,” “Bravo’s “Top Chef ,” and Carla Hall Petit Cookies
Segment Four: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part One
Segment Five: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen Part Two
Segment Six: Sanford D’Amato, founder and former Executive Chef of the award-winning Sanford restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Segment Seven: Al Mancini, Las Vegas-based food journalist and co-author of Eating Las Vegas guidebook for 2011, 2012, and 2013
Segment Eight: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris of “SoCal Restaurant Show”

Show 53, December 21, 2013: Executive Chef Brian Malarkey of Enlightened Hospitality Group, San Diego

Brian MalarkeyYou know Chef Brian Malarkey from “Top Chef: Season 3, Miami” on Bravo and Season 1 of ABC’s “The Taste.” In real life he’s also a highly successful restaurateur in San Diego (and Scottsdale and Austin) with major financial backing.

In a bold move he’s bringing an expanded Herringbone (La Jolla) to The Mondrian on the fabled Sunset Strip in January. After a major gut-rehab it’s replacing the pricey Asia de Cuba at this hip & happening boutique luxury hotel. The panoramic 180 degree view from the restaurant toward the coast, now improved, is pretty spectacular. He’s responsible for all foodservice at The Hotel including in-room dining and functions.

The food is Herringbone’s own “Fish Meats Field” cuisine. A favorite is Pork Belly with wood roasted sunchokes, manila clams, and calvados and green apple jus.

A signature wood-burning oven is being added to the totally revamped kitchen.

Play

Show 51, December 7, 2013: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin

Zov Karamardian or Zov's in TustinOver the years Zov has been a generous benefactor of the New York-based James Beard Foundation. The non-profit Foundation celebrates American gastronomy and funds an ambitious scholarship program for young culinarians, among many other high-profile activities. They also produce the annual James Beard Foundation Awards which are considered the Oscars of the food world!

Previously Zov has honored culinary luminaries including Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, Anne Burrell and Michael Symon at Culinary Concerts at the original Zov’s Bistro over the years to raise money for the Foundation.

Carla HallOn Sunday, February 9th Zov is honoring chef, cookbook author, and TV personality, Carla Hall, in an afternoon Culinary Concert. Carla is the co-host of ABC’s afternoon lifestyle series, “The Chew,” which recently celebrated its 500th episode. You also remember her as the “Fan Favorite” (“Hootie Hoo”) from “Bravo’sTop Chef.”

Carla will be performing a cooking demo from her book, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly released in paperback. Zov will also be doing a cooking demo from one of her two books.

Following the demos will be an elaborate and bountiful Mediterranean lunch buffet featuring dishes from both chefs.

Carla will also be available to chat with guests and sign copies of her book.

This is the ideal holiday gift for that special foodie in your life. Tickets for the Culinary Concert and lunch are a tax-deductable $250 per guest and this event will sell out. You can buy tickets online at www.zovs.com. For more info please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21.

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December 7: Carla Hall, Barbara Fairchild, Cookies for a Koz, Devon Espinosa, Donald Wressell, Brad A. Johnson, Dean Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food. There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the high profile benefit for typhoon relief at The Church Key on the Sunset Strip on Sunday (which we’ll be talking about later in the show) there is a more populist fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

Barbara FairchildThe long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, is back with us reporting from New York. Barbara is also an educator, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and much-in-demand speaker.

Barbara has recently had a couple of culinary excursions to the San Francisco Bay Area and will report on dining spots she enjoyed that merit your attention. She will also speak about an unusual evening she was part of honoring San Francisco’s STARS, a long-departed celebrity chef driven restaurant that, in it’s day, was the Spago of San Francisco. The proprietor/executive chef Jeremiah Tower (now a resident of Mexico) was in attendance.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s Holiday Time and our thoughts turn to incredible, fresh-baked, small batch, high-quality cookies as special gifts. That can only mean a chat with Roberta Wilson (jazz saxophonist great Dave Koz’s sister) the force behind Cookies for a Koz. Ten per cent of the proceeds are donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Dave Koz is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for them.

