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.

Play

Show 65, March 15, 2014: Lucy Lean, Co-Producer / Executive Director, All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live

All Star Chef ClassicThe Inaugural All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. LIVE, a never-before-seen modern food event bringing together over 25 highly acclaimed chefs from around the country for unique and interactive dining experiences, is set to launch March 21st to 23rd at L.A. Live’s Event Deck. The event is organized by culinary industry veterans and founders of Alice in Events, LLC., Lucy Lean and Krissy Lefebvre. They have partnered with AEG, owners and operators of the downtown Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District.

The three-day event will feature master chefs cooking and collaborating in venues designed to provide guests with up-close, unique and interactive culinary experiences.

The grand finale on Sunday, March 23rd from Noon to 2:30 p.m. is “Savor the Season Presented by Melissa’s Produce.” This event will wrap up the enticing weekend with a Farmer’s Market celebration of what LA has in abundance – seasonal , fresh, local ingredients cooked up and elevated to great heights by All-Star Chefs including Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot, Nancy Silverton, David Myers, Vinny Dotolo, David LeFevre, Josiah Citrin, and Waylynn Lucas. The chefs will create seasonal dishes using produce from a local purveyor/farmer providing the 600 guests with a variety of tastes as well as recipe cards to prepare each dish at home.

Co-Producer/Executive Director Lucy Lean is our guest.

Play

March 15: Ivan Flowers, Bruxie Bold Blend Coffee, Michael Puglisi, All Star Chef Classic, Cook Pigs Ranch

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Ivan Flowers, Top of the Market, San Diego
Segment Three: Chef Kelly Mullarney, Co-Owner, Bruxie
Segment Four: Chef Michael Puglisi, Proprietor, Electric City Butcher Shop
Segment Five: Lucy Lean, Co-Producer / Executive Director, All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part One
Segment Seven: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part Two
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Andy Harris on “The 14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America”

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Heritage breed pigs are the talk of in-the-know chefs these days. We’ll meet the enterprising husband & wife couple behind Cook Pigs Ranch, a noted local producer of “farm to table heritage pigs.” You’ll also learn the intriguing story of a former Bouchon Beverly Hills chef who is soon to open an ambitious artisan butcher shop utilizing Old-World techniques in Santa Ana.

We’re journeying to San Diego where an energetic new executive chef is taking a San Diego seafood classic to a higher level with nightly changing tasting menus that are paired with boutique premium wines. The meals are, surprisingly, served with an incredible view of the bay.

We’re nuts about coffee on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” So are our friends at the chef-driven Bruxie, the Belgian waffle sandwich guys. After a lot of research they have recently introduced their own “Bold Blend” custom crafted coffee. It’s a proprietary four-bean blend.

Los Angeles has a new food event with celebrity master chefs. It’s the All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live. We’ll have a preview.

High-end Tasting Menus at rarified fine-dining establishments are getting a lot of attention. Chef Jet and Producer Andy will be talking about Eater’s “14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America.”

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

Ivan Flowers of Top of the MarketTop of the Market, harbor-side in Downtown San Diego, is one of those classic destination restaurants where the food is actually on par with the magnificent bay view. Quite a feat…

Executive Chef Ivan Flowers in newly arrived and his worthy mission is to add to the achievements of this popular restaurant. His concept is “boat-to-table.” New to the dinner menu options is a very special seven-course tasting menu. Chef Ivan then works with their inspired and talented Sommelier, Anne Estrada, to offer carefully selected boutique wines to compliment each dish. No mass market wines in this cellar…As a package it’s an evening of memorable dining. We’ll be visiting with Chef Flowers to get all the specifics.

Bruxie Bold Blend CoffeeWe’re fans of Bruxie. These are the premium sandwich folks who use a creative version of an authentic Belgian Waffle (they developed the proprietary recipe) as the bread. The waffle is light, airy, crispy and not sweet. Since they opened their first location in a classic former burger stand in Old Towne Orange within walking distance of Chapman University they have quickly grown to a total of six company-owned restaurants! No short cuts with quality ingredients here.

