Show 99, November 29, 2014: Corporate Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s Produce

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceMelissa’s Produce adds another useful and informative cookbook to the company’s growing series, each devoted to one fresh ingredient. Newly published is DYPs – The Perfect Everyday Potato Cookbook. The Dutch Yellow Potato (DYP) is the perfect cooking potato with its creamy texture, buttery flavor and year-round availability.

Since the DYP is available twelve months of the year, the consistency of this year-round supply is what this cookbook celebrates. There are 154 recipes (including desserts,) grouped according to the four seasons of the year, incorporating the fresh harvests of the day to enhance, support and combine with the DYP.

The Dutch Yellow Potato is grown exclusively for Melissa’s by their grower-partner in the Magic Valley region of Southern Idaho. DYPs remain dense and moist when cooked. The variety also cooks a lot quicker than other kinds of potatoes. The naturally small and uniform size of the Dutch Yellow is another characteristic that makes the variety a useful culinary tool.

Co-author and Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, joins us. She just returned from a trip to Spain and was surprised to observe how prominent potatoes are in the Spanish diet. There are even a couple of Spanish-inspired recipes (Papas Bravas) in the DYPs book.

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Show 88, September 13, 2014: Executive Chef Rahm Fama

Rahm FamaChef Rahm Fama of Food Network’s “Meat and Potatoes” is Saturday’s guest host. His new cookbook is Meat and Potatoes – Simple Recipes That Sizzle and Sear. He’s also the Corporate Chef at US Foods.

Chef Rahm grew up on a ranch in Santa Fe and cooked his way through Austin, Phoenix, Scottsdale, New York, Colorado Springs, and St. Lucia. Most recently he was the executive chef at The Lodge at Vail. He knows meat and the art of butchering.

“Armed with a cast-iron skillet and the best ingredients he can find, meat –loving chef Rahm Fama serves up a fresh take on chuck wagon cuisine in Meat and Potatoes – Simple Recipes That Sizzle and Sear for flavorful meals you can enjoy no matter where you are.”

“Inspired by his early years on a Southwest cattle ranch, he followed his carnivorous curiosity across the country, seeking the choicest cuts and best ways to cook them. There’s nothing like the thrill of throwing a pat of butter in a hot pan and searing a perfect steak, or grilling a pork chop, or braising chicken. Meat and Potatoes presents 52 irresistible and simple meals – one for every week.”

Using this link enables you to buy a personally autographed copy of Chef Rahm’s book. You’ll get it inscribed just as you wish. Ten percent of the proceeds benefit the good work of the non-profit Food Finders. That’s a good deal with benefits…

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Show 71, May 3, 2014: Sherry Yard of iPic Theaters and Helms Bakery Continues…

Hemls Bakery treats from Sherry YardSherry is on a mission to change the way people eat in a movie theater. The iPic Theaters menu for Westwood even includes Helms Treats. There are premium signature cookies and even frozen novelties!

On the ground floor there is an Italian restaurant (Tanzy) open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Sherry Yard was on hand Sunday, April 25th on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to observe the cutting of Chef Donald Wressell’s breathtaking birthday cake for the 100th Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is the corporate chef for Guittard Chocolate Co. Sherry has created incredible desserts for the Oscars and was truly impressed with the incredible results. 15,000 slices of deliciousness were served!

Adding a needed basement to the Helms Bakery (where there was none before) has delayed the project. Sherry is now looking at a 2015 launch.

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Show 41, September 21, 2013: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street

Kansa Alger of Susan Feniger's StreetAs a teenager Alger snuck into the kitchen at CITY restaurant to begin an informal apprenticeship. That was the start of her long association with Susan and Mary Sue. She eventually rose to the post of Corporate Chef for all of Mary Sue’s and Susan’s restaurants.

Kajsa was on the Street project since the inception. There were months of intense recipe testing before the opening in 2009.

Kajsa is particularly proud of the unconventional Saturday and Sunday brunch menu they are offering until the end of the month. It’s an “All You Can Eat” small plate brunch with breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads. It’s a modest $25 per guest and for an additional $15 you can partake of bottomless sparkling cocktails.

