Show 212, February 25, 2017: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Vice President, Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the 23rd consecutive year the celebrity chef to the stars Wolfgang Puck will set the stage for the Oscars’ Governors Ball menu pairing classic Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. It’s for 1,500 VIP guests including Oscar winners and Nominees in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. It starts immediately followiing the Oscar telecast. Talk about a hungry crowd…

Working alongside Chef Puck is Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary, Eric Klein (formerly Executive Chef & Partner of Spago Las Vegas, Wolfgang’s first restaurant in Las Vegas.)

The culinary team creates more than 50 imaginative dishes from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening.

Some 32,000 plates of food will be enjoyed by the guests served by a team of 10 maitre d’ staff, 950 service and support staff and 300 culinary staff.

On the order list for the Governors Ball is 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna, 10 kilos of American, farm-raised caviar, 250 Maine lobsters, and 800 stone crab claws.

The guests will toast with 1,400 bottles of Piper-Heidsieck (more than 12,000 glasses) and 2,200 bottles of fine wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Favorite guest comfort foods are Smoked Salmon Oscar Matzo, Chicken Pot Pie with Black Truffle, and Baked Potato with Caviar. New for this year is Vegan Gnocchetti (fresh) with Braised Mushrooms and Cashew Cream.

We’ll have an exclusive kitchen chat with Chef Eric.

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Show 203, December 24, 2016: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering

Eric KleinFor the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. When superstars perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace they specifically ask to have Chef Eric cook for them.

Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater.

Wolfgang Puck Catering provides all the food for The Governor’s Ball which follows the Oscar ceremony every year. You can’t find a more prestigious (or demanding) client than The Oscars! Every winner passes through the Governor’s Ball. Talk about pressure to dazzle…

We’ll rattle pans with Chef Eric.

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Show 203, December 24, 2016: Eric Klein, Executive Chef, Vice President Culinary, Wolfgang Puck Catering Chef Eric continues…

Eric Klein of Wolfgang Puck CateringFor the last nine years Chef Eric Klein has been the face of Spago Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck as Partner & Executive Chef. When superstars perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace they specifically ask to have Chef Eric cook for them.

Chef Eric just earned a well-deserved promotion within the Wolfgang Puck organization. He’s now back in Los Angeles as Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering (founded in 1988) based at Hollywood & Highland, the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremony at The Dolby Theater.

Food journalist Al Mancini (co-creator of the original Eating Las Vegas Guidebook), now a staff writer for the Las Vegas Review Journal, just interviewed Chef Eric in Friday’s (Dec. 23rd) editions of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Fun Fact: Wolfgang Puck Catering in Los Angeles alone served 4 tons of Beef Short Ribs in December.

Chef Eric is particularly excited about Wolfgang Puck’s Exclusive Test Kitchen based at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. It’s their creative Research & Development kitchen where 8 to 10 lucky guests get a one-of-a-kind, multi-course dinner prepared right in front of them by a brigade of Wolfgang Puck executive chefs. (A truly “only in L.A. experience!)

“A market-inspired twelve course sensory experience collaboratively prepared and served across the pass by our most talented chefs.”

Wolfgang Puck Catering also provides the food for the Rose Parade VIP Lounge on January 2nd, 2017.

 

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Show 111, February 21, 2015: Executive Chef Eric Klein, Spago Las Vegas

Eric KleinExecutive Chef & Partner Eric Klein of Spago Las Vegas was a sous chef under Lee Hefter at the original Spago. He had his share of working pressure-packed Oscar nights there and at The Governors’ Ball. Eric has been the highly visible executive chef & partner on Spago Las Vegas in the Forum Shops since April of 2007.

Wolfgang Puck has been associated with serving food at the Oscars for 21 years. On Sunday, February 22nd Chef Eric hosted an Awards Night Party at Spago Las Vegas. The 7-course tasting menu is inspired by the cuisine (some 50 dishes) Chef Puck will be serving the same night at The Governors’ Ball at Hollywood & Highland.

One of the official desserts, an Apple Millefeuille with brown butter sauce and apple cider jelly, was on Chef Eric’s menu, too. Every lucky guest will leave with a special chocolate Oscar painted with edible gold (originally created by Chef Wolfgang’s former executive pastry chef, Sherry Yard.) The guests at the official Governors Ball in Hollywood receive the same coveted keepsake!

Chef Eric Klein is our guest.

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Show 74, May 31, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Pioneering California Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck with destination restaurants around the globe really needs no introduction. Among many accomplishments he cooks for the VIP guests at the Oscars every year. His new book, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy : Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a true labor of love.

The Orange County Register’s award-winning food writer, Cathy Thomas, has just returned from a cruise on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. She shares her travel and food adventures in India and Singapore.

What’s the most exotic coffee bean in the world? Our resident coffee expert from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has the unexpected answer. It’s unusual…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th. The Taco in Chief (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) Bill Esparza, serves it up.

Understanding and selecting specialty cheese can be a bit intimidating. Cheesemonger extraordinaire, Chester Hastings, to the rescue!

Fireside Tavern is an undiscovered gem of a new destination restaurant in the unlikely location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa just off the 405 Freeway. The secret is Executive Chef Scott Brandon.

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

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Show 71, May 3, 2014: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Continues…

Hemls Bakery treats from Sherry YardSherry is on a mission to change the way people eat in a movie theater. The iPic Theaters menu for Westwood even includes Helms Treats. There are premium signature cookies and even frozen novelties!

On the ground floor there is an Italian restaurant (Tanzy) open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Sherry Yard was on hand Sunday, April 25th on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to observe the cutting of Chef Donald Wressell’s breathtaking birthday cake for the 100th Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is the corporate chef for Guittard Chocolate Co. Sherry has created incredible desserts for the Oscars and was truly impressed with the incredible results. 15,000 slices of deliciousness were served!

