Show 126, June 13, 2015: Executive Chef & Partner Jason Neroni, Catch & Release

jason-neroniCatch & Release, newly opened in Marina del Rey in the previous Paiche space, is an ode to New England seafood with California inspiration from Chef/Partner Jason Neroni (exSuperba Snack Bar in Venice.) It’s a partnership with restaurateur Bill Chait’s Sprout L.A.

Chef Neroni’s memories of Maine summers and precious time bonding over food with family led to the conception of Catch & Release. Neroni has honed his culinary craft in kitchens all over the world, and these experiences are evidenced by the international influences on the menu. The range is from French bouillabaisse to Spanish paella. Catch & Release, while finding its providence in Maine, retains the California sensibility for which Neroni has become known, serving seasonal seafood and vegetables, whenever possible, from local and sustainable sources.

As a 16-year-old kid from Orange County, Neroni got a job working in Disneyland’s Club 33. There he discovered a love of, and aptitude for, the kitchen that would set him apart. His newfound interest and abilities took him north to Chez Panisse, where he worked the line for a year and began his career-long reverence for responsibly sourced ingredients.

Neroni’s next project with Sprout L.A. is a reimagining and refreshening of The Rose Café in Venice. It will be known simply as “The Rose.”

He’s our guest.

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Show 95, November 1, 2014: Chef Ben Ford

Chef Ben Ford at the KLAA StudiosChef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking credentials working at some of the country’s most established restaurants including the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He now oversees a growing collection of Ford’s Filling Station restaurants. The original Culver City restaurant will soon relocate to the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles and there is a branch at LAX.

In 2012 he won the prestigious Cochon 555 – L.A. top award for snout-to-tail cooking with dishes like pork belly Benedict with soft poached egg, Fresno chili and bacon hollandaise.

His impressive cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots, and lots, of people together to enjoy sumptuous feasts. Tapping into his childhood outdoor feasting memories, the book features step-by-step illustrated instructions for nine original menus with meals like a box-roasted spring lamb for 40, and a Cedar-planked Wild Sturgeon for 40 to 50 hungry guests.

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Show 95, November 1, 2014: Chef Ben Ford Continues…

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationWe resume our conversation with Chef Ben Ford.

The new Ford’s Filling Station at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles debuts on Wednesday, December 3rd. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, and weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The menu is 100 per cent Chef Ben’s design.

They also will be operating two bars there.

Ben then chats about Alan Chadwick and his influence on Ben’s cooking. Alan was the father of biodynamic and organic farming in North America and was a tremendous influence on a generation of chefs including Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame. Chef Ben named his first restaurant “Chadwick” (located on S. Beverly Dr., in Beverly Hills) in his honor.

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Show 50, November 30, 2013: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern

Suzanne GoinChef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin is true culinary royalty in Los Angeles. She has just published her second cookbook, the A.O.C. Cookbook. It was a two year process as she actually does the writing.

Suzanne, a Los Angeles native, is the recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef: California (2006) and is a multiple past nominee. She worked for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse earlier in her career. Closer to home her final position at Campanile (now closed) in Hollywood (before going out on her own) was as executive chef.

Suzanne partnered with sommelier, Caroline Styne, to open Lucques in West Hollywood in 1998. That was followed by A.O.C. in 2002. Next was Tavern and The Larder in Brentwood. The President has dined at Tavern. The newest Larder is The Larder on Burton Way on the ground floor of the luxury apartment building from the developer of The Grove.

A new Larder is soon to open in January at The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

A goal of the new cookbook is to make vegetables delicious and, in our opinion, Suzanne handily succeeds. A.O.C., a personal favorite of Chef Jet’s, is all about what’s fresh right now. That’s Suzanne’s daily inspiration.

Suzanne is also influenced by the flavors of Mexico and India.

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November 30, Suzanne Goin, Griffin Hammond, Robert Wemischner, Pascal Olhats, Gavin Kaysen, David LeFevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part Two
Segment Four: Griffin Hammond, of “Sriracha – a documentary by Griffin Hammond.”
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Robert Wemischner of L.A. Trade-Tech College
Segment Six: Pascal Olhats, owner/chef of Pascal Epicerie, Brasserie Pascal, and Café Jardin
Segment Seven: Gavin Kaysen, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Café Boulud
Segment Eight: David LeFevre, Executive Chef & Partner of MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite

We hope you’re all enjoying the extended Thanksgiving Weekend. Remember to give us a listen along the way on Saturday morning…

As we complete our 14th month on the air with the “SoCal Restaurant Show” with Jet Tila we want to again thank our loyal listeners and sponsors for their enthusiasm and support. We wouldn’t be here without you and we never forget that.

Thanks to positive listener feedback Jet has a new segment on Friday morning. Be sure to tune in Friday mornings at 7:50 a.m. for “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila” on the “Travis Rodgers Show.” Jet talks with Travis about food and cooking from the dude’s perspective. It’s on the lighter side and you won’t hear this AM 830 KLAA exclusive feature elsewhere.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Suzanne GoinChef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin is true culinary royalty in Los Angeles. She has just published her second cookbook, the A.O.C. Cookbook. It was a two year process.