Kajsa pointed out that Street is vegetarian and vegan friendly. Some of their vegan specialties are that way by the simple nature of the dish. Ethnic fare tends to be less meat centric and they have built upon that.

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September 21: Thai Food Fest preview with Susan Feniger, Kajsa Alger, David LeFevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part One
Segment Three: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef David LeFevre of Fishing with Dynamite
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Six: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Seven: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant
Segment Eight: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Thai 2013 Food FestivalMark Sunday afternoon, September 29th on your calendar. Our very own Jet Tila is hosting the Thai 2013 Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios in the heart of Hollywood. It starts at 3:00 p.m.

Celebrity chefs from around the country and outstanding local Thai chefs will be there presenting their signature dishes for the guests to sample and enjoy. Entertainment will include music, Thai dancers and fruit carving.

VIP and Regular Tickets are now on sale!

Primal Pastures“Farmer Paul” Greive, the co-founder with his in-laws, of Primal Pastures in Temecula is with us. Primal Pastures is a pastured, “beyond organic and sustainable” livestock farm.

They just funded an amazing Kickstarter campaign to bankroll their expansion. The goal was to raise $40,000. Instead they realized $57,810.

They have recently leased over 200 acres of pastureland to expand.

“Our vision is to establish a “permaculture” – a system that effectively models the natural ecosystem with many varieties of plants and animals acting in synergy with one another on one farm. There are beautiful things that happen when cattle and sheep are incorporated with chickens, turkeys, and ducks.”

Chef David LeFevre of M.B. Post in Manhattan BeachExecutive Chef David LeFevre (ex-Water Grill) of the acclaimed Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite joins us.

Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach is his latest venture. It’s only 40 seats. The oyster bar is already enormously popular. They will serve some 300 to 700 oysters on a given day.

Chef LeFevre will be participating in the upcoming Thai Food Festival. He previews his dish for September 29th.

Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Susan Feniger's StreetSusan Feniger of Susan Feniger’s Street and Border Grill fame needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She was also one of the early super stars of Food Network with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken in the long running “Too Hot Tamales” series.

Susan Feniger’s Street will be a featured restaurant in the upcoming Thai Food Festival.

There are lots of Thai items on the regular Street menu.

The dish they are showcasing at the festival is Khao Gee, a Northeastern Thai snack.

Kajsa Alger of Susan Feniger's StreetKajsa Alger is the executive chef and partner for Susan Feniger’s Street.

As a teenager she snuck into the kitchen at CITY restaurant to begin an informal apprenticeship. That was the start of her long association with Susan and Mary Sue. She eventually rose to the post of Corporate Chef for all of Mary Sue and Susan’s restaurants.

She was on the Street project since the inception. There was months of intense recipe testing before the opening in 2009.

Kajsa is particularly proud of the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu they are offering until the end of the month. It’s an “All You Can Eat” small plate brunch with breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads. It’s a modest $25 per guest and for an additional $15 you can partake of bottomless sparkling cocktails.

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoSteve Samson and Zach Pollack are the Executive Chefs and co-owners of Sotto near Century City in Los Angeles. They have an incredible wood-burning pizza oven that is from Sicily that was installed by Italian craftsmen. Orange County foodies remember them as the opening culinary team for highly-regarded Pizzeria Ortica.

In-mid-August they were the only Los Angeles chefs to be invited by Chef Javier Plascencia (the Wolfgang Puck of Northern Baja) to join with acclaimed San Diego chefs to prepare a seven-course, wine-paired meal at Chef Javier’s ranch, Finca Altozano, located in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico’s premier wine region. Each course was matched with an appropriate Baja wine from the local region. This was one event as part of a bigger annual vintners’ festival.

Steve’s and Zach’s dish was a beautiful spit-roasted lamb loin.

Restaurateur Javier Plascencia has Romesco in Bonita in the United States and multiple restaurants in Tijuana including Mision 19 and Caesar’s Restaurante Bar (where the original Caesar Salad was created.)