Adding a needed basement to the Helms Bakery (where there was none before) has delayed the project. Sherry is now looking at a 2015 launch.

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May 3: Sherry Yard, Jesse Barber, Nan Kohler, Barbara Fairchild, Yvon Goetz

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.

She will tell us all about her exciting new position as Corporate Vice President of the Culinary Division of iPic Theaters. Watching a movie on the big screen should be a deluxe experience with food to match !

There is a relatively new hidden gem of a very personal farm-to-table restaurant in Venice. That’s Barnyard Venice. Come hungry and prepare to be pleasantly surprised and also well-taken care of.

Nan Kohler, the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, is back for an encore. This time she’ll also be speaking about gluten-free.

Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin has a new location on the Bay in Newport Beach. It’s a “wow” of a spot!

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

Sherry YardRenowned pastry chef and best-selling cookbook author Sherry Yard spent close to 20 years with Wolfgang Puck. She also has been awarded two prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards! On May 5th in New York City Sherry is being inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. It’s an elite group…

In late 2012 she left Spago to realize a dream project with Sang Yoon. That’s the reopening (and revamping) of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border of Culver City.

She has just stepped into the newly created position of Corporate Vice President of Culinary Direction for iPic Theaters.

Their new state-of-the-art Westwood complex has just opened. Locally-sourced gourmet food is now on the menu for the luxury movie viewing experience.

She also somehow finds the time to actively serve on both the National and L.A. Boards of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program. (C-CAP.)

The iPic Theaters menu for Westwood even includes Helms Treats. There are premium signature cookies and even frozen novelties!

On the ground floor there is an Italian restaurant (Tanzy) open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Sherry Yard was on hand Sunday, April 25th on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to observe the cutting of Chef Donald Wressell’s breathtaking birthday cake for the 100th Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is the corporate chef for Guittard Chocolate Co. Sherry has created incredible desserts for the Oscars and was truly impressed with the incredible results. 15,000 slices of deliciousness were served!

Adding a needed basement to the Helms Bakery (where there was none before) has delayed the project. Sherry is now looking at a 2015 launch.

Jesse Barber of Barnyard VeniceBarnyard Venice (opened in 2012) is a bit of a find housed in an old cottage on Pacific Avenue. It’s rustic and comfortable.

Chef Jesse Barber, an alum of the kitchen at Tasting Kitchen, is the menu-maker. Earlier in his career he worked with Thomas Keller at both The French Laundry and Bouchon. He’s put together an ever changing menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. He’s a regular at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and that’s the basis for his menu which changes almost daily.

His grilled octopus is a standout.

Ramen Tuesday is at the bar.

Nan KohlerNan Kohler is the Managing Partner of Grist & Toll – An urban Flour Mill in Pasadena. She has extensive background in baking.

Nan discusses her take on celiac disease and the growing need for gluten-free products.

On Sunday, May 4th Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union is cooking a dinner in conjunction with Grist & Toll. Union uses many of their products including their polenta which is a favorite of Chef Jet’s.

Chef Kalman will incorporate Grist & Toll’s whole-grain milled fresh flours into five courses. The price is $85 per guest.

Nan explains how the flours produced by Grist & Toll differ from the commercial enriched flour that goes into plain white bread. A lot of the nutritional value is surprisingly lost with the processing of conventional enriched flour.

Nan is also starting to offer baking classes.

Barbara FairchildIt’s a pleasure to welcome food journalist Barbara Fairchild back to the show. She is an editor, writer, speaker and consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

Her newest position is Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com.

Based on her recent travels Barbara has restaurant finds for us from both London and Paris.

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and BarThe Winery Restaurant & Bar at the District in Tustin has created quite a splash over the last six years. All that was missing was an ocean view.

Newly arrived on the Bay in Newport Beach is the 2nd location for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Partner/ Executive Chef Yvon Goetz is overseeing the kitchen here, too. It’s dinner only at present. Lunch will be coming on the weekends. Chef Yvon is our guest.

The new Winery brings the same distinctive experience as its flagship location in The District in Tustin. This one strives to make the guest feel like they have been transported to a relaxing getaway in Napa or Sonoma. This escape features ocean views from the second-story dining room and breathtaking bar.

The menu here is a bit more seafood centric. Some of the fish (Opah, Ono, and Mahi Mahi) +is flown in from Hawaii daily.

“The major difference with this location will be the stunning views of the waterfront and boat access. We anticipate endless possibilities, with something to suit every palate,” said JC Clow, Managing Partner of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Three private docks are available for guests to arrive via the Marina.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part One
Segment Three: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Jesse Barber of Barnyard Venice
Segment Five: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part One
Segment Six: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill, Pasadena Part Two
Segment Seven: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com, editor, writer, speaker and consultant
Segment Eight: Chef Yvon Goetz, Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tustin and Newport Beach

Show 63, March 1, 2013: Mar Yvette, Lifestyle reporter, Fox 11 News & “Good Day L.A.”

Mar YvetteWe’re talking about cuisine worthy of Oscar! For the 20th year Wolfgang Puck and his highly talented team of chefs and associates will prepare the exquisite menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. We’ll preview the menu!

Think 1,250 Stone Crab claws for the 1,500 invited guests.

Mar also highlights some of the hidden restaurants in Los Angeles where the celebrities go to simply enjoy the great food and not be noticed! Mar points out that the celebs love the restaurants in luxury hotels. Think Culina Modern Italian at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

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Show 51, December 7, 2013: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.

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 leading up to the Academy Awards presentation at The Dolby Theater. 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 serious 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. Guittard has been Family-owned for five generations.

Towards the end of the first quarter of 2014 he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. Chef Donald baked another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

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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