Show 128, June 27, 2015: Chef Laurent Brazier, Bistro Papillote, SOCO

Laurent BrazierThe newly launched Bistro Papillote at The OC Mix at SOCO is the first authentic French restaurant concept from Chef Laurent Brazier, Executive Chef Instructor of La Cuisine Culinary Arts located inside Macy’s Home Store in South Coast Plaza. On the menu is simple French Bistro cuisine.

Bistro Papillote provides full service breakfast and lunch, including Chef Laurent’s interpretation of quiches, crepes, Croque-Monsieur, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. There is even a formidable New Orleans-style Muffaletta Baguette (sandwich) with salami, mortadella, ham, swiss and tapenade. At the open-air crepe bar, guests are able to watch as delicious, fresh crepes are prepared right in front of them.

Bistro Papillote by La Cuisine is available for private events catered by Chef Laurent’s catering company, La Cuisine. The French wines served there are hand-selected by Chef Laurent who holds his Advanced Certificate of Wine & Spirit from the London WSET, as well as the Level One Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Somehow Chef Laurent also makes the time to teach a popular beginning wine appreciation class at LCA Wine at SOCO. He keeps it fun…

Chef Laurent is our guest.

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Show 89, September 20, 2014: Ed Manetta, Wine Director – Cucina Enoteca

Ed ManettaCucina Enoteca, a lively California-inspired Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop, just launched a 8,300-square-foot restaurant and wine shop located at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Wine Director Ed Manetta created a balanced, highly edited, and ever-changing wine list. Comprising over 250 familiar names and rare, small-batch gems from the Americas and Europe, Cucina presents an emphasis on Italian varietals. Manetta promises hand-selected offerings for every taste ranging from the novice taster to the seasoned oenophile.

Wine veteran Manetta is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has 15 years of industry experience.

Ed is with us to discuss their highly unusual retail wine program that’s already making waves.

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March 22: Brooke Williamson, Selanne Steak Tavern, Grand Central Market, Eat LBC, Food Network 20th Anniversary, Blue Bottle Coffee

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brooke Williamson, Hudson House, The Tripel and soon, Playa Provisions
Segment Three: Executive Chef Josh Severson, Selanne Steak Tavern
Segment Four: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert
Segment Five: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer
Segment Seven: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: James Freeman, Founder & CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Chef Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and The Tripel is back with us. Her latest venture, Playa Provisions, is about to debut. In Laguna Beach we’re checking in with Executive Chef Josh Severson at the booming Selanne Steak Tavern.

The Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles is the grandfather of food halls in the area. Exciting things are going on there with the arrival of distinctive new food businesses. We’re continuing with our preview of EAT LBC, Long Beach’s first ever restaurant week set for March 30th through April 5th.

The Food Network celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year. That’s a lot of history. We’ll be talking about the early days of FN with one of their original show hosts.

Also on the menu is another information segment with our resident meat expert. We’ll discuss wet and dry aging and other meaty matters.

The hit of the just concluded Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was a new cold-brewed coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee. The founder of Blue Bottle Coffee is with us to explain.

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

Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and TripelChef Brooke Williamson’s entire life has always been about food. With chef-husband Nick Roberts she now owns Hudson House in Redondo Beach and The Tripel in Playa Del Rey. Both are popular neighborhood spots. Soon to launch is their latest venture, Playa Provisions.

Chef Brooke has earned a Level 1 accreditation from The Court of Master Sommeliers.

Chef Brooke gained a national following on Bravo’s “Top Chef – Season 10” were she finished as a runner up. There is a strong rumor she will be part of Celebrity Cruises’ “Top Chef at Sea,” 7-day voyage to Alaska on August 15th out of Seattle.

Josh SeversonWe’re revisiting the new Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach. It’s less than a half-year old but is already attracting loyal repeat diners from the highly discriminating neighborhood. Our guest is Executive Chef Joshua Severson.

Chef Josh previously spent time with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio at CraftSteak in Las Vegas at The MGM Grand.

There is a lot more than juicy steaks on the Selanne Steak Tavern menu.

Kevin WestKevin West is a respected writer, cookbook author and hobbyist-turned professional-canner. His first cookbook (published last year) was, Saving the Season: a cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving.

He’s also part of the team suggesting the appealing new food enterprises at the historic Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, opened in 1917. Already there (and making an impression) are Valerie Confections, Horse Thief BBQ, G&B Coffee, Eggslut, DTLA Cheese, and Sticky Rice.

