Show 70, April 26, 2014: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell

City of Beverly Hills Birthday CakeTwenty five years ago Donald Wressell was then the highly regarded executive pastry chef at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Chef Donald was responsible for the production of everything from the fresh, buttery croissants to eye-popping wedding cakes. He created a stunning edible birthday cake for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee celebration. It was a miniature of Beverly Hills’ iconic City Hall. The rest of the cake was 100 sheet cakes. 10,000 slices were served!

It’s now the 100th Birthday of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is now the executive chef for the Guittard Chocolate Co. How do you possibly top yourself?

For the Century Celebration festivities in addition to the 9-foot tall, 8-foot wide replica of Beverly Hills City Hall there is a miniature replica of Rodeo Dr. with edible shopping bags containing items sold on Rodeo Drive. Talk about artistry…

The cake will weigh some 4,000 pounds and serve 15,000 celebrants. It’s a dark chocolate cake with 150 layers with dark chocolate filling and a white chocolate buttercream frosting.

Look for the cake @ 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 27th in front of the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive in the 300 N. block.

It’s all part of Taste Beverly Hills that afternoon.

Play

April 26: Donald Wressel, Melissa’s Great Pepper Cookbook, Eric Greenspan, Choctal Ice Cream

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, The Prince of Produce, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.
Segment Four: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Five: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part One
Segment Six: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part Two
Segment Seven: Michael Leb, Chief Executive Officer, Choctal Single-Origin Ice Creams
Segment Eight: Test Kitchen Director, Chef Tom Fraker, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

It’s the City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Birthday. It takes a mega-talented pastry chef (and his skilled team) to create and bake a massive edible cake befitting this very special occasion. 15,000 slices will be served.

Peppers are a great addition to almost any dish as they add flavor (and not just heat.) We’ll dive into the just released The Great Pepper Cookbook : The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.

The Corporate Pastry Chef for the Patina Restaurant Group has an incredible story of personal achievement. He’s with us to talk about what it takes to get there.

Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose) is a genuine character and an accomplished chef. He’s now also the maestro of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches!

Crave rich & decadent ice cream? There is a new super premium brand now available locally that both the chocolate and vanilla are single origin.

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

Donald WressellTwenty five years ago Donald Wressell was then the highly regarded executive pastry chef at The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Chef Donald was responsible for the production of everything from the fresh, buttery croissants to eye-popping wedding cakes. He created a stunning edible birthday cake for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee celebration. It was a miniature of Beverly Hills’ iconic City Hall. The rest of the cake was 100 sheet cakes. 10,000 slices were served!

It’s now the 100th Birthday of Beverly Hills. Chef Donald is now the executive chef for the Guittard Chocolate Co. How do you possibly top yourself?

For the Century Celebration festivities in addition to the 9-foot tall, 8-foot wide replica of Beverly Hills City Hall there is a miniature replica of Rodeo Dr. with edible shopping bags containing items sold on Rodeo Drive. Talk about artistry…

The cake will weigh some 4,000 pounds and serve 15,000 celebrants. It’s a dark chocolate cake with 150 layers with dark chocolate filling and a white chocolate buttercream frosting.

Look for the cake @ 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 27th in front of the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive in the 300 N. block.

It’s all part of Taste Beverly Hills that afternoon.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Fresh and dried peppers are a key ingredient in many cuisines around the world and they have gained popularity here in the U.S. recently thanks to the culinary world’s embracement of the vast variety of peppers. Beyond jalapenos, home cooks are now looking to learn more about these flavorful fruits, not just for their heat level, but to cook beyond their comfort zone.

This highly visual and engaging book shows readers how simple it is to use 37 different varieties of peppers.

Robert Schueller, Melissa’s resident produce authority, is our guest.

Carlos EnriquezWhat does it take to become the Corporate Pastry Chef at the highly thought of Patina Restaurant Group? Chef Carlos Enriquez, who learned the basics of pastry in his parents Los Angeles bakery, joins us to explain. It takes more than hard work…

Chef Carlos was part of the opening team of the Paris Hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas. He then moved to Colorado to serve as Executive Pastry Chef for Sky Goble at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. A year later, Enriquez joined Goble at the Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite National Park. In 2006 Chef Carlos returned to Las Vegas and worked as Assistant Pastry Chef at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and later at Alex Restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. He was Executive Pastry Chef at Café del Rey in Marina del Rey before joining the Patina Restaurant Group as Corporate Pastry Chef in 2012.