Roberta’s and Dave’s late mother, Audrey, perfected the recipe for a great chocolate chip cookie and that’s the legacy of the company. The much-appreciated cookies were a door-opener all over town for the youthful Dave as his career was just beginning.

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifetime series, “The Chew.” Last week “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th. It’s a great holiday gift for that special foodie in your life.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Devon EspinosaDevon Espinosa (a C-CAP graduate) is one of the rising young stars among the master bartenders in the West. He created the cocktail program at ink. and Pour Vous and he’s the bar chef for the new The Church Key on the Sunset Strip. Some of his cocktails are canned for freshness.

Devon is also one of the organizers of a high-profile benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 9:00 p.m. for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. An impressive line-up of chefs and bartenders are coming together to raise the vitally needed funds. Look for celebrity chefs Eric Greenspan, Kris Morningstar, Ray Garcia and Steve Samson among many others.

Donald WressellThere really is no finer pastry chef in America than the pleasantly low-key Donald Wressell. He was the opening executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This is the luxury property where the majority of the out-of-town Academy Award nominees stay. Every year Chef Donald would create incredible individual chocolate show-pieces celebrating each of the “Best Picture” nominees. These elaborate pieces where then featured, via photography, in the Oscar coverage beamed across the globe.

Donald has competed in the most prestigious international pastry competitions and, most recently, has coached, too. He’s judged pastry chefs for competition shows on Food Network.

He’s currently the pastry chef for the proudly American chocolate company, Guittard Chocolate Co. Guittard is based in Burlingame but Chef Donald has a test kitchen and research facility here in Los Angeles. He also teaches classes for professional pastry chefs and candy makers.

In January he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. He created another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

Blossom Restaurant at the Aria in Las VegasA few weeks ago Brad A. Johnson, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for the Orange County Register, was with us to talk about his first 4-Star review. It’s Blossom restaurant at Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Brad is back with us to explain his criteria for a 4-Star restaurant review and also talk about the new crop of ultra-luxe Chinese restaurants on The Strip. It’s some of the most elegant Chinese fine-dining outside of China and designed for highly discriminating (and wealthy) Chinese guests!

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef de Cuisine for the Europa Village Winery in Temecula and also serves as the Innkeeper for the Inn at Europa Village (along with his wife, Nicole.) His multi-course breakfasts, reserved exclusively for guests at The Inn, are unrivaled in the Valley. Many of the ingredients actually come from the vineyard property and change with the season. Chef Dean has extensive credentials as an executive chef for luxury hotel properties.

Chef Dean is the unofficial executive concierge for Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to directing guests to the wineries and restaurants best suited to the visitors’ wishes Dean’s advice is the gold standard.

Chef Dean shares with us the specifics on an independent restaurant in Temecula as well as a winery restaurant that are both on his highly recommended list. He also talks about a Slow Food event he is hosting on December 12th featuring local artisan food products and cooking demonstrations.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Show 21, March 16, 2013: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton

Sara MoultonSara Moluton is the Food Editor for ABC’s “Good Morning America” as well as was the high-profile corporate chef for Gourmet for many years. She was also one of the early stars of Food Network doing two live shows (with viewer calls) nightly. That takes real talent…

Next Friday and Saturday (March 22nd & 23rd) Sara is one of the featured celebrity chefs at Food+Wine Palm Desert. On Friday she is part of an Italian-themed luncheon with celebrity chefs and on Saturday Sara performs a cooking demonstration.

Chef Sara’s current TV project is Season 3 of “Sara’s Weekend Meals” which can be seen on PBS stations across the country. Check your local listings.

Always up-to-date Sara created a fun iPhone app, “Sara’s Kitchen.” It features 60 recipes, 60 photos (food-styled by Chef Sara herself,) and ten videos.

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Show 4: October 27, 2012: JoAnn Cianciulli, Food TV Producer Extraordinaire

Currently Co-Exectutive Producer of “Recipe Rehab” for ABC. This is the first cooking show to migrate from YouTube (Everyday Health Channel) to network TV !

JoAnn’s other major credits include Fox’s “Master Chef” (she also authored the MasterChef Cookbook,) Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef,” and Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

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