Show 184, August 13, 2016: Chef Ted Hopson & Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether, Studio City

Ann Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson of the BellwetherThe Bellwether is the debut restaurant (launched in early August of 2015) and bar from Executive Chef/Owner Ted Hopson and Beverage Director/Owner Ann-Marie Verdi. The market-inspired menu aims to capitalize on the abundance of California produce in order to showcase one-of-a-kind food and drink menus that feature family style shareable dishes, unique infusion based cocktails, and a hand-selected list of beer and wine.

Equal attention is warranted for the thoughtful beverage program created by Ann-Marie Verdi (also formerly of Father’s Office) who has worked closely with Chef Hopson to create complementary cocktails infused with much of the same seasonal produce found in the menu.

A weekend Brunch standout cocktail is Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary. It’s house-infused Habanero Vodka, house mix, bacon salt and topped with a cute mini-BLT.

“Our years of combined industry experience have impacted every decision we have made throughout this process and seeing our ideas turn into reality has been incredibly rewarding,” says Hopson. “We focused on creating the type of experience we would want as guests, and we couldn’t be more excited to be able to share that with everyone !”

Chef Ted and Ann-Marie are our guests.

 

Play

Show 86, August 30, 2014: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Continues…

Nadia GiosiaCooking Channel’s breakout star Nadia G. (chef-comedienne) continues for a second segment.

“Nadia G. rocked your kitchen, now it’s time to rock your city! We’re hitting the road, G-style.” The first city visited for Bite This was Los Angeles.

“First up : Badmaash – An outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka at this downright bad ass downtown gastropub.”

“Next up, the freshest and tastiest Lobster Roll you can find West of the Rockies at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica.”

“Finally, the G and the crew is off to Father’s Office where they’ll meet Chef Sang Yoon and taste the Office Burger – a burger so good that it was names “best burger in the world.” Just don’t make the mistake of asking Chef Sang for ketchup with your Office Burger.

PSST. Insider info : They’ll also unveil for the first time EVER Sang Yoon’s latest tasty creation : The Patricia Melt.”

Play

August 30: Kedric Francis, Shirley Chung, Wing Lam, The Palm, Nadia G, Brad A. Johnson, Haven Gastropub

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight
Segment Three: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Segment Four: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm
Segment Five: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part One
Segment Six: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part Two
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County and Los Angeles Registers
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub and Provisions, Orange

Kedric Francis and Andy HarrisGuest Host Kedric Francis of The Orange County Register Magazine & Coast Orange County Magazine and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

The always debonair Kedric Francis, our dashing man about Orange County, is the Executive Editor of both publications.

You’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September.

It’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action in a restored bungalow on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

The Palm Restaurant, known for classic steakhouse fare, has been an institution in West Hollywood since its launch in 1975. That location is closing at the end of September. In early November a new, 6,000 square foot Palm will begin welcoming guests in Beverly Hills.

Chef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of “Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is “Bite This.” The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

Brad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. Brad is back with us this week to talk about sushi and his favorites in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Five years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

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

Shirley ChungYou’ll remember the always opinionated Chef Shirley Chung (Las Vegas – based) as a finalist in Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Prior to her ride to fame on “Top Chef” she held the Executive Chef position at China Poblano by Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan.

Chef Shirley is opening a modern Chinese restaurant in Irvine at the end of September. “I like my cuisine to tell a story,” commented Chef Shirley, who has developed the innovative menu of sharable plates for TWENTY EIGHT. “My inspiration for this menu is reflective of my childhood years in Beijing, my past experiences, and my travels, all of which have inspired me to push the envelope.”

“In addition to the menu of modern Chinese specialties, diners can look forward to an enticing Dim Sum and Small Plates menu, a full bar with a focus on craft cocktails, and private dining options for both large and small gatherings.”

Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish TacosIt’s the Orange International Street Fair in Old Towne Orange this Labor Day Weekend. In the center of the action on W. Chapman is Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Co-founder Wing Lam joins us to discuss what’s new at Wahoo’s.

Raymond Martin is the new executive chef for Wahoo’s. New on the menu are Street Tacos, a Kale Kai Salad, and Wahoo’s Wings.

