Show 253, December 23, 2017: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea

Russ BendelWe know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine/Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soffit lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10.  The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee. Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

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Show 190, September 24, 2016: Owner/Chef Marcel Vigneron, Wolf & Beefsteak

Marcel VigneronAt 25, Chef Marcel Vigneron competed on the memorable Season 2 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and, impressively, was the Runner-Up. He now has two side-by-side restaurants on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, Wolf (Seasonal LA Cuisine) and the plant-based, Beefsteak. We’ll meet him.

“At WOLF, we are influenced by fresh local ingredients and the farmers that grow them. We pay tribute to the food by preparing it with care, using every edible part from flower to root and nose to tail. Our inspiration stems from the variety of cultures that make up our city, from Thai Town to Taco Trucks. Our goal is to combine these traditional flavors into something uniquely Los Angeles. Come in and experience food and service that are precise, but never pretentious. Join Marcel and his team to take your place in the Wolfpack.”

“At Beefsteak, we strive to bring the best produce and local ingredients to our guests in a casual environment that serves fresh and seasonal California cuisine. We aim to source everything from socially conscious purveyors that will in turn be used in dishes that are not only healthy, but also intended to be super tasty, and ecologically responsible. We value the intimate connection between our food, our farms, our planet and our health and aim to be sustainable in all of our practices. We support our community through partnerships with local vendors and producers.”

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Show 74, May 31, 2014: Chef Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves!

Finally, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.

In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Chef Wolfgang’s practical advice is to cut down on the consumption of processed foods. Work more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet along with more fish and chicken. It’s really worked for him! He proudly keeps up with his older boys now on their skiing adventures.

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May 31: Wolfgang Puck, Cathy Thomas, Coffee Bean, Fireside Tavern, Joan’s on Third,

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

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!

Special Note:
Michael Puglisi
You’ve heard Chef Michael Puglisi (ex-Bouchon Beverly Hills) of the soon-to-be Electric City Butcher in The (upcoming) 4th Street Market in Santa Ana on the show.

On Monday, June 2nd Chef Puglisi is part of a special Chef’s Dinner at 320 Main – New American Eatery in Seal Beach.

The 6-course menu is from Chef Puglisi, Chef Jaime Carrano of 320 Main, and Chef Eddie Ruiz of Corazon y Miel. Corazon y Miel in Bell was just included in Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014 as presented in the Los Angeles Times.

Chefs Michael and Eddie also work together at the recently opened PICNIK in Old Pasadena. “These three friends are pleased to bring an amazing menu and incredible dining experience for the latest in 320 Main’s Chef’s Dinner series.”

$95 per guest including tax and gratuity.

Reservations & Information: 562.799.6246.

Cathy ThomasCathy Thomas is the long-established food writer and former Food Editor at The Orange County Register. She has won numerous well-deserved awards for her journalism and is a good friend of chefs and restaurateurs.

Cathy Thomas was just on a short leg (12 days) of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth’s World Cruise. She left the ship for four days on land in India traveling to the Taj Mahal. Cathy will enlighten us on luxury cruising, Indian street food, and dining at Ku De Ta, a hot restaurant in Singapore with an incredible view.

Look for Cathy’s piece on Indian Street Food in an upcoming Wednesday Food Section in the Orange County Register.

Jay Isais of the Coffee Bean and Tea LeafJay (“Eye-Zay-Us”) Isais is the Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, for the Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf.

The rarest coffee beans in the world (from Sumatra) must be the Kopi Luwak beans. They are “harvested” in an unusual way.

Jay explains this highly sought-after coffee oddity…

Wolfgang PuckWhat is now known as California Cuisine never had a better day than when Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck opened the original Spago on The Sunset Strip in 1982. Its ambitions were modest…

Now the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has restaurants around the world with a second stronghold in Las Vegas.

Chef Puck was the first Chef to cook a meal at New York’s famed James Beard House. He is also the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation Awards.

Another high-profile division, Wolfgang Puck Catering, provides the food for the Annual Governors Ball for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wolfgang is better known internationally than many of the celebrities who he graciously serves !

Another unit, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. franchises casual Wolfgang Puck restaurants, licenses consumer products, is involved in book publishing, television and internet programming, and other licensing and merchandising efforts.

Wolfgang Puck’s most recent book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy – Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life is a personal project for him.
In the words of Chef Wolfgang Puck :

“I never, ever expected to write this book. If you had suggested to me ten years ago, or even five, that my next book would focus on healthy recipes and fitness, I would’ve said you didn’t know me very well.