Neal Fraser of bld and RedbirdExecutive Chef Neal Fraser of bld joins us.

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

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part One
Segment Three: Paul Greive, Farmer & Founder, Primal Pastures, Temecula Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef David LeFevre of Fishing with Dynamite
Segment Five: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Six: Kajsa (Sasha) Alger, Executive Chef and Partner, Susan Feniger’s Street
Segment Seven: Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Co-Executive Chefs / Partners, Sotto Restaurant
Segment Eight: Neal Fraser, Executive Chef / Owner of bld

On the horizon for Chef Neal is a bld at LAX in the United Terminal and a casual ice cream, donuts, and coffee café.

Show 39, August 24, 2013: Host Jet Tila & Producer Andy Harris

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissa's World Variety Produce and Jet TilaThis was a very special show as we were live from the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica with an audience of food fans. The store only opened on Wednesday.

Melissa’s / World Variety Produce was right next to us roasting Hatch Chiles. The season only goes through September. Check the Bristol Farms website for the schedule of future roastings. It’s a real show.

At the roasting they also sample several fresh food products made with Hatch Chiles from recipes from Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. Melissa’s Corporate Chef, Ida Rodriguez, was with us to provide the background on what the excitement is about when it comes to fresh Hatch Chiles. Chef Ida grew up with them and is also the co-author of the newly published Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook!

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Show 38, August 10, 2013: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceChef Ida Roriguez has an unusual position as the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, the largest specialty produce firm in the United States. She supervises a staff of dedicated chefs striving to educate the public and chefs about the benefits of enjoying all types of fruits and vegetables and creating delicious, satisfying, and nutritious recipes that the average home cook can prepare at home!

Melissa’s has a state-of-the-art research kitchen and culinary classroom at their corporate headquarters in Vernon where recipes are created and tested daily. Consumer education is Chef Ida’s favorite duty.

Chef Ida has taught popular classes for The Southern California Gas Company as well as Sur La Table. Celebrity Chef Martin Yan has been a co-instructor with her.

Chef Ida grew up in El Paso so she was exposed to the short season of availability of New Mexico Hatch Chiles (about six weeks) at a young age. She began cooking with them early on before they achieved the cult status they enjoy today!

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August 10: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival Preview

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

This morning’s show is a preview of the Third Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival taking place August 22nd to 25th. The primary location is Downtown Los Angeles with boutique events in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

David BernahlDave Bernahl, the co-founding partner and CEO of Coastal Luxury Management, joins us to preview the Festival. Costal Luxury Management (organizers of the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival) produces the event.

The new charity beneficiary this year is Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Fabio VivianiBravo’s “Top Chef” alum Chef Fabio Viviani is in the house. In the Los Angeles area he is the chef/proprietor of Café Firenze and Firenze Osteria. He also has restaurants in Chicago.

His newly released second cookbook is Fabio’s Italian Kitchen.

Chef Fabio will be part of three events at the Festival. Thursday night he’s cooking for Giada’s Festa Italiana, and on Saturday morning he’s performing a Fabio Viviani Cooking Demo followed by hosting a tasting station at the Lexus Grand Tasting in the afternoon.

Edward LeeYou know Chef Edward Lee from his victory on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas.” He’s the chef/proprietor of 610 Magnolia in Louisville.

On Friday, August 23rd he cooks for Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market. On Saturday afternoon he then hosts “Bacon & Bourbon with Chef Edward Lee.”

Chef Lee’s first cookbook is Smoke & Pickles. It was nominated for a James Beard Award.

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.

Ben Ford of Ford's Filling StationBen Ford, the proprietor of the innovative Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, joins the show. Ford’s Filling Station was actually the first gastropub in the United States and Chef Ford is properly credited with originating that name.

For LA Food & Wine he’s joining forces with musician Ziggy Marley on Saturday morning for a high octane cooking demo showcasing sustainability. Chef Ben is then part of the culinary lineup for the Saturday afternoon Lexus Grand Tasting.

Ford discusses the evolution of Ford’s Filling Station and the changes over the years. He has a passion for pork and all is parts. Chef Ford is a pioneer in the revival of Downtown Culver City as a restaurant destination.

A Ford’s Filling Station is coming to LAX this year.

Chef Ford’s first cookbook, Taming the Feast, will be published in May of 2014.

Chef Ida Rodriquez of Melissas World Variety ProduceChef Ida Roriguez has an unusual position as the long-time Corporate Chef for Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, the largest specialty produce firm in the United States. She supervises a staff of dedicated chefs striving to educate the public and chefs about the benefits of enjoying all types of fruits and vegetables and creating delicious, satisfying, and nutritious recipes that the average home cook can prepare at home!

Melissa’s has a state-of-the-art research kitchen and culinary classroom at their corporate headquarters in Vernon where recipes are created and tested daily. Consumer education is Chef Ida’s favorite duty.

Chef Ida has taught popular classes for The Southern California Gas Company as well as Sur La Table. Celebrity Chef Martin Yan has been a co-instructor with her.

Chef Ida grew up in El Paso so she was exposed to the short season of availability of New Mexico Hatch Chiles (about six weeks) at a young age. She began cooking with them early on before they achieved the cult status they enjoy today!

The Hatch Chile is from the Anaheim chile family but has thicker walls and an entirely different taste profile unlike any other chile. This is attributed to the soil in Hatch as well as the temperature range (hot) during the short growing season.

Hatch Chiles come in a range of heat levels, from the mild end of the spectrum to extremely hot. Curiously when frozen they actually become hotter over time.

Melissas Hatch Chile CookbookJoining forces with the co-founder and co-owner of Melissa’s, Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida penned the just-released Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook. It’s the definitive guide to enjoying Hatch Chiles year-round.

Every Labor Day Weekend Chef Ida and Sharon journey to Hatch, New Mexico to partake of the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Would you believe Hatch Chile Ice Cream? (The craveable recipe is included in the book…)

The useful book features 150 unique and classic Hatch Chile recipes with plenty of helpful, full color photos. All the recipes are designed for use by home cooks and have been thoroughly tested. The range of dishes is impressive. You can create Breakfast, Appetizers, Sandwiches & Wraps, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Casseroles & Soups, Condiments, Desserts and Beverages using Hatch Chiles!

The Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook is available at Melissas.com, Amazon and at select Bristol Farms stores and other fine food merchants.

The “SoCal Restaurant Show” will be broadcasting live from 10:00a.m. to Noon at the new Bristol Farms store at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 24th. Team Melissa’s will be there in force roasting the new crop of Hatch Chiles. Samples of recipes from the book will be available for the tasting. Chef Ida will be present signing copies of the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook.

Podcasts

Segment One: Dave Bernahl of LA Food & Wine Festival
Segment Two: Chef Fabio Viviani
Segment Three: Chef Edward Lee Part One
Segment Four: Chef Edward Lee Part Two
Segment Five: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part One
Segment Six: Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station Part Two
Segment Seven: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Ida Rodriguez, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Part Two

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

Show 21, March 16, 2013: Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton

Sara MoultonSara Moluton is the Food Editor for ABC’s “Good Morning America” as well as was the high-profile corporate chef for Gourmet for many years. She was also one of the early stars of Food Network doing two live shows (with viewer calls) nightly. That takes real talent…

Next Friday and Saturday (March 22nd & 23rd) Sara is one of the featured celebrity chefs at Food+Wine Palm Desert. On Friday she is part of an Italian-themed luncheon with celebrity chefs and on Saturday Sara performs a cooking demonstration.

Chef Sara’s current TV project is Season 3 of “Sara’s Weekend Meals” which can be seen on PBS stations across the country. Check your local listings.

Always up-to-date Sara created a fun iPhone app, “Sara’s Kitchen.” It features 60 recipes, 60 photos (food-styled by Chef Sara herself,) and ten videos.

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