Opening soon is a long-in-the-works Wahoo’s location at Honda Center.

The Palm Beverly HillsThe iconic Palm Restaurant in West Hollywood will close and lock its doors for the last time on September 30th after almost 40 years. The better news is that their new 6,000 square foot restaurant seating 185 guests will debut at in Beverly Hills at 267 N. Canon Dr. in early November.

“Serving its classic steakhouse cuisine and generous “Palm-size” portions since 1975, The Palm in West Hollywood is equally famous for the caricatures of its celebrity customers and the entertainment industry power players that adorn its walls.”

“This Palm has been here for almost 40 years, and while we are sad to leave our home on Santa Monica Blvd., we are excited to be opening a new Palm just a few minutes away in Beverly Hills,” said Bruce Bozzi, Jr., great-grandson of Pio Bozzi, who, with John Ganzi, co-founded The Palm in 1926. “Through four generations, we have followed a simple recipe for success that focuses on making our guests feel that they belong at The Palm. We look forward to continuing that tradition in our new location.”

Nadia GChef-comedienne Nadia G. is widely known as the creator and host of Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen,” a brand defining series for Cooking Channel and the first ever online show to successfully transition from the internet to primetime. She also hosts an original online design series, “Sick Kitchens,” and is the author of two bestselling cookbooks.

Her new primetime Cooking Channel series is Bite This.” It’s a fusion of food, travel and comedy following Nadia as she travels the nation featuring the coolest chefs and finding hidden gems and signature flavors in each city – from Los Angeles to Harlem and the Bronx, to Louisville to Nashville, Chicago and more.

The always unpredictable Nadia G. is our guest.

“Nadia G. rocked your kitchen, now it’s time to rock your city! We’re hitting the road, G-style.” The first city visited for “Bite This” was Los Angeles.

“First up : Badmaash – An outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka at this downright bad ass downtown gastropub.”

“Next up, the freshest and tastiest Lobster Roll you can find West of the Rockies at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica.”

“Finally, the G and the crew is off to Father’s Office where they’ll meet Chef Sang Yoon and taste the Office Burger – a burger so good that it was names “best burger in the world.” PSST. Insider info : They’ll also unveil for the first time EVER Sang Yoon’s latest tasty creation : The Patricia Melt.”

Photography by Brad A JohnsonBrad A. Johnson is the James Beard award-winning restaurant critic for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register.

Brad is back with us this week to discuss sushi and his favorites places to enjoy the preparation in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He’ll also preview an intriguing piece he’s writing for the Orange County Register Magazine on the new wave of Italian restaurants.

Greg Daniels of Haven GastropubFive years ago Haven Gastropub opened on S. Glassell St. in Old Towne Orange during the Orange International Street Festival. That Festival attracts some 500,000 guests for the three-days. Executive Chef Greg Daniels is with us to talk about their five-year anniversary.

Thursday, September 4th marks the actual 5-Year anniversary. Within minutes of the original opening guests were 3-deep at the long bar. It hasn’t stopped…

On Thursday, September 4th Haven Gastropub will be celebrating with one of their most impressive line-ups of craft beers on tap to date. There will be specials on signature items throughout the day. ($5 Haven Burgers, anyone ?).

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Kedric Francis and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Executive Chef Shirley Chung of TWENTY Eight
Segment Three: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Segment Four: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., of the Palm
Segment Five: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part One
Segment Six: Cooking Channel’s Chef Nadia G. Part Two
Segment Seven: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County and Los Angeles Registers
Segment Eight: Executive Chef Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub and Provisions, Orange

Show 81, July 26, 2014: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles

Luckyrice Night Market“Hosted by Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon, and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”), the third annual, LUCKYRICE Fest is moving to Hollywood and taking over Create Nightclub for an evening of innovative and traditional Asian-styled dishes paired with cocktails from L.A.’s brightest star chefs and mixologists. Ticket proceeds benefit CAAM, Center for Asian American Media. This unusual smorgasbord of Asian culinary treats features our picks (LUCKYRICE’s) from L.A.’s hot Asian culinary culture – Eat, Drink and Get LUCKY.”