Eric GreenspanChef Eric Greenspan’s (ex-Foundry on Melrose) long in the works grilled cheese café is now open. It’s Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese located next door to the Melrose Umbrella Co, (the former Foundry location.)

Eric won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles which was the inspiration for the grilled cheese café.

Chef Eric is also the Chef/Owner of The Roof on Wilshire.

Eric talks about his extensive portfolio of Food Television appearances. He is one of the very few chefs to “reign supreme” over an Iron Chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” He bested Iron Chef Bobby Flay!

He participates in national pop-ups under the catchy El Nosh Latin / Jewish brand.

Choctal Single Origin Ice CreamIt’s ice cream weather. New to SoCal is Choctal – Single-origin Ice Creams. The premium flavors are properly rich and decadent as the name suggests. Michael Leb, Chief Executive Officer, is our guest with all the sinful details.

“Indulgent treats sustainably sourced from the world’s finest indigenous sources.”

“Choctal ice cream is decidedly different because we highlight the different flavor profiles by using:

  • Single-origin chocolate or vanilla from rainforests across the globe.
  • All natural base; no artificial additives.
  • Gluten-free, egg free recipes.
  • Less air for more density.”

Tom FrakerOur friends at Melissa’s have done it again. Newly published is Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers.”

Keep in mind that cooking with peppers is about adding flavor to food. It’s way beyond just adding heat.

Chef and Melissa’s Test Kitchen Director Tom Fraker is our guest. He tested, and retested, each and every recipe in the book using equipment found in home kitchens.

There is a difference in preparing and using chiles in their fresh and dry forms. Chef Tom will be our informed guide in understanding the nuances.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Guittard Chocolate Co’s Executive Chef, Donald Wressell
Segment Three: Robert Schueller, The Prince of Produce, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce, Inc.
Segment Four: Chef Jet Tila
Segment Five: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part One
Segment Six: Chef Eric Greenspan (ex-Foundry on Melrose,) Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Part Two
Segment Seven: Michael Leb, Chief Executive Officer, Choctal Single-Origin Ice Creams
Segment Eight: Test Kitchen Director, Chef Tom Fraker, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Show 51, December 7, 2013: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.

Donald WressellThere really is no finer pastry chef in America than the pleasantly low-key Donald Wressell. He was the opening executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This is the luxury property where the majority of the out-of-town Academy Award nominees stay leading up to the Academy Awards presentation at The Dolby Theater. Every year Chef Donald would create incredible individual chocolate show-pieces celebrating each of the “Best Picture” nominees. These elaborate pieces where then featured, via photography, in the Oscar coverage beamed across the globe.

Donald has competed in the most prestigious international pastry competitions and, most recently, has coached, too. He’s judged pastry chefs for serious competition shows on Food Network.

He’s currently the pastry chef for the proudly American chocolate company, Guittard Chocolate Co. Guittard is based in Burlingame but Chef Donald has a test kitchen and research facility here in Los Angeles. He also teaches classes for professional pastry chefs and candy makers. Guittard has been Family-owned for five generations.

Towards the end of the first quarter of 2014 he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. Chef Donald baked another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

Play

December 7: Carla Hall, Barbara Fairchild, Cookies for a Koz, Devon Espinosa, Donald Wressell, Brad A. Johnson, Dean Thomas

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and enjoy some great Filipino food. There is a huge Filipino community right here in Los Angeles County.

In addition to the high profile benefit for typhoon relief at The Church Key on the Sunset Strip on Sunday (which we’ll be talking about later in the show) there is a more populist fundraiser at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

Pinoy food will be there in abundance expertly prepared by L.A. chefs including Chef Mayet Cristobal, the Executive Chef of the Getty Museum. She will be serving Beef Short Rib Adobo. The minimum donation is a modest $20 per adult and there will be live music.

Barbara FairchildThe long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, Barbara Fairchild, is back with us reporting from New York. Barbara is also an educator, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and much-in-demand speaker.

Barbara has recently had a couple of culinary excursions to the San Francisco Bay Area and will report on dining spots she enjoyed that merit your attention. She will also speak about an unusual evening she was part of honoring San Francisco’s STARS, a long-departed celebrity chef driven restaurant that, in it’s day, was the Spago of San Francisco. The proprietor/executive chef Jeremiah Tower (now a resident of Mexico) was in attendance.