Suzanne is the recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef: California (2006) and is a multiple past nominee. She worked for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse earlier in her career. Her final position at Campanile (now closed) in Hollywood (before going out on her own) was as executive chef.

Suzanne partnered with sommelier, Caroline Styne, to open Lucques in West Hollywood in 1998. That was followed by A.O.C. in 2002. Next was Tavern and The Larder in Brentwood. The President has dined at Tavern.

A new Larder is soon to open in January at The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

A.O.C. CookbookSuzanne talks about cooking with seasonal vegetables and how that passion of hers found its way into the A.O.C. Cookbook.

She feels it’s very important to balance flavors which you only learn by tasting.

All the recipes in the cookbook were tested in a home kitchen by an enthusiastic home cook.

Suzanne’s long-time business partner, Caroline Styne, has wonderfully informative wine notes that go with each recipe in the book.

A.O.C. (the restaurant) has recently moved a mile West to the old Orso location on W. Third Street across from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Suzanne shares how the move came about.

Griffin HammondGriffin Hammond is a respected documentary filmmaker. He’s just completed his fascinating film on Sriracha. This documentary has taken him to Southern California on multiple occasions and even to Thailand where Sriracha originated. In Thailand the people are amazed that Sriracha is a popular condiment in the United States.

Griffin financed this unusual documentary via an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign that was actually oversubscribed.

Robert WemischnerChef Instructor Robert Wemischner is a mainstay in the Baking Department at L.A. Trade Tech in Downtown Los Angeles. He’s also an accomplished pastry chef and author. The Dessert Architect is his most recent title.

Chef Bob shares his holiday dessert ideas for using fresh pomegranates, persimmons, and (the underappreciated) quince.

Pascal OlhatsThe Dean of French Chefs in Orange County is the ever charming Pascal Olhats of the Pascal Epicerie in Newport Beach. This is located next door to the site of his long-running Traditions by Pascal fine dining restaurant which he sold last year. Pascal originally came to Orange County in 1984 to open Hotel Le Meridian in Newport Beach. The property is now the Fairmont Newport Beach. Earlier in his career he worked for Master Chef Paul Bocuse (a French culinary legend) in Lyon.

In Newport Beach Pascal also operates Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island and Café Jardin.

Pascal talks about a new fundraising effort he’s putting together to benefit the Orange County Food Bank.

How the French celebrate the Christmas meal is also part of the conversation.

Gavin kaysenGavin Kaysen is the greatly respected Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach and Toronto.

He put previously San Diego on the national culinary map during his much-praised tenure at El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. Fortunately for us he finds his way back to SoCal periodically to cook at fundraisers.

In his spare time he’s the Head Coach for Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2015. Chef Gavin has completed in this prestigious International Culinary Olympics and explains what the level of competition is all about. It’s a year of rigorous practice. Go Team USA in 2015!

Charlie TrotterEarlier in the month the food world lost Chef Charlie Trotter who was the first superstar celebrity chef in Chicago and influenced a network of young chefs. Charlie Trotter’s (the restaurant) on W. Armitage was known to foodies around the world for his innovative tasting menus and brilliant wine cellar.

Our own David LeFevre, the executive chef & partner of both MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach worked for Charlie over a period of ten years in a couple of stints. David joins us to share memories of the real Charlie Trotter. Fortunately his legacy will live on.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part Two
Segment Four: Griffin Hammond, of “Sriracha – a documentary by Griffin Hammond.”
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Robert Wemischner of L.A. Trade-Tech College
Segment Six: Pascal Olhats, owner/chef of Pascal Epicerie, Brasserie Pascal, and Café Jardin
Segment Seven: Gavin Kaysen, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Café Boulud
Segment Eight: David LeFevre, Executive Chef & Partner of MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite

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

Show 38, August 10, 2013: Chef Edward Lee Continued…

Smoke and Pickles cookbook by Edward LeeChef Lee’s first cookbook is Smoke & Pickles. It was nominated for a James Beard Award. It’s a very honest portrayal of Chef Ed’s career to date.

He shares a particularly humbling moment of terror from his past in New York. Chef Jeremiah Tower from San Francisco (an imposing man) happened into his little restaurant in New York for a meal. Tower cooked for Alice Waters early in the history of the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley and had a very successful restaurant of his own in San Francisco, Stars, in the 90s. It was the Spago of it’s day in the Bay Area. It was obvious to Ed that Chef Tower was totally underwhelmed with the experience. That moment of abject terror created the path and motivation for Ed to become a better cook.

He’s also a new father.

Chef Ed shared his thoughts on preparing the perfect fried chicken. One of the tricks is to poach the chicken before frying. It gives the chicken a ton of extra flavor.

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