On the way are Wexler’s Deli, The Oyster Gourmet, Olio Pizzeria, and Berlin Currywurst. Also opening soon is Belcampo Meat Co., a full-service butcher shop featuring organic, grass-fed meats.

Eat LBC Long Beach Restaurant WeekOver 50 Long Beach restaurants are participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, the city’s first-ever Restaurant Week. The dates are March 30th through April 5th.

Several prominent Long Beach neighborhoods are represented including Downtown, East Village, Downtown Waterfront, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, the PCH Corridor and East Anaheim/Zafaria District. In addition to their regular menu, each restaurant will offer a special three-course menu during Restaurant Week which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $26 at casual eateries, and $38 at fine dining establishments. Tax and gratuity are additional.

Restaurants participate in restaurant weeks to persuade first-time guests to return. You see restaurants at their very best and the menus are value priced.

Co-producers Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry join us to preview Restaurant Week.

Clearly The Food Network which celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary last year has had a major influence on American popular opinion. They had to create a 2nd channel, “The Cooking Channel,” to accommodate all the potential sponsors who wanted to be represented. It’s now actually cool to talk about food and cook. Dudes share recipes…Chefs have become huge celebrities. Wolfgang Puck is better known World Wide than a lot of film and TV celebrities.

Eric BoardmanFood Network started modestly and with tight budgets. Our guest, Eric Boardman, was there in the early days. In 1999 he was the host of the popular series “Calling All Cooks.” The concept was the host going into the guest’s home kitchen where they make (with the series host) a recipe they are famous for in their immediate social circles, family or community. A lot were shot in Southern California but some exotic locations were used, too. The guests were talented home cooks.

West Coast Prime MeatsWest Coast Prime Meats really knows the meat business as only an insider can. Most of their seasoned, senior executives have an extensive background in the restaurant business or are master butchers. If fact West Coast’s key master butcher has more than 30 years experience in the field.

Dave Wicker, WCPM’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Managing Partner, is back with us to talk beef. We’ll talk about wet and dry aging and the cuts of steak. We’ll also weigh-in on whether having the bone-in on a steak adds moré flavor once it’s cooked.

James Freeman of Blue Bottle CoffeeBlue Bottle Coffee is a sensation for coffee lovers in San Francisco and New York. They are soon to arrive locally in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. and in Culver City.

Blue Bottle Coffee was a big hit at the recently concluded Natural Products Expo West @ the Anaheim Convention Center. They were there to introduce their newest product, Cold Brewed New Orleans Iced Coffee packaged in a mini milk carton. It was one of the biggest hits at the show and the talk of the floor!

Founder and CEO James Freeman is with us to provide the background. He was actually at the show pouring samples!

Blue Bottle Coffee – New Orleans Iced Coffee. Blended with chicory, cane sugar & Clover Organic Milk.

“Near the beginning of the 19th Century, the French brought chicory-infused coffee to New Orleans. Two hundred years later we crafted our own organic, cold—brewed version for our farmers market stand, adding cane sugar and whole milk. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Brooke Williamson, Hudson House, The Tripel and soon, Playa Provisions
Segment Three: Executive Chef Josh Severson, Selanne Steak Tavern
Segment Four: Kevin West, journalist, cookbook author, home preserving expert
Segment Five: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
Segment Six: Eric Boardman, Food & Travel TV Producer, On-Camera Host & Personality, and Writer
Segment Seven: David Wicker, Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, West Coast Prime Meats
Segment Eight: James Freeman, Founder & CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee

September 14: Azunia Tequila, Vegas Food Trucks, Elizabeth Huettinger, Lena Kwak, Amar Santana, Eric Klein, Michael Passmore

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming

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!

Azunia TequilaJim Riley, the founder of Azunia Tequila joins us. In his spare time Jim is a professional off-road racer of some note.

This is a case study of how a boutique tequila company grows a brand in an environment dominated by cash-rich giants. Riley has built his brand with clever grass-roots marketing and being seen in the right places.

Azunia Tequila is organic and 100 per cent Weber Blue Agave. It is available in the styles of Platinum Blanco (great for cocktails,) Reposado, and Anejo.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur man in Las Vegas, Brock Radke, is back with us. Brock is the respected Web and Food Editor for The Las Vegas Weekly.

Last month Brock had a great piece in The Weekly entitled. “Where are they now? Checking up on the first wave of Vegas food truckers.”

Fukuburger has probably been the most successful and is still on the streets. A brick and mortar location for Las Vegas is in the plans. Sloppi Jo’s was a big success with the food critics but, ultimately, not a viable business model. Proprietress Jolene Mannina has parlayed this into other food projects for herself. In fact she’s the head of Culinary Arts for the upcoming “Life is Beautiful” Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The originator of Slidin’ Thru has moved on but the truck still does events and catering and there is a bricks and mortar drive-through.

Brock also talked about the just launched Heritage Steak at The Mirage on The Strip. The proprietor is Tom Colicchio of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame and a James Beard Award recipient.

Elizabeth Huettinger of the Addison in Del MarSommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is the new Wine Director at Addison restaurant and The Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. She was previously part of the wine team at Spago Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth just took the incredibly difficult “Advanced” certification test from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She shares that humbling experience with us.

Earlier in the Summer the Grand hosted a special screening of the documentary, “SOMM”. It’s the first effort by filmmaker Jason Wise.
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“SOMM” tells the fascinating story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the rigorous and prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This test has one of the lowest pass rates imaginable. Elizabeth’s head sommelier at Spago (her previous post) is a Master Sommelier. She talks about hosting the screening (there was wine and abundant food stations) and her reaction to the highly acclaimed documentary.

Lena KwakChef Lena Kwak is the highly acclaimed research development chef for The French Laundry and The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. She created the position.

With the backing of Keller she developed Cup4Cup, a healthy wheat flour-substitute which has gone national over the last two years. It’s carried in Williams-Sonoma stores and also available at the Bouchon Bakeries in Yountville, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and New York.

Last year Kwak was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” for her work with Cup4Cup.

In addition to bread mixes the proprietary line also includes a brownie mix, pizza dough, and pancake/waffle mix.

Amar SantanaChef Amar Santana is very familiar to Orange County foodies. His mentor, Chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole,) brought him out here from Manhattan in 2008 to open Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Talk about a plum assignment for a young chef…

With the backing of one of his very loyal guests he later departed to open a venture of his own, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Since opening in 2011 it’s been a hit with both the food critics and guests. The bar has also created its own loyal following for unusual libations and a welcoming atmosphere. Their superior Moscow Mule (not listed on the bar menu) is a thoughtful homage to the original version created in the late 30s in Hollywood and now using all fresh ingredients and from scratch ginger beer.

Eric KleinIn 2007 Executive Chef Eric Klein (now a partner) was handed the keys to Spago Las Vegas by Wolfgang Puck and charged with freshening up the concept. This was quite a formidable assignment given that Spago is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant in Las Vegas! They celebrated their 20th Anniversary last year.

The restaurant is a busy café (with exhibition pizza oven) in the front and an elegant fine-dining restaurant in the back. The front patio opens onto the busy main Forum Shops walkway.

As with the Beverly Hills original Spago Las Vegas attracts the celebrity clientele in addition to sophisticated foodies. Chef Eric is the visible personality of the establishment.

Chef Eric’s first assignment in Las Vegas (after relocating from Beverly Hills) was SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas.

Michael Passmore of Passmore RanchMichael Passmore is an elite class freshwater fish farmer in the Sacramento area. His Passmore Ranch is sustainable aqua farming and his clientele are discriminating celebrity chefs all across the country who he, unusually, supplies directly.

They started modestly by selling live fish at Northern California farmers’ markets, and their quality and service quickly established them as premium purveyors for top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs around the country.

Passmore Ranch offers premium freshwater white sturgeon, black bass, striped bass, catfish, silver carp and trout, plus prized domestic caviar.

Today Passmore Ranch is 86 acres and they raise fish in 80 million gallons of fresh water pumped up from the pristine Cosumnes aquifer. The ranch has a variety of open lakes and massive tanks used to increase the variety of sustainable fish they grow.

In the works is a plan to begin a thoughtful rollout of limited direct sales to serious home cooks. The info will be posted on their website.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Jim Riley, founder of Azunia Tequila
Segment Three: Brock Radke, Food and Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Four: Elizabeth Huettinger, Wine Director, Addison Del Mar
Segment Five: Lena Kwak, Research and Development Chef, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
Segment Six: Amar Santana, Executive Chef / Owner, Broadway by Amar Santana
Segment Seven: Eric Klein, Executive Chef & Partner, Spago Las Vegas
Segment Eight: Michael Passmore, Passmore Ranch, Sustainable Aqua Farming