Bruxie partner and noted chef, Kelly Mullarney, is truly coffee obsessed. As a side project he set out to create a chef-driven coffee experience that would be bold and complex enough to stand up to, and complement, the flavors on the Bruxie menu.

The result is The Bold Blend, a proprietary, four-bean blend of 100 percent fair trade imported coffee beans. It’s now the house blend served at all Bruxies.

Michael PuglisiMembers of Chef Michael Puglisi’s immediate family in Sicily are well-known Old World artisan butchers. Starting this summer Chef Puglisi will be using those skills at his own Electric City Butcher Shop which is a major component of Santa Ana’s much –anticipated (and talked about) 4th Street Market Food & Culinary emporium. Puglisi was previously the sous chef of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills.

While the build-out of 4th Street Market is going on Chef Puglisi will be honing his hand-made sausage making skills at the just opened Picnik in Old Town Pasadena in partnership with Chef Eduardo Ruiz of Corazon y Miel in Bell. Old World sausage-making traditions will be used. Every gourmet sausage served will be twisted and cased by hand.

All Star Chef ClassicThe Inaugural All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. LIVE, a never-before-seen modern food event bringing together over 25 highly acclaimed chefs from around the country for unique and interactive dining experiences, is set to launch March 21st to 23rd at L.A. Live’s Event Deck. The event is organized by culinary industry veterans and founders of Alice in Events, LLC., Lucy Lean and Krissy Lefebvre. They have partnered with AEG, owners and operators of the downtown Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District.

The three-day event will feature master chefs cooking and collaborating in venues designed to provide guests with up-close, unique and interactive culinary experiences.

The grand finale on Sunday, March 23rd from Noon to 2:30 p.m. is “Savor the Season Presented by Melissa’s Produce.” This event will wrap up the enticing weekend with a Farmer’s Market celebration of what LA has in abundance – seasonal , fresh, local ingredients cooked up and elevated to great heights by All-Star Chefs including Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot, Nancy Silverton, David Myers, Vinny Dotolo, David LeFevre, Josiah Citrin, and Waylynn Lucas. The chefs will create seasonal dishes using produce from a local purveyor/farmer providing the 600 guests with a variety of tastes as well as recipe cards to prepare each dish at home.

Co-Producer/Executive Director Lucy Lean is our guest.

Cook Pigs Ranch is a proudly family-owned, farm-to-table operation with a focus on Heritage pigs. The varieties include Red Wattles, GOS, Large Blacks, Berkshires, Durocs, Tamworth, Mulefoot, and crosses of these magnificent breeds. Cooks also raises KuneKune pigs. The ranch is located in Julian, CA, in the Cleveland National Forest, about one hour East of San Diego.

Cook Pigs Ranch is not a large commercial farming / ranching business. Instead their goal is to maintain a small and boutique ranching operation which allows their pigs to free-range and grow slowly in a humane and stress-free environment.

Kryz and Mike Cook of Cook Pigs RanchKrys and Mike Cook are the co-Presidents of Cook Pigs, and they run the day-to-day operations of the ranch.

At Cook Pigs Ranch they experience all four seasons. The ranch is situated at approximately 4,200 feet in elevation. The combination of the local environment and Cook’s feed program produces a high quality product very similar to the renown Iberian Pork from Spain & Portugal.

Cook Pigs RanchAt the recent Cochon 555 stop in Los Angeles defending champion Chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica successfully defended his title once again. He prepared & cooked a Large Black from Cooks Pig Ranch.

The Pop-Up Butcher Shop (Lindy & Grundy) @ Cochon 555 used a Berkshire from Cook Pigs Ranch.

Cook Pigs Ranch will soon have a retail facility in San Diego ( Kearny Mesa) to serve the public.

The Farm Shop at Primal Pastures in Temecula all sells Cook Pigs Ranch meats.