I have figured out where I can modify ingredients to make a healthier dish. And today I can eat all my favorite foods without overeating anything.

I feel good because of the combination of eating well and exercising I’ve developed. Now I want to help you achieve the same goal, to feel healthy and happy, with plenty of energy to do the things you love to do.”

Scott Brandon of Fireside TavernFireside 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.

Chef Scott’s credits include Oysters in Corona del Mar, Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar, and LinX in Old Towne Orange.

It’s located just South of South Coast Plaza.

The space is inviting and there is an outside patio with lots of shade.

There is a great Happy Hour menu served daily from 3 to 6:00 p.m. and then again from 10 to midnight. Lots of fun & appealing food selections and libations priced at a good value.

“Fireside is an American gastropub, offering a contemporary menu of upscale tavern fare for lunch and dinner. Fireside features a menu of freshly sourced meat, seafood and cheese, along with a bar menu of small plates. The bar serves an array of American wines, craft draft beer, and signature cocktails.”

Chester HastingsCheesemonger (and Chef) Chester Hastings of Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles literally wrote the book on enjoying cheese. His latest title is The Cheesemonger’s Seasons – Recipes for Enjoying Cheese with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables. His first cheese book was the well-reviewed, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen.

The Cheesemonger’s Season contains ninety amazing cheese-centric recipes, from appetizers to desserts, all of them simple, and each one showcasing the absolute best of what the season has to offer.

When Chester started at Joan’s over 12 years ago they carried seven varieties of cheese. Today they stock over 100 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses.

Bill EsparzaThe 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

The Taco in Chief, Bill Esparza (a.k.a. “The Street Gourmet,”) serves it up.

It’s 40 plus taco vendors, the Tequila Tasting Experience, and live Mariachi entertainment.

Bill previews the incredible taco creations of a number of the chefs participating in LA Weekly’s Tacolandia. The best tacos on food trucks, too…

The 2nd Annual Tacolandia (“Where All Your Taco Dreams Come True”) is coming up June 28th at El Pueblo De Los Angeles. The hours are 3 to 7:00 p.m.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Cathy Thomas, food journalist, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Register
Segment Three: Jay Isais, Senior Director, Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Segment Four: Chef Wolfgang Puck
Segment Five: Executive Chef Scott Brandon, Fireside Tavern, Costa Mesa
Segment Six: Chester Hastings, Cheesemonger and Chef, Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Segment Seven: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part One
Segment Eight: Bill Esparza, “The Street Gourmet” & Curator for Tacolandia Part Two

Show 69, April 12, 2014: Owner/Chef Cathy Pavlos, Provenance in Newport Beach

Cathy PavlosChef Cathy Pavlos’ Provenance – The Garden at Eastbluff in Newport Beach (Eastbluff Center) is the most anticipated restaurant opening in the OC this far this year. It’s been an anxious two years in the making…

Chef Cathy’s grandfather was a commercial farmer in Huntington Beach. She grew up eating and cooking only her grandfather’s farm raised produce, fresh fish from the docks in San Pedro, fresh fruits from family orchards in Whittier, and often proteins butchered on the farm. She spent 10-years in the local 4-H club raising horses, goats, lambs and rabbits. Her lamb and rabbits were sold commercially.

Provenance’s Mission Statement – Provenance is a neighborhood restaurant – the kind of restaurant you wish you had in your neighborhood. Our menu, with most items made in house from natural and/or organic products, is of consistently high quality and tailored to a simple as well as sophisticated taste and a moderately high budget. Our concept, anchored by our organic garden, will focus on California Cuisine and outstanding service. We will continue to grow and evolve with our customers and promote a friendly, fair, and creative work environment, while profitably providing unwavering attentive and knowledgeable service.

Provenance is already serving seven days a week. No lunch on Saturday and Sunday Farm Breakfast.

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April 12: Deep End Dining, K-Town Night Market, Provenance OC, Argot Wines, Bruce Kalman, The Shed, It’s It, Cool-A-Coo

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Food blogger Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining
Segment Three: Danny Park, Operations Partner, KTown Night Market, and Yong Kim, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Seoul Sausage Company
Segment Four: Owner/Chef Cathy Pavlos, Provenance in Newport Beach
Segment Five: Justin Harmon, Winemaker, Argot Wine Company, Santa Rosa, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Segment Seven: HeadShedHead Brad Orrison, The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and The Shed Saucery, Ocean Springs, MS
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris on the iconic premium ice cream novelty now back at Dodger Stadium, the Cool-A-Coo

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Thoughtfully written food blogs proving genuinely useful information are seemingly ubiquitous now but they weren’t ten years ago. Happy 10th Anniversary to “Deep End Dining.”