Sang Yoon’s Lukshon is preparing Sichuan Dumplings with Kurobuta pork, spicy Ma’La vinaigrette, sesame, and peanuts.

Founder Danielle Chang is our guest.

Play

July 26: Mark Andlebradt. LuckyRice, Patty’s Pizza, Melissa’s Produce, Zach Pollack

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Mark Andlebradt, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part One
Segment Four: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Five: Founder Patty Phillips and Bridget Baskin, Patty’s Gourmet Pizza
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part Two

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

After 15 successful years in Las Vegas at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio was due for a culinary facelift and some new energy. Enter new Executive Chef Mark Andlebradt (An-dell-Brat) who has created a new market-driven menu more in the style of the original Postrio in San Francisco.

LUCKYRICE Fest comes to Hollywood for their third annual event in Los Angeles. It’s night market-style Asian cuisine and cocktails. Founder Danielle Chang joins us.

Back in 1988 fearless entrepreneur Patty Phillips was an early pioneer in the Gourmet Take & Bake pizza concept. All of that research and development led to a pizza dough that became really popular with local chefs. Patty’s Gourmet Pizza was established to serve that community and all these years later the Marina del Rey-based firm provides a range of products for commercial clients in over 30 states.

What fruits and vegetables are coming into season right now and tasting delicious ? We’ll have a report from our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

You know executive chef and revered pizzaiolo Zach Pollack from Sotto in Los Angeles. Orange County listeners remember him as the acclaimed opening pizzaiolo at Pizzaria Ortica. He’s just launched Alimento, his own 40-seat place in Silver Lake.

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

Mark Andlebradt“After 15 successful years of serving Las Vegas, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio is proud to announce a new, refined concept and market-driven menu led by newly appointed Executive Chef Mark Andlebradt. (An-dell-Brat) Postrio has dropped the “Bar & Grill” moniker and now focuses on seasonal, new American cuisine with global influences that can be enjoyed on the “indoor” patio overlooking the Carnivale atmosphere of St. Mark’s Square or in the intimate main dining room. Award-winning Chef Wolfgang Puck and Executive Chef Andelbradt’s diverse menu features wood-oven baked pizzas, handmade pastas, enticing entrees, outstanding steaks and fish from the mesquite grill, and much more.

This is a big space with 20,000 square feet. Banquets are an important component of their business.

Recent special: 32 ounce braised veal shank. Designed to be shared but many guests ordered it for one!

Weekend brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A guest favorite is the Cinnamon Pecan Roll with maple glaze.

Chef Andelbradt has held high positions through various prestigious kitchens including Brasserie T and Tru on Chicago with Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand; Daniel in New York with Daniel Boulud; Morimoto in both Philadelphia and New York with “Iron Chef” Masaharu Moritoto; and Tao in Las Vegas.

Postrio Las Vegas is located inside The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Las Vegas.

Luckyrice Night Market“Hosted by Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon, and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”), the third annual, LUCKYRICE Fest is moving to Hollywood and taking over Create Nightclub for an evening of innovative and traditional Asian-styled dishes paired with cocktails from L.A.’s brightest star chefs and mixologists. Ticket proceeds benefit CAAM, Center for Asian American Media. This unusual smorgasbord of Asian culinary treats features our picks (LUCKYRICE’s) from L.A.’s hot Asian culinary culture – Eat, Drink and Get LUCKY.”

Sang Yoon’s Lukshon is preparing Sichuan Dumplings with Kurobuta pork, spicy Ma’La vinaigrette, sesame, and peanuts.

Founder Danielle Chang is our guest.

LUCKYRICE Founder Danielle Chang is an award-winning media entrepreneur. Prior to launching LUCKYRICE in 2010, she was CEO of Vivienne Tam, a fashion company. Danielle has also worked for Goldman Sachs, The New York Times, and as a Professor of Contemporary Art History. Born in Taiwan, Danielle created LUCKYRICE to share her life-long affinity for Asian cuisine and lifestyle.

Our own Chef Jet Tila is preparing a five spice pork belly taco.