The Fourteen Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America by Eater NationalEater National posted an intriguing piece entitled “The 14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus In America” back on January 28th. The feature was authored by Gabe Ulla.

Number 14 is Daniel in New York with a price tag of $567 for two guests. It gets progressively more expensive on the way up to Number 1 which carries a lofty $1,160 tab for two. Ouch…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy have been fortunate enough to experience a handful of these incredible dining spectaculars. We’ll paint the rarified picture…It’s not for everyone. Forgive us.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Executive Chef Ivan Flowers, Top of the Market, San Diego
Segment Three: Chef Kelly Mullarney, Co-Owner, Bruxie
Segment Four: Chef Michael Puglisi, Proprietor, Electric City Butcher Shop
Segment Five: Lucy Lean, Co-Producer / Executive Director, All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live
Segment Six: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part One
Segment Seven: Krys and Mike Cook, Co-Presidents, Cook Pigs Ranch, Julian Part Two
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and Andy Harris on “The 14 Most Expensive Tasting Menus in America”

Life is Beautiful Festival

life-is-beautifulBig news for everyone in the Vegas Tila Army! I’m part of the Culinary Advisory Board for the upcoming Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas from Saturday, October 27th to Sunday the 27th. You’ve probably seen the full page ads in LA Weekly emphasizing the incredible music lineup featuring bands like Vegas’ own the Killers along with Kings of Leon. But there’s also an amazing lineup of celebrity chefs as well! Not just me but pretty much everyone associated with the restaurant scene in America. As for as I’m concerned, the food is the main event and the music? That’s kind of dessert. Here’s the press release about the festival and I hope to see my Army in Vegas right before Halloween for this blowout of a party!

Life is Beautiful Festival Announces Culinary Experiences & New Chefs

Two-Day Festival of World Class Music, Food, Art & Learning in Downtown Las Vegas includes “Grills & Guitars” by Blue Ribbon Restaurants, “The Culinary Village”, and “The Alchemy Garden”

New Chef Additions include Nancy Silverton; Headlining Chefs include: Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Jonathan Waxman, Hubert Keller, Aaron Sanchez, Cat Cora, Rick Moonen, Scott Conant, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon.

Friday, October 25th – Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (July 16, 2013) – Life is Beautiful (L.I.B.) Festival announces the lineup of culinary programming and experiences for the inaugural festival taking place Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th, 2013, with a kickoff event the evening of Friday, October 25th . With more than 60 chefs and restaurants, 24 wineries and 24 breweries participating in the culinary part of the festival alone, L.I.B. presents its attendees with a full-scale food festival experience and expects to draw tens of thousands of people to Downtown Las Vegas. The culinary programming includes experiences that are included in the price of a general-admission festival ticket, such as The Culinary Village, The Alchemy Garden & Chefs on Stage, as well as unique ticketed events that do not require a festival ticket like the Grills & Guitars kick-off party hosted by Blue Ribbon Restaurants and the Take a Stand charity soiree; an eight-course dinner hosted by Elizabeth Blau & Hubert Keller benefitting Three Square Food Bank and Communities in Schools.

The creative direction of the food festival portion of Life is Beautiful Festival was shaped by a culinary advisory board of 12 top chefs chaired by Bruce Bromberg of Blue Ribbon Restaurants. The food festival will be anchored by The Culinary Village a Moroccan-style bazaar featuring stations manned by more than 60 well-known chefs. Within The Village, guests can enjoy an entertaining and informative series of chef demonstrations (Chefs on Stage), culinary affairs, intimate meals and a beer, wine and spirits garden (The Alchemy Garden). All experiences within the food and wine program will allow attendees the opportunity to engage with these talented chefs up-close and gain insight into their creative process in the kitchen and beyond.

“The food experiences of Life is Beautiful Festival were carefully designed to be interactive, innovative and unexpected,” says Jolene Mannina, Head of Culinary Arts for the festival. “Working with the vision of our Culinary Advisory Board of 12 world-renowned Chefs, we’ve created an approach that we feel will set us apart from other food festivals, giving both our patrons and chefs a chance to enjoy something new, fresh and, of course, delicious.”