There is a new addition to the booming Asian Night Market scene locally. A warm welcome to the first K-Town Night Market.

The most ambitious restaurant opening in the OC thus far this year is the long-awaited Provenance in Newport Beach. An impressive organic garden wraps around the perimeter of the restaurant’s spacious patio.

We’ll have a visit from a passionate young wine maker in Sonoma County who is creating limited production wines crafted his way with impressive results.

A local chef with substantial cooking credentials has opened a new, more personal restaurant in Pasadena. Chef Jet will provide the specifics.

The most famous barbeque joint in Mississippi has figured out a way to go national. Their popular sauces and marinades are now available in glass bottles at better food stores across the country.

It’s ice cream season. One of the most popular premium ice cream novelty items ever is the iconic It’s It. It’s SoCal cousin is the Cool-A-Coo. We have the scoop on both…

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

Eddie Lin of Deep End DiningEddie Lin is a larger than life food blogger. Fortunately he also knows what he’s writing about.

Ten years ago he created the always provocative Deep End Dining blog to provide a forum for his views. It’s a hit…

He is also Los Angeles Magazine’s Digest blogger.

Eddie is the author of Lonely Planet’s Extreme Cuisine. You’ve seen him on Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Cooking Channel’s Eat Street, and as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.

He’s working on a provocative new documentary about the placenta as a possible vitamin-rich, food source.

Deep End Dining…”Daring. Different. Delicious. There’s high end dining. There’s low end dining. And then there’s everything else in between. We’d like to introduce you to another level – Deep End Dining. We are diners dedicated to seeking and devouring the food uncommon, cuisine exotic and entrees less ordered. Have an open appetite and get ready to plunge into…the Deep End.”

Koreatown Night MarketNight Markets are hot right now in SoCal. It was only a matter of time before a Korean Night Market was organized.

KTown Night Market (a free event) is set for Friday, April 18th (4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.) and Saturday, April 19th (2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.) at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in KoreaTown.

It’s a veritable buffet of great ethnic food including the best food trucks around curated by Seoul Sausage Co. (winners of Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race.”

For the 1st time ever the winners of “Great Food Truck Race” from Seasons 1 to 3 (Grill ‘Em All, The Lime Truck & Seoul Sausage Co.) will all be together selling the food that made them famous nationwide.

“Our vision is for people to come and experience Korean food, Korean culture and Korean Entertainment.” Everyone is welcome!

Yong Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. and Danny Park, Operations Partner for KTown Night Market are our guests.

Cathy PavlosChef Cathy Pavlos’ Provenance – The Garden at Eastbluff in Newport Beach (Eastbluff Center) is the most anticipated restaurant opening in the OC this far this year. It’s been an anxious two years in the making…

Chef Cathy’s grandfather was a commercial farmer in Huntington Beach. She grew up eating and cooking only her grandfather’s farm raised produce, fresh fish from the docks in San Pedro, fresh fruits from family orchards in Whittier, and often proteins butchered on the farm. She spent 10-years in the local 4-H club raising horses, goats, lambs and rabbits. Her lamb and rabbits were sold commercially.

Provenance’s Mission Statement – Provenance is a neighborhood restaurant – the kind of restaurant you wish you had in your neighborhood. Our menu, with most items made in house from natural and/or organic products, is of consistently high quality and tailored to a simple as well as sophisticated taste and a moderately high budget. Our concept, anchored by our organic garden, will focus on California Cuisine and outstanding service. We will continue to grow and evolve with our customers and promote a friendly, fair, and creative work environment, while profitably providing unwavering attentive and knowledgeable service.

Provenance is already serving seven days a week. No lunch on Saturday and Sunday Farm Breakfast.

Justin Harmon of Argot WinesHow does a software engineer (and ex-chemical engineer) from Chicago find his way to Sonoma County and make the transition to becoming a serious winemaker who is respected by his peers? You’ll meet the passionate Justin Harmon and find out! His first home brew was a Cabernet made from a juice concentrate kit while still in Chicago.

He’s coming to Los Angeles on April 16th to showcase his wines @ a pop-up dinner prepared by Chef David Feau (ex-The Royce at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena) in Downtown Los Angeles organized by Learn About Wine.