Pizza is a $30 billion dollar industry in the United States…

Patty Phillips of Pattys PizzaBack in 1988 fearless entrepreneur Patty Phillips was an early pioneer in the Gourmet Take & Bake pizza concept. All of that research and development led to a pizza dough that became really popular with local chefs. Patty’s Gourmet Pizza was established to serve that community and all these years later the Marina del Rey-based firm provides products for commercial clients in over 30 states.

Patty’s Pizza products have won industry awards for exceptional flavor and dependability. In addition, Patty’s “Take & Bake” pizza concept and innovative dough formulations have earned Patty’s critical acclaim from the toughest California restaurant critics.

Patty’s Pizza has worked rigorously to create a par (partially) baked frozen pizza formulation that does not require the heart of industrial level ovens, yet is still able to be frozen, topped, and used in a wide variety of applications. Ultimately, this has led to the development of a new line of pizza products designed to meet the diverse needs of Patty’s ever-growing client list.

The first prominent executive chef to endorse Patty’s Pizza was Roger Pigozzi (now at UCLA) who was then executive chef at The Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety ProduceWhat fruits and vegetables are coming into season right now and tasting delicious? We’ll have a report from our resident produce authority, Robert Schueller, of Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

New Mexico Hatch Chiles season starts first week of August.  First local roastings will be Aug. 2- Sept. 20th approx.

The following items are now coming into season and tasting great!:

Melissa’s Muscato (red, green, black), champagne grapes, Witch Finger, Niabells, Cotton Candy and Thomcords Grapes…

Other mention-able worthy fruits:  Figs (brown Turkey, Black Mission, Tiger), Masumoto Peaches, Lychees, Organic Plum Bites, and how about those cute Watermelon Cucumbers, too.

Getting into the peak of the Heirloom Tomatoes, or general tomato season too…

Zach PollackYou know executive chef and pizzaiolo Zach Pollack from Sotto in Los Angeles. Orange County listeners remember him as the acclaimed opening pizzaiolo at Pizzaria Ortica. He’s just launched Alimento, his own 40-seat place in Silver Lake.

“While Sotto’s early vision was mostly Southern Italian, Pollack expands his reach here. “It’s not as regionally specific, but more loosely inspired by the different regions of Italy,” says Pollack. “It’s really my interpretation of these dishes, so it makes sense for Los Angeles, a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” You’ll find small and large plates, seasonal salads and handmade pastas, sometimes using grains from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll flour mill.” (Credit to Lesley Balla of Zagat)

Sotto is part of Dine LA for Dinner. $35 prix fixe menu.

Concludes Sunday, July 27th.

Second Course is choice of: Lamb spezzatino (lemon, egg semolina,) Rigatoni (chicken liver ragu, maitake,) or Margarita pizza.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Chef Mark Andlebradt, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Las Vegas
Segment Three: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part One
Segment Four: Founder Danielle Chang, LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Part Two
Segment Five: Founder Patty Phillips and Bridget Baskin, Patty’s Gourmet Pizza
Segment Six: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce
Segment Seven: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part One
Segment Eight: Executive Chef / Proprietor Zach Pollack, Alimento, Silver Lake Part Two

Show 52, December 14, 2013: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.” She serves on the national Board of Directors for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and also is a part of Los Angeles’ Advisory Board.

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of the fondly remembered Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening. It’s an ambitious project in a large space which previously served as part of Helms’ loading dock.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Play

December 14: Scott Conant, Teemu Selanne, Clay Oven, Kedric Francis, Sherry Yard

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Lechon Porchetta by Susan ParkYou can aid the unfortunate 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.

Upcoming is an “all are welcome” 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.

The new season of Food Network’s newest hit series, Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton Brown launches Sunday night, December 15th. Our own Jet Tila is the most-used celebrity chef judge on the series. Tough but fair…

Be looking for his episodes for Season 2. Don’t miss the online after shows on Food Network’s Website. Alton goes over each episode with the celebrity chef judge. Always fun to better understand what the vexing sabotages were…! Jet doesn’t know any of this when he evaluating the food. On this show strategy is just as important as cooking chops. Luck helps, too…

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Scott Conant of Scarpetta and Food NetworkChef Scott Conant oversees a growing restaurant empire from his base in Manhattan. There are hugely successful Scarpetta restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Toronto, Beverly Hills at The Montage Hotel and Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. He’s known for an extraordinary spaghetti dish.