The current chef lineup features: Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg, Scott Conant, Jonathan Waxman, Hubert Keller, Cat Cora, Michael Mina, Chris Cosentino, Rick Moonen, Kim Canteenwalla, Jet Tila, Donald Link, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Aaron Sanchez, David Burke, Charlie Palmer, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Paul Bartolotta, David Myers, Todd English, Kerry Simon, Carla Pellegrino, André Rochat, Sven Mede, Marcel Vigneron, Mike Minor, Megan Romano, Elias Cairo, Josh Graves, Jason Tuley, Rebecca Wilcomb, Ben Hammond, Grant MacPherson, Michael Kornick, Natalie Young, Dan Coughlin, Sean Kinoshita, Massimiliano Campanari, Carlos Buscaglia, Vinod Ahuja, Manuel Hinojosa.

New Chefs / Mixologists Added to the lineup: Nancy Silverton, Akira Back, Richard Camarota, Frank Goriceta, Carlos Guia, Joseph Leibowitz, Hiew Gun Khong, Nina Manchev, Tony Abou-Ganim, Drew Levinson, Andrew Pollard, Eric Swanson, Kent Bearden, Thomas Burke, Michael Shetler, Kevin Vanegas, Jack Kramer and Mike Tadich.

Tickets for the Life is Beautiful Festival Culinary Programs go on sale July 19, 2013 at

www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com

Link to Culinary Experiences video: http://youtu.be/-SBlmQ6lTx4

Life Is Beautiful Festival – Culinary Experiences Premier Sponsor: Whole Foods Market

– The Culinary Village: Located in the heart of the festival and home to the world’s best chefs and restaurants, The Culinary Village is where the aromas of earth’s four corners collide. Over 50 restaurants will partake in this bazaar of epicurean delight that takes festival food options to a whole new level.

Restaurants: Blue Ribbon Restaurant, Honey Salt, Fleur, Strip Steak, Wolfgang Puck, Nobu Hard Rock, DMK Burger Bar, Due Forni, Yellowtail, Kumi, D.O.C.G., Herbsaint, LAVO, TAO, Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina, EAT, Chocolate & Spice, Origin India, Barbuto, rm Seafood, Kuma Snow Cream, Curbside Cafe, LBS Burger, Smokin Bros BBQ, Sin City Hot Dogs, Forte European Tapas & Bistro and more.

Price: General Admission or VIP festival ticket required, a la carte selection Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:00pm – 12:00am Midnight; Sunday, 12:00pm – 11:00pm

– The Alchemy Gardens Presented by Wirtz Beverage: Craft brewers, wine makers and distillers will pour a-la-carte libations at this garden, overflowing with liquid creativity. Enthusiasts can also choose to purchase additional tickets to meet and mingle with master brewers, wine makers and distillers over flight tastings.

Price: General Admission or VIP festival ticket required a la carte Beer, Wine, Spirits and Sake; must be 21 or over. Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:00pm – 12:00am Midnight; Sunday, 12:00pm – 11:00pm

– Flights Tastings (In The Alchemy Gardens): For a better understanding of the passion and history poured into each glass, additional tickets may be purchased for tastings with master brewers, wine makers and distillers.

Price: $40 for 9 tastings, General Admission or VIP festival ticket required Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:00pm – 12:00am Midnight; Sunday, 12:00pm – 11:00pm

– Chefs on Stage Presented by Sub-Zero Wolf & Whole Foods Market: Over two days, 20 of the most highly regarded chefs in the industry give attendees a chance to get up close and personal as they showcase their skills live on a Sub-Zero Wolf stage located in a climate-controlled tent. These demonstrations will tantalize taste buds and teach viewers how to create the same experience at home.

