Show 120, May 2, 2015: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District

Mariah SwanPastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her latest, long-in-the-works venture is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. Everything is created in-house. The menu of ice cream and doughnuts changes daily.

The business planning side of this venture was done by co-owner Amy Knoll Fraser (Redbird and BLD.)

Swan created the popular Doughnut Shoppe Wednesdays at BLD which ICDC now replaces. Now you can get incredible fresh doughnuts every day ICDC is open (which is now 7-days.) You can get doughnut holes by the half-dozen. Look for her signature butterscotch doughnut or the outside-the-box rocky road. Also there are crave-worthy, gluten-free options.

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Show 120, May 2, 2015: Pastry Chef Mariah Swan, ICDC, Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Continues…

Mariah SwanPastry Chef Mariah Swan of BLD in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles is no stranger to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Her latest, long-in-the-works venture is ICDC (Ice Cream, Doughnuts and Coffee) located next door to BLD on Beverly Blvd. Everything is created in-house. The menu of ice cream and doughnuts changes daily.

It’s a super premium ice cream but Chef Mariah’s philosophy is to not make it overly rich with butterfat. For her fruit flavors the trick is not to overload the ice cream with fruit.

Look for the salted caramel

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Continues…

Ali Kobeissi of Open Sesame GrillFrom Proprietor Ali Kobeissi

“We’re fanatical about our scratch kitchen and the foods and flavors we produce. Food fills our thoughts between meals. We spend our free time studying the nutritional value of our authentic recipes handed down from our ancient forefathers. We combine spices and herbs, hone our knife skills, dissect wines and spirits, and prepare ourselves for the next time you sit at our table.

For the last 15 years our customers’ word of mouth has been our best advertising.”

The Beverly Blvd. location has a full bar.

Ask about the unusual Lebanese noble libation, Arak.

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July 12: Open Sesame, Brock Radke, Mad Hungry Woman, Seth Makowsky, Roger Paige

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his You Tube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

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

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,

Ali Kobeissi of Open Sesame GrillFrom Proprietor Ali Kobeissi

“We’re fanatical about our scratch kitchen and the foods and flavors we produce. Food fills our thoughts between meals. We spend our free time studying the nutritional value of our authentic recipes handed down from our ancient forefathers. We combine spices and herbs, hone our knife skills, dissect wines and spirits, and prepare ourselves for the next time you sit at our table.

For the last 15 years our customers’ word of mouth has been our best advertising.”

The Beverly Blvd. location has a full bar.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock weighs-in on DB Brasserie at The Venetian, Yusho at the Monte Carlo, and Giada at The Cromwell. He’s also excited about the opening of Mercadito, a popular Mexican restaurant from Chicago known for their variations of street tacos located off The Strip at the Red Rock Resort.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a profile of a San Diego restaurant favorite, Rakiraki. “If I had to sum this eatery up in a sentence, it would be “love at first bite.”

“There is no doubt this is my favorite ramen spot in Southern California.”

Anita also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The episode aired June 19th. She is an unabashed Gordon Ramsay fan.

Seth Makowsky of Makowsky Restaurant GroupSeth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

He is also a member of The Culinary Council for three square food bank in Las Vegas.

Along the way he’s been mentored by Robert Earl (Earl of Sandwich and Planet Hollywood) and Andrew Cherng (Panda Express with some 2,000 units.) He started his hospitality career with Coca-Cola in Atlanta and then moved on to Orlando.

Seth shares some valuable insights on what he does for multiple-unit restaurants.

Roger Paige of the Focused TravelerFood and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the historic Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. Be cautioned that this is anything but the expected tourist trap.

Roger also profiles the iconic Midpoint Café (previously known as the Adrian Café) in Adrian, Texas. It’s at the midpoint between Santa Monica & Chicago on the historic Route 66. It served as the inspiration for Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars.” All the food is scratch cooking…

Jet Fuel with Chef Jet TIlaOur own Chef Jet Tila has launched his YouTube Channel, “JetFuel.” There is a new video posted each Thursday for your viewing pleasure.

It’s the intriguing world of food from the inside out.

There are recipes, food tips, and engaging celebrity chef interviews. It’s all editorial content.

This week is Jet’s recipe for an incredibly delicious potato salad with bacon and egg. It uses no mayo so it’s a bit lighter than the usual mayonnaise-laden version. The secret is the creamy baby Dutch yellow potatoes.

Go to youtube.com and search for “Jet Tila.” You can also subscribe to the JetFuel YouTube Channel.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Show 58, January 25, 2013: Roger Hayot, Executive Chef, J. Nichols Kitchen

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.

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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 41, September 21, 2013: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

Neal Fraser of bld and RedbirdChef Fraser is a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” this season. He commented on the ups and downs he experienced as a competitor. Neal observed that it’s a lot harder than he anticipated. That’s significant given that he previously bested an Iron Chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.”

As a contestant on “Top Chef Masters” there are no days off. It’s seven days a week in production until you’re eliminated or win. As brutal as it sounds Chef Neal commented that he would do it again if given the opportunity as he’s highly competitive by nature.

On the near horizon for Chef Neal is a bld at LAX in the United Terminal and a casual ice cream, donuts, and coffee café (ICDC) located adjacent to bld on Beverly Blvd., and guided by his wife and executive pastry chef.

Redbird, his ambitious restaurant project at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles in partnership with restaurateur Bill Chait, will look for a 2014 opening.

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Show 28, May 11, 2013: Chef Brandon Boudet, Executive chef and co-proprietor of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s and Tom Bergin’s

Brandon Boudet of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s and Tom Bergin’sChef Brandon hails from New Orleans and once a year he brings a taste of the Crescent City to Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles with his Dominick’s Annual Crawfish Boil. It’s the 4th annual this year on their peaceful, open back patio that feels like the backyard of a Garden District mansion.

It’s Saturday, May 18th and Saturday, May 25th from Noon to 4:00 p.m.  For each Saturday it’s 300 lbs. of Louisiana Crawfish in the boil. Chef Brandon readily admits that the secret is the Zatarain’s New Orleans Crawfish Shrimp & Crab Boil seasoning!

You order the mudbugs by the pound. Most neophytes can handle about a pound but a New Orleans trencherman can consume up to 5 pounds!

Other New Orleans specialties will be on the menu including Roast Beef Po’ Boys and Crawfish Boiled Artichokes with Creole Remoulade. He also is preparing New Orleans Sno Balls including a version for adults with Old New Orleans Spiced Rum.

Who needs Bourbon Street? The party is here.

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Show 7: November 24, 2012: Chef Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Jet had a pretty incredible Thanksgiving Holiday as his daughter, Amaya Chloe Tila, was born on Nov. 17th. Given the pro he is Chef Jet still prepared and cooked his own turkey (brined,) and procured the outstanding sides and pies from Cook’s Country on Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles. (The pastry chef is a co-owner.) He’s courageous as his guest list included both his Mother and Mother-in-Law.

Producer Andy was in Wine Country Temecula with his Family. Thanksgiving was the abundant, multi-ethnic buffet at the Pechanga Resort Casino. Their well-received turkey preparation was brined and then deep-fried. The standout elements this year were the Asian and Mexican specialties. Producer Andy stayed at The Inn at Europa Village (a superb, chef-driven Bed & Breakfast) which is discussed in Segment 2 of the show.

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