He also has the more casual, D.O.C.G. Enoteca at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

The Scarpetta Cookbook (his third) is just out for the Holidays.

Scarpetta Beverly Hills just celebrated its 3rd birthday.

Chef Scott is familiar to millions of viewers of food television as one of the original permanent judges on Food Network’s “Chopped.” It’s probably the hardest legitimate cooking competition series on the air. As Scott explains it’s all real. None of the competing chefs have a clue what’s in their mystery basket of ingredients until they open it!

The Scarpetta Cookbook came about as a result of a hands-on cooking demo Scott performed in Manhattan. There were 15 teams of two students preparing one of his signature recipes. The variations of the same dish as presented by the class members was incredible. Scott calls it a disaster.

Scott wants food fans to be able to successfully duplicate the Scarpetta recipes at home. No secrets or missing ingredient in the book’s recipes. That’s his goal for the book.

If you order the cookbook from his website you can obtain a personalized inscription. Good idea for the Holidays and saves the flight to New York.

Chef Scott talks about the needed ingredients for success with multiple restaurants. It’s all about service, food, and ambiance. Service is the key. Food is the follow-up. Scott points out that if a guest has a bad service experience they are likely never to return.

Teemu Selanne of Selanne Steak TavernIf you’re a hockey fan then you know Teemu Selanne, The Anaheim Ducks forward and ice hockey icon. Sadly for his legion of fans this is his last season as a pro.

Teemu loves fine dining and it was only a matter of time before he opened a destination restaurant (with his business partner Kevin Pratt) in Orange County where he resides. The result is the newly launched Selanne Steak Tavern on the site of the former French 75, a historic restaurant location in Laguna Beach. It’s a sophisticated steakhouse, and lots more, with a real chef, dedicated pastry chef and a top-flight wine program orchestrated by Leo Fenn, the Director of Operations.

Leo is a recognized authority on rare and cult wines but makes it all approachable for the guest. Leo is with us to provide all the tempting 411 on Selanne Steak Tavern.

When Teemu Selanne is not on the road he will be very visible at the restaurant.

Clay Oven in IrvineThe long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus… is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair.

Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier. Their son, Tarun, represents the 2nd generation active at Clay Oven.

One of their holiday specials (by special order) is a Tandoor Turkey. They sell out (over 250 birds) each Thanksgiving using four tandoor ovens. The birds are skinless and marinated in an herb and spice blend. The juices are seared into the meat during the cooking process. The birds are incredibly moist when they come out of the tandoor oven.

Geeta’s unusual hobby is traveling the globe and interviewing high profile chefs in their native countries. These revealing interviews have been published in the OC Weekly, Orange County Register, and, more recently, in her own blog. Accredited, professional food journalists don’t have the access Geeta enjoys!

In a teaching moment Chef Geeta also educates us on the ancient Hindu treatise of Ayruveda as it relates to food.

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineIt’s the Holidays which is a peak vacation travel period. It’s a great time to catch-up with our man about Orange County, Kedric Francis. Kedric is the always debonair, well-traveled Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine.

On Saturday morning Kedric is off to Cancun, Mexico to experience a new high-end resort there. He’s visiting the Nizuc Resort & Spa. This will be the subject of a future report.

Kedric also reported on some big deal Fashion Island restaurant openings. Red O, with a high end regional Mexican menu by noted Chicago chef Rick Bayless, is now open. Soon to launch is Fig & Olive (Mediterranean fare) which started in West Hollywood.

Kedric was recently at The Ritz Restaurant & Garden’s annual holiday party fund-raiser in Newport Center which was a bit bittersweet. Their lease is up and this is the last Holiday Party at the original location.