Chefs: Bruce and Eric Bromberg, Scott Conant, Jet Tila, Jonathan Waxman, Cat Cora, Chris Cosentino, Rick Moonen, Aaron Sanchez, Hubert Keller, Kerry Simon, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Mike Minor, Donald Link, Grant MacPherson, Carla Pellegrino, Jason Tuley, David Myers, Elias Caro, Josh Graves,Todd English

Location: The Culinary Village Price: Free Event with Festival General Admission or VIP ticket Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:45pm – 9:00pm; Sunday, 12:45pm – 8:00pm

– Take A Stand: Elizabeth Blau and Hubert Keller will host the Life is Beautiful grand opening soiree to benefit Three Square Food Bank and Communities in Schools. Showcasing the mystery and wonderment of Old Vegas at its finest, this charity dinner will feature eight award-winning chefs serving eight courses

in various styles throughout the night paired with priceless wines and crafted cocktails by Wirtz Beverage mixologists and sommeliers.

Chefs: Hubert Keller, Michael Mina, Todd English, Akira Back, Paul Bartolotta, Grant MacPherson, Charlie Palmer, Megan Romano Location: Secret Downtown Location to be revealed upon purchase confirmation Price: $5,000

(1) VIP two-day festival ticket included

(1) Grills & Guitars ticket included Seats: 40 (must be 21 or over)

Date: Friday, October 25th Time: 7pm – 10pm

– Grills & Guitars: Start the festival weekend with 15 well-known chefs, gourmet comfort food and live music. A twist on the traditional backyard barbecue, the festival kick-off party will pair beer, wine and cocktails with flamed-kissed fare that will satisfy all the senses.

Chefs: Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Jonathan Waxman, Cat Cora, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Nancy Silverton, Jet Tila, Scott Conant, Kim Canteenwalla, Aaron Sanchez, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen & David Myers Price: $175, VIP $225 *Does not require purchase of a festival ticket. Must be 21 or over.

Date: Friday, October 25th Time: 8pm VIP, 9pm – Midnight

– Culinary Crawl: This three-hour dining tour is designed to introduce palates to a variety of tastes. Guests will be escorted to three different venues, each with a different chef host who has customized a unique experience that pairs their creative dishes with specially selected drinks provided by Wirtz Beverage Group.

Saturday Chefs & Locations:

“Pig & Whiskey” hosted by Kim Canteenwalla and Sven Mede at The Flame Steakhouse “From Korea to Japan”, hosted by Akira Back at Park on Fremont “Amaro & Amare”, hosted by Richard Camarota & Megan Romano at EAT

Price:

$130 – Single pass to the Culinary Crawl, GA or VIP festival ticket required for purchase

$290 – Includes a two (2) day General Admission festival ticket Date: Saturday, October 26th

Time: 5pm – 8pm Sunday

Chefs & Locations:

 “Rare & Rosso” Jonathan Waxman & Nancy Silverton at EAT  “Tongue & Cheek” Rick Moonen at Le Thai  “Bones & Brews” Iron chef Cat Cora & Jason Tuley at Park on Fremont

Price: Date: Sunday, October 27th

$130 – Single pass to the Culinary Crawl, GA or VIP festival ticket required for purchase $290 – Includes a two (2) day General Admission festival ticket

Time: 5pm – 8pm ***Chef and event details subject to change.

Regular Two-Day General Admission & VIP Tickets for the 2013 Life is Beautiful Festival are available for purchase at www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com

General Admission Tickets:

 Regular Two-Day GA: $159.50 VIP Tickets:

 TWO-DAY VIP Ticket: $349.50

o VIP tickets include: Exclusive VIP lounge with shade, lounge seating, activities and more; Viewing Areas at Main Stages; VIP restroom facilities; Access to special VIP food concessions; Access to special VIP beer, wine and spirits concessions; Commemorative Poster and more!

Life is Beautiful Sponsors

Sponsors of the inaugural Life is Beautiful Festival include Wirtz Beverage Group, Heineken, Zappos, Cirque du Soleil, Las Vegas Review Journal, Red Bull, Esquire, Whole Foods Market, Caesars Entertainment, and many more. *Sponsors listed are current as of release date.

