Show 201, December 10, 2016: Chef Scott Pajak, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

Scott PajakScott Pajak is the Chef de Cuisine at the high volume Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. It sets the standard for Sports Bars in Sin City. He’s been with Emeril Lagasse since 2002 and was promoted to his current position in May of 2011.

Growing up in Lancaster, NY, Scott Pajak could often be found in the kitchen – cooking chicken noodle soup and sauces with his grandparents, or helping his dad tend the grill and savoring the smoky aroma of barbecue.

While studying at UNLV, he worked in numerous restaurants around Las Vegas, including Planet Hollywood, New York New York Casino and TPC Country Club, where he prepared meals for participants on the PGA Tour.

In 2002, Pajak entered the kitchen at Emeril Lagasse’s seafood eatery Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House as a line cook. Over the next 9 years, he would work in nearly every position in Lagasse’s kitchen, from saucier to butcher, eventually rising to the post of sous chef. He helped write the restaurant’s daily menus and showed off his creativity as he cooked for guests at the chef’s kitchen table.

For Monday Night Football Chef Scott adds nightly specials creatively themed to the cities of the teams playing. For “Big Game” Sunday viewing Chef Scott is featuring a Tomahawk Bone-In 32 oz. Ribeye with Mashed Potatoes. The guest can kick it up with the addition of Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions, Sauteed Lump Crabmeat, Seared Foie Gras, Sauteed Lobster Meat or Alaskan Mini Crab Legs.

Chef Scott also has appealing specials for Christmas Eve & Day 2016 as well for New Year’s Eve.

Bring on the kicked-up wings and we’ll talk hearty tailgate food (and more) with Chef Scott.

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Show 180, July 16, 2016: Chef Eric Samaniego, Chef de Cuisine, Michael’s On Naples, Long Beach

Eric SamaniegoChef Eric Samaniego (Bravo TV’s “Best New Restaurant“), formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, has joined Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach as the award-winning restaurant’s chef de cuisine.

In addition to changes in the kitchen, Michael’s on Naples is experiencing an aesthetic transformation as well. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace has been under construction as it undergoes a major expansion and renovation. The Rooftop (opens July 20th) will now have its own kitchen along with a separate menu featuring more casual fare and shareable plates.

The main floor’s menu will focus on the nightly changing Chef’s Tasting Menu and the five-course Pasta Tasting. The Michael’s on Naples tradition of suggesting inspired wine and food pairings will continue.

Chef Samaniego, who began his career working for the late Charlie Trotter in Chicago, joined Michael’s On Naples in April working under the tutelage of former Corporate Executive Chef David Coleman. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Samaniego is a native of Southern California with his formative years spent in the Central Valley. His culinary credits include a seven-year stint with David Myers working at the high profile Sona and Comme Ca (both now closed) in Los Angeles.

Chef Eric Samaniego joins us.

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Show 156, January 23, 2016: Executive Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Partner, Otium, Downtown Los Angeles

Timothy HollingsworthShortly after leaving his post as Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry in 2013, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth moved to Los Angeles and opened Barrel & Ashes in Studio City in 2014. It’s an updated take on traditional BBQ that pays homage to the food of Hollingsworth’s youth growing up in Texas.

Late last month he debuted his first solo project, Otium. Located on Grand Ave. adjacent to The Broad – L.A.’s New Contemporary Art Museum in the Historic Bunker Hill neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, Otium strips away the formalities of fine dining while focusing on quality food and service. Chef Tim is our guest.

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s 13- year history in Napa Valley, blended with his present roots as an Angeleno living in downtown Los Angeles, sets the stage for an environment of sophisticated rusticity with highly eclectic, vibrant, and seasonal flavors.

While working at The French Laundry under Chef Thomas Keller in 2008, Hollingsworth competed in the Bocuse d’Or USA, where he was awarded the opportunity to represent the United States at the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest—the biennial global cooking competition first envisioned in 1987 by revered French chef Paul Bocuse.

Hollingsworth subsequently completed a rigorous training process, during which he worked with some of the industry’s most influential figures. In early 2009, Hollingsworth traveled to Lyon, France to compete in the prestigious event, where he placed sixth out of 24 prominent chef teams from around the world.

In his current role and first solo project at Otium, he looks to be a mentor to the next generation of aspiring chefs. Hollingsworth has been awarded Rising Star Chef Award from The San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award presented by the James Beard Foundation.

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Show 151, December 19, 2015: Scott Pajack, Chef de Cuisine, Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo, Las Vegas

Scott PajakThis show originated from Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. The chef de cuisine here is Scott Pajak. We visit with Chef Scott and learn why this isn’t you average sports bar and is actually a preferred destination for discerning Las Vegas locals as well as visitors. It’s consistently rated as the Number 1 Sports Bar in Vegas.

“Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo kicks off a new breed of sports bar – this sports book, restaurant and entertainment club has enough to distract even the most committed fan.

Chef, sports enthusiast and tailgating-pro Emeril Lagasse has lowered the lights and turned up the heat with crave-worthy kicked up game-day fare. Experience a whole new take on tailgating, with freely flowing brews on tap, refreshing cocktails, hi-def action on over 100 screens, and couches that just won’t let you go.

Watch the most exciting games and biggest sporting events at Lagasse’s Stadium, the ultimate ages 21 and over sports bar and sports book in Las Vegas.”

Let’s talk about the food…Think a chicken sandwich is kind of pedestrian? Not to Chef Scott at Lagasse’s Stadium. Here it’s a Grilled Marinated Free Range Chicken Sandwich. It’s a tender chicken breast with lettuce, tomato and Applewood smoked bacon with black pepper mayo and served on griddled ciabatta bread.

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Show 107, January 24, 2015: Chefs Rory Herrmann and Timothy Hollingsworth of Sprout L.A.

Rory HerrmannChef Rory Herrmann (the opening chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills) is the Director of Culinary for the Sprout L.A. restaurant group (Properties include Republique, Bestia, and the newly launched Barrel & Ashes.) Along with Santa Anita Park they have inaugurated an exclusive Saturday Guest Chef Series in the Chandelier Room there. This is a ticketed event.

The next date is today, Saturday, Jan. 24th from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m. The guest chefs for this Saturday are Rory Herrmann and Timothy Hollingworth, the former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry. On the extensive menu is the Raw Bar with oysters, sweet gulf shrimp and wild sea bass ceviche as well as barbecue specialties from Barrel & Ashes. The craft cocktails for the afternoon are by noted mixologist Julian Cox.

The next Guest Chef Series afternoon is Saturday, February 7th from Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Chef Herrmann and Chef Timothy Hollingsworth are live from Santa Anita with the scrumptious details.

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Show 102, December 20, 2014: Chef Brent Omeste, CUCINA Enoteca, Newport Beach

Brent OmesteCUCINA Enoteca, a California-inspired Italian kitchen and wine shop, opened earlier in the year in 8,300 square feet in Fashion Island. It’s a venture of Tracy Borkum’s San Diego-based Urban Kitchen Group. The very popular sister restaurant is located in the Irvine Spectrum.

Leading the day-to-day kitchen operations in Newport Beach as Chef de Cuisine is Orange County native Brent Omeste, a rising culinary talent. The menu is a California spin on rustic Italian fare.

Earlier in his cooking career Omeste was mentored by the well-known Director of the Culinary Arts program at Orange Coast College, Chef Bill Barber (now retired.) He’s cooked for Alessandro Pirozzi, Charlie Palmer, and Amar Santana.

On the menu are variations of luxurious pastas, antipasti, creative pizzas and plates small and large, along with fresh crudos and Chef’s whim seasonal specials.

The diverse wine program features more than 250 familiar names, and rare, small-batch varietals for guests to purchase at a retail price, either to enjoy with their meal for a minimal corkage fee or to take home.

Chef Brent Omeste is our guest.

 

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Show 92, October 11, 2014: Chef Holly Jivin, The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Holly JivinChef Holly Jivin of The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills has just been promoted to Chef de Cuisine. She has been part of The Bazaar’s culinary team since the restaurant’s opening in 2008.

Chef Holly also oversees SAAM, the intimate (and very exclusive) chef’s tasting room located within The Bazaar. SAAM seats twenty guests. It’s available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. The changing tasting menus are typically 16 to 20 courses. An exceptional white truffle dinner series will be on the menu from October 23rd to November 22nd.

Chef Michael Voltaggio (Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Ink and Ink Sack) originally hired Chef Holly before he moved on to establishing his own restaurants.

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The Makings of a Successful Chef

What are the attributes of a successful chef? What is the difference between an executive chef and a chef de cuisine?

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Show 85, August 23, 2014: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisGuest Host Kedric Francis of The Orange County Register Magazine & Coast Orange County Magazine and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The always debonair Kedric Francis, our dashing man about Orange County, is the Executive Editor of both publications.

Also joining us at 10:45 a.m. is Travis Rodgers of the “Travis Rogers Show” heard weekday mornings on AM 830 KLAA from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Travis’ loyal fans know his second most favorite subject is food! He’s serious about eats. “The Travis Rodgers Show” is SoCal’s only live and local sports morning show.

Arriving on August 29th and continuing through August 31st is the Los Angeles Times The Taste at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and Chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted’s are participants and our very special guests.

Kedric Francis of the Orange County Register Magazine and Coast Orange County Magazine has been out and about exploring the latest finds in the OC. He was at the very exclusive pre-opening preview lunch for the eagerly anticipated Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in South Coast Plaza on August 15th and will share some of his observations.

Executive Chef Michael Rossi (ex-Napa Rose) has been at the helm of The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon since it’s opening day in early 2012. He was actually on the ambitious project over a year testing recipes before the first guests were greeted. The Ranch (unusually) has its own farm located on the Edwards Ranch Estates in Orange which provides a lot of the fresh fruits and vegetables used at the highly regarded and much acclaimed restaurant. It’s a chef’s dream to have these resources…

Freddy Vargas is the forward-thinking executive chef of the high profile Scarpetta located in the Montage Beverly Hills across a pocket park from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills. This is one of Celebrity Chef Scott Conants’s restaurant properties. At lunch on Weekdays he’s operating a to-go Paninoteca. Think gourmet Italian sandwiches like a Porchetta. It’s spiced pork belly, broccoli rabe pesto and a fried hen egg on house-baked bread.

Brad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. Where does a restaurant critic eat when he’s not reviewing? Those are the spots we all want to go…Brad shares with us some of his favorites in both Orange County and Los Angeles. The origin of this discussion was a recent article Brad wrote for the Orange County Register Magazine.

The show was live on Saturday morning from The Valley View Casino. The fine dining restaurant there is Black & Blue – The Place For Steak. We’ll meet Chef de Cuisine Michael Knowles.He started cooking at age 14! He has elevated Black & Blue to an award-winning California steakhouse that’s true destination dining for San Diego residents.

Travis Rodgers is the easy-going Iron Man of personalities on AM 830 KLAA. Every weekday morning he’s on AM 830 KLAA talking sports for four hours beginning at 6:00 a.m. After he’s finished at 10:00 a.m. on AM 830 he continues his national show for Yahoo Sports Radio for another hour until 11:00 a.m. That’s five hours on Weekdays as the solo host.

Travis’ second favorite subject is good food. Did we say Mexican? The discussion with Travis is on assorted cravable eats.

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

 

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Show 85, August 23, 2014: Chef Michael Knowles, Black & Blue Steakhouse, Valley View Casino

Michael Knowles of Black and Blue SteakhouseThe show was live on Saturday morning from The Valley View Casino. The fine dining restaurant there is Black & Blue – The Place For Steak.

We met Chef de Cuisine Michael Knowles.He started cooking at age 14! Chef Michael cooked at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio in San Francisco in the 90s. He has elevated Black & Blue to an award-winning California steakhouse that’s true destination dining for discerning San Diego residents.

All of his pastas are made in-house along with some of the cheese, including the mozzarella. There is a fresh pasta selection each night.

He uses as many local suppliers as possible. His beef purveyor is San Diego’s Brandt Beef. Seafood is from family-owned Santa Monica Seafood (celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year.) Local produce comes from Crows Pass Farm in Temecula and the legendary Chino Farms in addition to other small farmers.

Chef Michael’s “Signature Indulgence” on the Black & Blue menu is “The Ultimate Surf & Turf” for a reasonable $75.00. That’s a meal…It’s also part of a betting challenge where you might get your dinner for free or at a reduced price. It’s interactive and all in good fun…

How about Lobster Creamed Spinach as a premium side with lots of tender bites of lobster?

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