Roberta Koz WilsonIt’s Holiday Time and our thoughts turn to incredible, fresh-baked, small batch, high-quality cookies as special gifts. That can only mean a chat with Roberta Wilson (jazz saxophonist great Dave Koz’s sister) the force behind Cookies for a Koz. Ten per cent of the proceeds are donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Dave Koz is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for them.

Roberta’s and Dave’s late mother, Audrey, perfected the recipe for a great chocolate chip cookie and that’s the legacy of the company. The much-appreciated cookies were a door-opener all over town for the youthful Dave as his career was just beginning.

Carla HallFood fans know Chef Carla Hall as the “Hootie Hoo” lady and fan favorite from multiple seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is now the co-host of ABC’s daytime lifetime series, “The Chew.” Last week “The Chew” celebrated their 500th episode and the show continues to gain in popularity. Carla also is the author of Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, newly available in paperback.

Carla is being honored by Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin at her Culinary Concert to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, February 9th. It’s a great holiday gift for that special foodie in your life.

That Sunday Carla and Zov will conduct a highly entertaining cooking class for the guests followed by a lavish lunch. Carla will be available to sign copies of her book and interact with the guests. It all starts at Noon.

For more info and to make reservations please call 714.838.8855 ext. 21

Devon EspinosaDevon Espinosa (a C-CAP graduate) is one of the rising young stars among the master bartenders in the West. He created the cocktail program at ink. and Pour Vous and he’s the bar chef for the new The Church Key on the Sunset Strip. Some of his cocktails are canned for freshness.

Devon is also one of the organizers of a high-profile benefit at The Church Key on Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 9:00 p.m. for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. An impressive line-up of chefs and bartenders are coming together to raise the vitally needed funds. Look for celebrity chefs Eric Greenspan, Kris Morningstar, Ray Garcia and Steve Samson among many others.

Donald WressellThere really is no finer pastry chef in America than the pleasantly low-key Donald Wressell. He was the opening executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This is the luxury property where the majority of the out-of-town Academy Award nominees stay. Every year Chef Donald would create incredible individual chocolate show-pieces celebrating each of the “Best Picture” nominees. These elaborate pieces where then featured, via photography, in the Oscar coverage beamed across the globe.

Donald has competed in the most prestigious international pastry competitions and, most recently, has coached, too. He’s judged pastry chefs for competition shows on Food Network.

He’s currently the pastry chef for the proudly American chocolate company, Guittard Chocolate Co. Guittard is based in Burlingame but Chef Donald has a test kitchen and research facility here in Los Angeles. He also teaches classes for professional pastry chefs and candy makers.

In January he’ll create the sure to be dazzling Birthday Cake for The City of Beverly Hills’ 100th Anniversary. He created another cake spectacular for Beverly Hills’ Diamond Jubilee 25 years ago while he was at The Four Seasons.

Blossom Restaurant at the Aria in Las VegasA few weeks ago Brad A. Johnson, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic for the Orange County Register, was with us to talk about his first 4-Star review. It’s Blossom restaurant at Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Brad is back with us to explain his criteria for a 4-Star restaurant review and also talk about the new crop of ultra-luxe Chinese restaurants on The Strip. It’s some of the most elegant Chinese fine-dining outside of China and designed for highly discriminating (and wealthy) Chinese guests!

Dean ThomasChef Dean Thomas is the Executive Chef de Cuisine for the Europa Village Winery in Temecula and also serves as the Innkeeper for the Inn at Europa Village (along with his wife, Nicole.) His multi-course breakfasts, reserved exclusively for guests at The Inn, are unrivaled in the Valley. Many of the ingredients actually come from the vineyard property and change with the season. Chef Dean has extensive credentials as an executive chef for luxury hotel properties.

Chef Dean is the unofficial executive concierge for Wine Country Temecula. When it comes to directing guests to the wineries and restaurants best suited to the visitors’ wishes Dean’s advice is the gold standard.

Chef Dean shares with us the specifics on an independent restaurant in Temecula as well as a winery restaurant that are both on his highly recommended list. He also talks about a Slow Food event he is hosting on December 12th featuring local artisan food products and cooking demonstrations.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part One
Segment Three: Barbara Fairchild, former long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, educator, food journalist, and cookbook author Part Two
Segment Four: Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew” and Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro in Tustin
Segment Five: Devon Espinosa, Bar Director at The Church Key
Segment Six: Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co.
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, restaurant critic for The Orange County Register
Segment Eight: Chef Dean Thomas of Europa Village Winery and The Inn at Europa Village in Temecula