Bruce Kalman on Union PasadenaBruce Kalman, who was previously the chef at the Churchill and Urbano Pizza Bar, has opened the 50-seat Union in Old Town Pasadena. It’s Kalman’s version of Northern Italian cuisine.

He’s known for making his pastas from scratch.

He’s an alum from the exclusive winner’s circle of Food Network’s “Chopped.”

His much praised polenta is from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll.

On April 13th Union debuts Sunday Family Suppers (Cena di Famiglia.) It’s three courses, including an ample platter of Italian desserts, for $39.

Brand Orrinson of the Shed BBQIf you’re from the South and love barbeque then you know the familiar catchphrase, “Get Fed at the Shed.”

It refers to The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

The Shed was founded in 2002 by (brothers and sister) Brad and Brooke Orrison and their parents. The original shed was 330 square feet and was built by Brad. He was all of 24 and his sister was 19. With success it expanded to 15,000 square feet over the years. The ‘cue has garnered many serious BBQ competition awards. The Shed burned down in 2011 and was quickly rebuilt retaining the quirky charm of the original.

They have been all over Food TV. Guy Fieri “discovered” them for Food Network’s “Diners Drive-Ins & Dives” and they have also been on Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food.” Most recently they even had their own reality series on Food Network.

Their proprietary BBQ Sauces and Marinades have become so popular that they have packaged them in glass bottles for national distribution. They are preservative free, have no MSG, and no added colorings or artificial flavors. This line of their business will eventually be bigger than the BBQ restaurants.

Brad and his crew (including New Orleans Chef Rene Patout) were just here exhibiting (with great flair) at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. You could taste any of their fine sauces on their fabulous tri-tip!

Cool a Coo Ice Cream SandwichesWe’re talking the best in premium ice cream novelties…

In a recent “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila” segment (heard on Friday morning @ 7:50 a.m. on AM 830 KLAA) the guys were discussing their favorites in ballpark eats. Travis brought up the decadent subject of It’s It and Cool-As-Coo’s. Travis became a fan of the It’s It during his college years. For Jet, Cool-A-Coos bring back memories of Dodger Stadium. We’ll explore these rich vanilla ice cream sandwich treats dipped in chocolate and topped on both sides with an oatmeal cookie. Both are made right here in California.

Both have great background stories. Unfortunately only one of them is available to enjoy outside of a Ball Park!

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Food blogger Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining
Segment Three: Danny Park, Operations Partner, KTown Night Market, and Yong Kim, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Seoul Sausage Company
Segment Four: Owner/Chef Cathy Pavlos, Provenance in Newport Beach
Segment Five: Justin Harmon, Winemaker, Argot Wine Company, Santa Rosa, CA
Segment Six: Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, Union Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Segment Seven: HeadShedHead Brad Orrison, The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and The Shed Saucery, Ocean Springs, MS
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris on the iconic premium ice cream novelty now back at Dodger Stadium, the Cool-A-Coo

Show 45, October 26, 2013: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City

Jonathan WaxmanHe’s affectionately known as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of chefs because of his practical, no-nonsense approach to cooking and we’re talking about the Manhattan-based Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in the West Village. You’ve seen him competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” His most recent cookbook is Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics by Jonathan Waxman and Tom Colicchio (Apr 5, 2011.) The roasted chicken recipe as served at Barbuto is a classic.

We have great affection for him in California for his early years with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and as a recognized pioneer of California cuisine.

He’s in Las Vegas for “Life is Beautiful” Festival and was honored Friday night at the kick-off dinner, “Grill and Guitars,” with a menu prepared by celebrity chefs including Aaron Sanchez, Michael Symon and Nancy Silverton.

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October 26: Life is Beautiful Festival from Las Vegas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Founder and Co-Owner of Border Grill Las Vegas
Segment Three: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Segment Four: Oscar Goodman, immediate past Mayor (three terms) of Las Vegas
Segment Five: Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame
Segment Six: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas
Segment Seven: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City
Segment Eight: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas

Life is Beautiful FestivalYou’ve been asking for it so here it is….Our first Las Vegas Special!

Jet is in Las Vegas this Weekend as a participant in the giant “Life Is Beautiful” Festival using an event area encompassing 15-blocks of Downtown Las Vegas. The storied El Cortez Hotel and several popular new restaurants are actually part of the Festival area.

Something like this on the scale that it represents has never really been tried before…Unusually the food and beverage component shares the spotlight with the music.