L.I.B. is being developed by Aurelian Marketing Group in partnership with Another Planet Entertainment, MAKTUB Marketing and Downtown Project. Visit www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com and sign up to receive information updates via email. Connect with the Life is Beautiful team socially at Facebook.com/LIBFestival and Twitter.com/LifeIsBeautiful.

 

June 22: Sotto, Cochon 555, Tal Ronnen

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Brady Lowe, creator of the Cochon 555 National Tour
Segment Five: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part One
Segment Six: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part Two

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownThis past week Chef Jet has been part of an influential food conference along with a number of standout food luminaries at UMass Amherst in Massachusetts. Jet will give us some of the highlights.

Producer Andy will preview one of the biggest ethnic food festivals happening this weekend in Orange County.

We’ll also answer some e-mail inquiries.

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of SottoSotto on Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles just East of Century City is the dream restaurant of American chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack who are both obsessed (in the best possible way) with all things Italy. Samson is the skilled executive chef and Pollack is the gifted pizzaiolo, and the food represents the fare of Southern Italy.

Steve Samson is known to Angelenos as one of the respected executive chefs in the rich history of Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino in Santa Monica. In early 2009 Samson and Pollack created the well-received Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa’s performing arts district near South Coast Plaza for David Myers.

Brady Lowe of Cochon 555We’ve been following the Cochon 555 national tour since their stop in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 5th at House of Blues in West Hollywood. Our own Chef Jet Tila headed one of the five competing teams creating dishes from a whole heritage pig. Each culinary team provided tastes for the 400 attendees who were then part of the final judging.

The ten regional winners met at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival last Sunday for the final showdown, The Grand Cochon. Among the finalists was Chef Ray Garcia of Fig in Santa Monica, the supreme porker from the Los Angeles competition.

Cochon founder, Brady Lowe, based in Atlanta, joins us with the final report of this year’s results.

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen is the go-to vegan chef cooking in the United States. He opened his first Los Angeles area restaurant, Crossroads, back in March. It’s at the corner of Melrose and Sweetzer Avenue in West Hollywood. The food is fine-dining vegan with Mediterranean-style small plates in a highly designed space.

“I just can’t do the throw some vegetables and a starch on a plate thing,” Ronen once said in a Los Angeles Times profile. “That’s the problem with most vegan dishes. It’s a Portobello mushroom cap, or pasta primavera, and when you’re finished with dinner you have to hit the drive-through. You have to give people something that will satisfy them”

Chef Ronnen also contributed to the original menu for LYFE Kitchen which launched earlier in the year in Culver City.

His reputation is such that in early 2011 when very particular casino resort mogul Steve Wynn wanted to add vegan dishes to all of his acclaimed restaurants at both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore the plum assignment went to Chef Ronnen.

Podcasts

Segment One: On the Road with Chef Jet and Producer Andy
Segment Two: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part One
Segment Three: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto in Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Four: Brady Lowe, creator of the Cochon 555 National Tour
Segment Five: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part One
Segment Six: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood Part Two

Show 17, February 16, 2013: Brian Howard, Executive Chef of Comme Ca by David Myers in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Brian Howard of Comme Ca in Las VegasTypically you don’t have an executive chef of Chef Howard’s standing (he’s worked with Thomas Keller) operating a branch of an already successful restaurant. David Myers is responsible for the original Comme Ca in West Hollywood.

Chef Howard is the clear exception.

He has the Comme Ca classics on the menu but is also free to add his own personal touches and specials.

Howard is particularly proud of his Weekend Brunch specialties which are available from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

How about duck confit cinnamon rolls and ox tail Benedict?

Because you enter Comme Ca from an inside common area you miss the patio which is not visible. The undiscovered secret of Comme Ca is the patio with the sweeping vista of the Las Vegas Strip.

Play

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