There was some good news. It’s not final yet but it looks like The Ritz has found a new location in the area to relocate when they need to vacate their current home early next year. Their long-time landlord has already granted them a couple of extensions. The only glitch is that The Ritz will disappear for at least a year while the new space is remodeled. Most of the long-time employees will need to find work and perhaps move on permanently. Stay tuned…

The Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs is newly opened and Kedric had a chance to see the property a few weeks ago. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs near the Indian Casino. Kedric observed there in now lots to do for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in Palm Springs these days, including a vibrant nightlife.

Sherry YardL.A.’s acclaimed pastry princess, Sherry Yard, is with us for the last segment. Sherry was Wolfgang Puck’s (Spago) executive pastry chef for twenty years. She is a multiple James Beard Award-winner. Her first cookbook, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts won a Beard Award for “Best Baking Cookbook.”

Her current project (with Lukshon’s and Father’s Office’s Sang Yoon) is the revival of Helms Bakery located on the site of the former Helms Bakery, an iconic home delivery commercial bakery that left the scene years ago. It looks like Summer of 2014 for the opening.

The exciting all-day concept keeps evolving but it’s going to be a bakery and cafe with a lot more. All the bread will be prepared and baked right there. They will roast the beans for the coffee on site. You’ll be able to get sandwiches and full meals packaged to take home.

You can sign-up for their monthly newsletter to keep current on the opening for Helms Bakery.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons look for the restored yellow Helms Bakery delivery truck in front of their future restaurant space across from Father’s Office. Sherry is selling her soon to be famous chocolate chip cookies and various hand-crafted ice cream novelties. Everything is deliciously scratch-made. Call it a tasty preview of coming edible attractions…

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant oversees his highly successful empire of five Scarpetta restaurants
Segment Three: Celebrity Chef Scott Conant of the five Scarpetta restaurants coast-to-coast. Continues…
Segment Four: Leo Fenn, Director of Operations, Selanne Steak Tavern, Laguna Beach
Segment Five: Geeta Bansal, Executive Chef / Proprietress of Clay Oven in Irvine
Segment Six: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part One
Segment Seven: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and The Orange County Register Magazine Part Two
Segment Eight: Sherry Yard, the acclaimed executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck for 20 years

Show 36, July 20, 2013: Sang Yoon, Executive Chef & Proprietor of Father’s Office and Lukshon

Sang YoonSang Yoon is the well-known chef/proprietor of Father’s Office (Santa Monica and Los Angeles) and Lukshon in Culver City at the Helms Bakery District. You’ll also see him competing on the upcoming season of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.

The Luckyrice night market and spirits tasting returns to Los Angeles on Saturday, July 27th from 7 to 10:00 p.m. at the Bookbindery in Culver City. Sang Yoon hosts and provided us with a preview of the 2nd Annual event.

Play

Show 29, May 18, 2013: Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, Celebrity Chef discusses the new Helms Bakery

Sherry YardWe resumed our conversation with Sherry Yard. After 20 years as Wolfgang Puck’s executive pastry chef for all his restaurants Sherry has departed for a new venture of her own. She has teamed up with Sang Yoon, the proprietor of Father’s Office and Lukhson both located at the former Helms Bakery site in Los Angeles.

Hemls Bakery treats from Sherry YardThe ambitious new effort, The Helms Bakery, will start construction next month and has an anticipated opening in January of 2014. You might think of it as a pastry clubhouse with a broader menu of savory treats, too.

It’s a casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot with a welcoming vibe. It’s a café to come and linger. It will be a mini food hall with an array of appealing stations to choose from. The breads will be baked on the spot and also sold there at retail. They will roast their coffee beans on-site.

The original family-owned Helms Bakery opened on this site in 1931 and was the official bread of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Their concept was home delivery to neighborhoods throughout Southern California in their distinctive yellow delivery trucks. All their baked goods were packed in the truck’s sliding oak drawers. The consumer looked at the various trays of incredible baked goods and picked what they wanted. Everything was delivered fresh that day and of the highest quality. The iconic Helms Bakery ceased operations in 1969. The buildings, and exteriors, were preserved for a new development which houses decorator showrooms and various creative businesses in addition to Father’s Office and Lukshon.

A museum chronicling the rich history of the Helms Bakery is located within the H.D. Buttercup showroom space on the property.

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