The biggest names in the culinary world like Tom Colicchio will all be there. Some will be performing cooking demos at the Chefs on Stage area and others serving up their signature dishes in the Culinary Village.

Saturday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. Jet is on the Chefs On Stage East with of Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons.

Jet is also in the Culinary Village with a Chef Jet tasting station. Say hello if you’re in the neighborhood…

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillChef, restaurateur, and food television star, Mary Sue Milliken, really needs no introduction to the show. Her “Two Hot Tamales” series for Food Network which she did with her business partner, Susan Feniger, was one of the early hit series for the network. More recently she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

One of the most successful Border Grills is located in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Hotel on The Strip.

Mary Sue and Susan are on the Chef on Stage East at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday at Life is Beautiful.

Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Group NevadaCraft beer, premium wines, and fine spirits are well represented at Life is Beautiful. In fact the center of the spirited action will be at the Alchemy Gardens and the related Flight Tastings area (6th St. & Ogden Ave.) at the Festival. The Gardens will showcase the beverages of 18 distinguished craft breweries, 18 quality wineries, and 18 spirits entities.

Craft Beer and Spirits Specialist Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Nevada is with us to provide all the thirst-quenching details. He’s a Cicerone (certified beer specialist) and Certified Specialist of Spirits.

Oscars Goodman former mayor of Las VegasOscar Goodman is the immediate past Mayor of Las Vegas. During his three terms as Mayor he liked to refer to himself as the “Happiest Mayor in the World.” He proudly drinks at least one gin martini a day and on official business he used to travel with two gorgeous Las Vegas Showgirls with one on each arm. His wife, Carolyn, the current Mayor approves.

Oscar is with us to discuss his leadership role in reawaking Downtown Las Vegas, his new autobiography, and his upscale steakhouse at The Plaza in Downtown.

When it comes to big city Mayors in the USA Mr. Goodman is surely a colorful original. Mayor Goodman current serves as the official Goodwill Ambassador for Las Vegas.

Jet Tila and Penn JilletteIn the world of stage magicians there is no enduring act quite like Penn & Teller. Las Vegas is the ideal base for these two performing vets. Their home, since 2003, is at The Rio just off The Strip.

He’s also a musician. Penn plays the upright bass.

What the general public doesn’t know is that Penn Jillette is an accomplished home cook. Jet has been cooking with him recently and Penn will be our very special guest.

Elizabeth Blau of Blau and AssociatesElizabeth Blau shattered the glass ceiling with female food & beverage executives in Las Vegas some 15 years ago working with Steve Wynn at The Bellagio recruiting high profile celebrity chefs to headline the restaurants there. It created the much-copied template for the future of big deal restaurants on The Strip.

Currently she is the Founder and CEO of Blau and Associates with her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla. They provide food service consulting at the top level for highly discriminating, and demanding, clients.

Their personal restaurant projects in Las Vegas include Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Honey Salt in Summerlin for the locals, and the newly opened Buddy V’s Ristorante (with TLC’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Vaslastro) located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian with a western facing view of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Jonathan WaxmanHe’s affectionately known as the Obi Wan Kanobi of chefs because of his practical, no-nonsense approach to cooking and we’re talking about the Manhattan-based Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in the West Village. You’ve seen him competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” His most recent cookbook is Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics by Jonathan Waxman and Tom Colicchio (Apr 5, 2011.) The roasted chicken recipe as served at Barbuto is a classic.

We have great affection for him in California for his early years with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and as a recognized pioneer of California cuisine.

He’s in Las Vegas for “Life is Beautiful” Festival and will be honored Friday night at the kick-off dinner, “Grill and Guitars,” with a menu prepared by celebrity chefs.

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasAn acclaimed former New York chef, know as a seafood master, has really taken to living in Las Vegas. We’re talking about Chef Rick Moonen.

His latest creation is Rx Boiler Room in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place (on the upper level.) The decor is over the top but our Las Vegas food expert, Brock Radke, Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, recommends the menu. Highlights include bacon-wrapped pork belly and “fish tacos” which are actually kampachi tartare presented in crunchy/crisp taro root shells. There is a serious cocktail program at Rx.

Chef Rick will also chat about what he’s doing on both Saturday and Sunday at “Life is Beautiful.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Founder and Co-Owner of Border Grill Las Vegas
Segment Three: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Segment Four: Oscar Goodman, immediate past Mayor (three terms) of Las Vegas
Segment Five: Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame
Segment Six: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas
Segment Seven: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City
Segment Eight: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas