Show 46, November 2, 2013: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”

Merrin Mae FuentebellaChef Merrin-Mae is a cheftestant on the first season of Food Network’s high pressure “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Her episode is entitled “Kiss My Grits” and was first aired on October 6th.

The level of competition was particularly intense and the sabotages were devilish. Chef Merrin-Mae made us proud in SoCal (she is a local) and she won the episode. One of the other cheftestants was a “Chopped” winner and was eliminated after the first round!

She currently works at Alma with executive chef Ari Taymor. When she did the show she was part of the culinary team at Sotto.

Play

November 3: Barbara Fairchild, Merrin-Mae Fuentebella, Jason Kessler, Anita Lau, Elizabeth Whitt, Josiah Citrin, Matt Bencivenga

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company

Jet Tila with Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons at Life is Beautiful Festival in Las VegasThanks to all of our loyal & enthusiastic listeners who were part of the audience for Jet’s Saturday afternoon cooking demo with Ben McKee of The Imagine Dragons at the Life Is Beautiful food and music festival in Downtown Las Vegas. It was standing room only for the demo in the Chefs On Stage East tent.

Jet and Andy preview the show. We have everything from a snapshot on where to dine now in New York to what it takes to prepare and serve gourmet food to the demanding VIPs at the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita. Also we’ll get the behind-the-scenes with a winning chef from Food Network’s new hit series “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Jet is one of the regular judges for the first season.

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild is a respected food journalist, cookbook author, consultant, and educator. She is best known to us as the long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine when they were based in Los Angeles.

This summer she taught a course in the Arthur L. Canter Journalism Institute at the prestigious New York University. Barbara tells us all about that as well as provides us with some great Manhattan dining suggestions ranging from a deli find to fine dining Italian and a comfortable celebrity chef restaurant that’s really worth going to.

Merrin Mae FuentebellaChef Merrin-Mae is a cheftestant on the first season of Food Network’s high pressure “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Her episode is entitled “Kiss My Grits” and was first aired on October 6th.

The level of competition was particularly intense and the sabotages were devilish. Chef Merrin-Mae made us proud in SoCal (she is a local) and she won the episode. One of the other cheftestants was a “Chopped” winner and was eliminated after the first round!

She currently works at Alma with executive chef Ari Taymor. When she did the show she was part of the culinary team at Sotto.

The latest fad diet that is getting a lot of attention is the Paleo Diet (also known as the caveman diet.)

Jason Kessler of Food RepublicFood journalist Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit was actually on the diet for 40 days and shares his experience with us. Jason’s observation is that because the diet is so restrictive you can drop some weight rather quickly. The severely limiting factor is that it gets monotonous rather fast.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

anita-lauAnita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a nominee for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Elizabeth WhittFeeling ambitious in the kitchen…? Time to get a running start on holiday cooking and entertaining. Our superstar chef instructor, Elizabeth Whitt, of www.ChefElizabeth.com is with us again to get those holiday preparations pointed in the right direction with relative ease.

Pumpkin is in this year. Chef Elizabeth has both a savory and sweet recipe to add to your holiday collection. First up is an incredible Pumpkin Risotto with a fresh baking pumpkin or butternut squash. For dessert there is a not too sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yum….!

When Chef Jet has his own culinary questions he turns Le Cordon Bleu, Paris-trained to Chef Elizabeth. She has a series of popular holiday classes coming up that always sell out early. On November 7th she has “Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes” from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Holiday Pies and Desserts” the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 5th its her most popular class, “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All classes are at the Cypress Community Center in Cypress.

Josiah CitrinFifteen years ago when fine-dining restaurants located outside of the protective umbrella of luxury hotels were at a low ebb in Los Angeles Chef Josiah Citrin sold his stake in a very popular Santa Monica dinner house and went out on his own to open a ultra-luxe, destination, freestanding, fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant with California accents. That was the start of Melisse. All these years later it still impresses.

Josiah is a new member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s prestigious Culinary Council. On November 10th Josiah and five other culinary superstars will join forces to cook an extraordinary six course repast at Melisse in Santa Monica to raise funds for The Foundation. Two different levels of wine-pairings are available for a supplement.

The esteemed group of chefs includes Gavin Kaysen, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach, and Toronto. He has previously represented the USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. For reservations please call 310.395.0881.

The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, established in 2008, is a non-profit organization led by a Board of Directors of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse (Paul’s son.) The Foundation is devoted to recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American chefs who compete on behalf of the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France every two years. Think of it as the Olympics of the culinary world…

The 2013 Breeder’s Cup, horse racing’s premier international event, returns to storied Santa Anita Park on November 1st and 2nd.

Matt BencivengaWolfgang Puck Catering (they cater the annual Governors Ball for The Oscars) has been selected to serve it’s fine-dining, seasonal cuisine to some 5,000 demanding VIP attendees. Wolfgang Puck Catering’s cuisine will be served in the Trackside Marquee, Frontrunner, Sierra Vista, Trophy Lounge and the Chandelier Room.

Founding Executive Chef and Partner (of Wolfgang Puck Catering) Matt Bencivenga joins us to talk about the challenges of maintaining Spago quality at large events. It takes a lot of skill, planning, and an army of chefs.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company

March 30: Scott Slater, Graham Elliot, Brooke Williamson, Barbara Fairchild

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brad Lyons and Erika DiProfio of Slater’s 50/50
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Graham Elliot
Segment Four: Chef Brooke Williamson of The Tripel in Playa del Rey and Hudson House in Redondo Beach
Segment Five: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time editor of Bon Appetit magazine. Educator, speaker and hospitality industry consultant Part One
Segment Six: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time editor of Bon Appetit magazine. Educator, speaker and hospitality industry consultant Part Two

Easter and Passover greetings to all.

It’s a tasty buffet this week. We’re going from big juicy burgers and craft beer to dining with one of Chicago’s best celebrity chefs…From there it’s a conversation with our own, delightful, local “Top Chef” cheftestant. Finally it’s a trip to Venice and Rome for a sampling of their culinary delights!

Jet has been in Dallas all week so he’ll graciously share some of his dining adventures. Also, a bit of area restaurant news to report.

Scott Slater of Slater's 50/50We’re all on the quest for a great burger. So was Scott Slater when he teamed up with college buddy and chef Brad Lyons to launch the first Slater’s 50/50 in Anaheim Hills in 2009. Bacon is the key…

An impressive selection of craft beer (always changing) on tap is also a popular attraction. Since the success of Anaheim Hills busy locations have been added in Huntington Beach, San Diego, Pasadena and, most recently, Lake Forest.

On April 6th in Lake Forest Slater’s 50/50 will present the 1st Backyard Brewfest. It’s an outdoor tasting event with 15 different breweries and a sampling of Slater’s 50/50 most popular menu items. It’s a benefit for the Pediatric Children’s Research Foundation.

Graham ElliotCelebrity Chef Graham Elliot hails from Chicagoland where he has graham elliott, a well-known, Two-Star Michelin ranked restaurant. He’s perhaps more familiar to Angelenos as the sympathetic judge on Fox TV’s “MasterChef” series now in production on their 4th season.

On April 8th and 9th Chef Graham will be at W. Third Street’s Son of a Gun in Los Angeles cooking a 5-course tasting menu paired with regional wines selected by graham elliott sommelier, Jamie Kluz. Joining Chef Elliott in the kitchen will be Sous Chef John Slack and Director of Operations/Corporate Chef Merlin Verrier.

Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and TripelBrooke Williamson, the youthful co-owner of Hudson House in Redondo Beach and The Tripel in Playa del Rey represented Southern California masterfully in the just-concluded Season 10 of Bravo’s “Top Chef”. Brooke will talk to us about the two-part Season Finale which was shot in front of a live audience!

Chef Brooke has just been added to “Top Chef: The Cruise” aboard the Celebrity Constellation sailing from Miami with stops in Key West and Cozumel before returning to Miami. Those dates are April 11th to 15th.

Barbara FairchildOur International Travel Correspondent, Barbara Fairchild (former editor of Bon Appetit magazine and current hospitality consultant, teacher, speaker, and journalist), has just returned from Venice and Rome.

Barbara is going to reveal the dining highlights of her culinary journey in Rome and Venice. It’s perhaps the next best thing to actually having been there…

Barbara is on Facebook and Twitter.

Podcasts

Segment One: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brad Lyons and Erika DiProfio of Slater’s 50/50
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Graham Elliot
Segment Four: Chef Brooke Williamson of The Tripel in Playa del Rey and Hudson House in Redondo Beach
Segment Five: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time editor of Bon Appetit magazine. Educator, speaker and hospitality industry consultant Part One
Segment Six: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time editor of Bon Appetit magazine. Educator, speaker and hospitality industry consultant Part Two

February 16: Marcus Samuelsson, Dean McDermott, Chick Marshall, Nyesha Arrington, Greg Daniels, Brian Howard

Podcasts

Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

We’re honored to have one of the food world’s most prominent celebrity chefs with us to talk about an upcoming visit to Los Angeles. We’ll also be catching up with the results of a Food Network competition series and talking with an important Orange County chef as well as a Los Angeles celebrity chef with new ventures. Another feature is saying good-bye to an OC fine dining institution.

Dean McDermottWhen we left him six weeks ago, actor, reality TV star, and “Gourmet Dad,” Dean McDermott, was competing for “Team Guy” on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy (Fieri) – Celebrity Cook-Off.”

The finale of “Rachael vs. Guy” on February 10th pitted singer and TV host Carnie Wilson of Team Rachael against Dean McDermott of Team Guy. The winner is to be awarded $50,000 for their charity of choice.

Dean joins us to share the results of the finale and what’s next for him.

Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox in AnaheimChick Marshall is one of the long-time, co-owners of the highly regarded OC fine dining institution, Mr. Stox, located near Angel Stadium. His partners are his brother, Ron, and Ron’s wife, Debbie. One of their trademarks is an extensive wine cellar of some 15,000 bottles, one of the largest in Orange County.

Mr. Stox launched in 1968 and the Marshall’s acquired the restaurant in 1977. Many of their loyal employees have been with them more than 20 years.

The Marshalls have decided to retire and March 15, 2013 will be the last dinner service for Mr. Stox. It’s a bittersweet transition for the regulars. Fortunately the Marshalls own their land which has been sold for residential and commercial development (combined with adjacent parcels.)

Marcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson has cooked around the world but has settled into Harlem, New York as his home base. He owns the hugely successful Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club there. Marcus has prepared State Dinners for President Obama as well as is the recipient of many prestigious culinary awards. Last year his very revealing autobiography, Yes, Chef, was published which should be required reading for every aspiring culinarian.

Marcus proudly serves on the National Board of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) which provides foodservice training and career opportunities for underserved youth. Every year hundreds of thousands of dollars in culinary scholarships are awarded to deserving high school graduates in key cities across the USA to pursue careers in the culinary arts.

On Tuesday evening, February 26th Marcus Samuelsson will be joining forces with Chef Govind Armstrong to present “A Taste of Harlem” at Govind’s restaurant, Post & Beam, located in Baldwin Hills. The menu is reimagined soul classics. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to C-CAP Los Angeles.

Tickets are $140 per guest and the evening is very close to capacity.

For reservations : atasteofharlem.brownpapertickets.com

Nyesha Arrington of WilshireIn 2011 Nyesha Arrington (mentored by Melisse’s Josiah Citrin) became the executive chef of the (already established) The Wilshire in Santa Monica. Unusually, she won the coveted position in an intense cook-off on the first season of Food Network’s “Chef Hunter”.

She was also a popular cheftestant on Bravo’sTop Chef: Texas.”

The food has never been better at The Wilshire and Chef Arrington is a big supporter of the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubGreg Daniels is the well respected executive chef for the busy Haven Gastropubs in Orange and Old Pasadena. It’s innovative pub-grub fare that’s elevated. They feature a great beer list and now brew their own proprietary line of seasonal craft beers.

An Orange County craft brewer of note established & operated a well-stocked gourmet specialty food shop directly across the street from the original Haven Gastropub in Orange. They recently decided they just didn’t have the time available to properly maintain (the brewery is expanding) it so it was going to close. Haven Gastropub came to the rescue and their revamped food emporium, Provisions, will now be supervised by Chef Daniels. Happy ending for all…

Comme Ca is well-known, highly successful French bistro in West Hollywood so it was no surprise when owner/chef David Myers opened a branch in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

What is very surprising is that instead of bringing in a chef de cuisine to simply execute David’s established recipes he recruited a young executive chef with imagination who has expanded the concept with his own creations for Las Vegas. He has an unusual amount of creative freedom in the kitchen.

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasExecutive Chef Brian Howard will join us to talk about the freedom he has been given and why this has made the spot the most highly regarded French bistro in Las Vegas.

Great specialty cocktails, too.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dean McDermott, Actor, “The Gourmet Dad, and contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off”
Segment Two: Chick Marshall of Mr. Stox Restaurant, Anaheim
Segment Three: Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Author of Yes, Chef, his biography
Segment Four: Nyesha Arrrington the Executive Chef of The Wilshire in Santa Monica
Segment Five: Greg Daniels – Executive Chef & Partner of Haven Gastropub in Orange and Old Pasadena
Segment Six: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Show 6: November 17, 2012: Marcel Vigneron of “Top Chef” & “Next Iron Chef: Redemption” & Mixologist Devon Espinosa of Hollywood’s Pour Vous

Marcel (a CIA graduate) was the executive sous chef at Jose Andres’ acclaimed Bazaar on Restaurant Row in Los Angeles when he was cast on “Top Chef.” He was the cheftestant that you loved to hate.

Marcel remains in Los Angeles and runs the very busy catering enterprise, Modern Global Tasting.

His colleague, Mixologist Devon Espinoza, is also a CIA graduate. Devon is a C-CAP alum. Prior to Pour Vous Devon debuted the cocktail program for Chef Michael Voltaggio’s ink.

Marcel and Devon teamed up for “Getting Out Just Desserts” to create an incredible a la minute fresh coconut ice cream using liquid nitrogen as the freezing mechanism. What a show-stopper and perfect for Hollywood!

Play

November 17: Getting Our Just Desserts

Podcasts

Segment One: Claude Brown– President of the Art Institute of California – Los Angeles
Segment Two: Susan Robbins, President of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)
Segment Three: Chef Caroline Mi Li Artiss of “Chef Race : U.K. vs. U.S.”

Segment Four: Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Segment Five: Marcel Vigneron of “Top Chef” & “Next Iron Chef :Redemption” & Mixologist Devon Espinosa of Hollywood’s Pour Vous
Segment Six: Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes West and Cakemix. Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes”

It’s our sweetest show of the year as we broadcast live from the incredible “Getting Out Just Desserts” Benefit at The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles’ Santa Monica campus.

The Art Institute of California has generously opened up their campus to host this dazzling array of celebrity pastry chefs. Jet will chat with Claude Brown, the President of this campus about their culinary arts program.

Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is the beneficiary of this event. This dessert tasting raises badly needed funds for their scholarship fund benefiting underserved Los Angeles area senior high school students who have demonstrated the talent and motivation necessary for a culinary career. C-CAP’s New York-based President, Susan Robbins, will explain the history of C-CAP and their important mission.

Caroline Mi Li ArtissHave you been following the new BBC America original series, “Chef Race : U.K. vs. U.S.”? The level of competition and intrigue is intense. The series stated right here in Santa Monica. London’s Caroline Mi Li Artiss, a chef competitor on the series, will be with us to talk about “Chef Race” and her new affection for the USA! Caroline is a big celebrity on You Tube in the UK.

Sherry YardTalk about star power. Next up is Sherry Yard and Donald Wressell. Sherry is Wolfgang Puck’s executive pastry chef and she does the incredible desserts for the Oscars every year. She is also the author of two best-selling cookbooks on desserts and pastries. Donald Wressel is one of the foremost chocolatiers in the U.S. He’s executive chef for Guittard Chocolate based in Northern California and teaches pastry chefs in the fine art of chocolate dessert making.

Marcel VigneronHe was the cheftestant you just loved to hate on “Top Chef: Las Vegas” but it turns out Marcel Vigneron is not really a heavy. He joins us to talk about “Next Iron Chef: Redemption” and update us on what he’s doing in Los Angeles with Modern Global Tasting, his catering company. Marcel is joined by his colleague, Devon Espinosa, who is a master mixologist at Pour Vous in Hollywood and was previously with Chef Michael Voltaggio at ink.

Duff GoldmanFood Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” Duff Goldman, brings down the curtain on the show. Duff will talk about his Charm City Cakes West operation here as well as his cake decorating classes.

Eat Sweet and Do Good !

Podcasts

Segment One: Claude Brown– President of the Art Institute of California – Los Angeles
Segment Two: Susan Robbins, President of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)
Segment Three: Chef Caroline Mi Li Artiss of “Chef Race : U.K. vs. U.S.”

Segment Four: Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Segment Five: Marcel Vigneron of “Top Chef” & “Next Iron Chef :Redemption” & Mixologist Devon Espinosa of Hollywood’s Pour Vous
Segment Six: Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes West and Cakemix. Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes”