Show 56, January 11, 2013: Executive Chef Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas

Paul BartolottaPaul Bartolotta is one of the rarified, distinguished James Beard Award winning chefs who has an incredible destination restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

His Bartollota Ristorante di Mare opened with the hotel back in 2005 and is one of the most successful fine dining restaurants at the property. Bartolotta generates tremendous repeat business from regular hotel guests. It just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation because Steve Wynn thought it was time…Chef Paul observed that the facelift alone cost more than the opening cost of many restaurants!

Paul was one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago (Spiaggia) when Mr. Wynn came calling. With his Bartolotta Restaurants firm he operates a number of busy restaurants in Milwaukee. Paul recounts the humorous story of Mr. Wynn’s charming pursuit of Paul to head the restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Understand at the time (2004) Paul was based in Chicago with his Family. One of Mr. Wynn’s requirements was that each of his celebrity chefs at Wynn Las Vegas actually reside in Las Vegas.

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Show 50, November 30, 2013: Pascal Olhats, owner/chef of Pascal Epicerie, Brasserie Pascal, and Café Jardin

Pascal OlhatsThe Dean of French Chefs in Orange County is the ever charming Pascal Olhats of the Pascal Epicerie in Newport Beach. This is located next door to the site of his long-running Traditions by Pascal fine dining restaurant which he sold last year. Pascal originally came to Orange County in 1984 to open Hotel Le Meridian in Newport Beach. The property is now the Fairmont Newport Beach. Earlier in his career he worked for Master Chef Paul Bocuse (a French culinary legend) in Lyon.

In Newport Beach Pascal also operates Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island and Café Jardin in the Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona del Mar.

Pascal talks about a new fundraising effort he’s putting together to benefit the Orange County Food Bank.

How the French celebrate the Christmas meal and what the traditional dishes are is also part of the conversation. Think chilled lobster, foie gras, and roasted duck….

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November 30, Suzanne Goin, Griffin Hammond, Robert Wemischner, Pascal Olhats, Gavin Kaysen, David LeFevre

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part Two
Segment Four: Griffin Hammond, of “Sriracha – a documentary by Griffin Hammond.”
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Robert Wemischner of L.A. Trade-Tech College
Segment Six: Pascal Olhats, owner/chef of Pascal Epicerie, Brasserie Pascal, and Café Jardin
Segment Seven: Gavin Kaysen, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Café Boulud
Segment Eight: David LeFevre, Executive Chef & Partner of MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite

We hope you’re all enjoying the extended Thanksgiving Weekend. Remember to give us a listen along the way on Saturday morning…

As we complete our 14th month on the air with the “SoCal Restaurant Show” with Jet Tila we want to again thank our loyal listeners and sponsors for their enthusiasm and support. We wouldn’t be here without you and we never forget that.

Thanks to positive listener feedback Jet has a new segment on Friday morning. Be sure to tune in Friday mornings at 7:50 a.m. for “What’s Cooking with Travis and Chef Jet Tila” on the “Travis Rodgers Show.” Jet talks with Travis about food and cooking from the dude’s perspective. It’s on the lighter side and you won’t hear this AM 830 KLAA exclusive feature elsewhere.

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Suzanne GoinChef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin is true culinary royalty in Los Angeles. She has just published her second cookbook, the A.O.C. Cookbook. It was a two year process.

Suzanne is the recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef: California (2006) and is a multiple past nominee. She worked for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse earlier in her career. Her final position at Campanile (now closed) in Hollywood (before going out on her own) was as executive chef.

Suzanne partnered with sommelier, Caroline Styne, to open Lucques in West Hollywood in 1998. That was followed by A.O.C. in 2002. Next was Tavern and The Larder in Brentwood. The President has dined at Tavern.

A new Larder is soon to open in January at The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

A.O.C. CookbookSuzanne talks about cooking with seasonal vegetables and how that passion of hers found its way into the A.O.C. Cookbook.

She feels it’s very important to balance flavors which you only learn by tasting.

All the recipes in the cookbook were tested in a home kitchen by an enthusiastic home cook.

Suzanne’s long-time business partner, Caroline Styne, has wonderfully informative wine notes that go with each recipe in the book.

A.O.C. (the restaurant) has recently moved a mile West to the old Orso location on W. Third Street across from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Suzanne shares how the move came about.

Griffin HammondGriffin Hammond is a respected documentary filmmaker. He’s just completed his fascinating film on Sriracha. This documentary has taken him to Southern California on multiple occasions and even to Thailand where Sriracha originated. In Thailand the people are amazed that Sriracha is a popular condiment in the United States.

Griffin financed this unusual documentary via an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign that was actually oversubscribed.

Robert WemischnerChef Instructor Robert Wemischner is a mainstay in the Baking Department at L.A. Trade Tech in Downtown Los Angeles. He’s also an accomplished pastry chef and author. The Dessert Architect is his most recent title.

Chef Bob shares his holiday dessert ideas for using fresh pomegranates, persimmons, and (the underappreciated) quince.

Pascal OlhatsThe Dean of French Chefs in Orange County is the ever charming Pascal Olhats of the Pascal Epicerie in Newport Beach. This is located next door to the site of his long-running Traditions by Pascal fine dining restaurant which he sold last year. Pascal originally came to Orange County in 1984 to open Hotel Le Meridian in Newport Beach. The property is now the Fairmont Newport Beach. Earlier in his career he worked for Master Chef Paul Bocuse (a French culinary legend) in Lyon.

In Newport Beach Pascal also operates Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island and Café Jardin.

Pascal talks about a new fundraising effort he’s putting together to benefit the Orange County Food Bank.

How the French celebrate the Christmas meal is also part of the conversation.

Gavin kaysenGavin Kaysen is the greatly respected Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach and Toronto.

He put previously San Diego on the national culinary map during his much-praised tenure at El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. Fortunately for us he finds his way back to SoCal periodically to cook at fundraisers.

In his spare time he’s the Head Coach for Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2015. Chef Gavin has completed in this prestigious International Culinary Olympics and explains what the level of competition is all about. It’s a year of rigorous practice. Go Team USA in 2015!

Charlie TrotterEarlier in the month the food world lost Chef Charlie Trotter who was the first superstar celebrity chef in Chicago and influenced a network of young chefs. Charlie Trotter’s (the restaurant) on W. Armitage was known to foodies around the world for his innovative tasting menus and brilliant wine cellar.

Our own David LeFevre, the executive chef & partner of both MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach worked for Charlie over a period of ten years in a couple of stints. David joins us to share memories of the real Charlie Trotter. Fortunately his legacy will live on.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part One
Segment Three: Chef & Restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern Part Two
Segment Four: Griffin Hammond, of “Sriracha – a documentary by Griffin Hammond.”
Segment Five: Chef Instructor Robert Wemischner of L.A. Trade-Tech College
Segment Six: Pascal Olhats, owner/chef of Pascal Epicerie, Brasserie Pascal, and Café Jardin
Segment Seven: Gavin Kaysen, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Café Boulud
Segment Eight: David LeFevre, Executive Chef & Partner of MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite

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

Show 37, August 3, 2013: Kedric Francis, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register Magazine

Kedric Francis of Coast Magazine and the Orange County Register MagazineFirst Kedric previewed the Savor The Central Coast food and wine festival presented by Sunset Magazine and San Luis Obispo County. This is always a great event and there is a lot new for 2013. The dates are September 26th to 29th. The main event site is the Santa Margarita Ranch.

The featured celebrity chef is Michael Voltaggio of ink. and ink.sack in Los Angeles. You’ll remember him from Bravo’s “Top Chef” where, in his season’s finale, he bested his brother to win!

Montage Laguna Beach has their 2nd Annual “Surf with a Legend” weekend coming up Sept. 13th to 15th. In addition to the spectacular surfing guests enjoy a special BBQ created by the Resort’s Executive Chef, Rob Wilson.

Thoroughbred Racing is at Del Mar in San Diego County through Sept. 4th. At nearby Grand Del Mar, their Addison fine-dining restaurant is offering a series of culinary, winemaking, and mixology classes, continuing for the next few months.

In closing Kedric reminded that The Orange County Fair continues through next Weekend. He shared some useful tips for saving money while attending the Fair. Take advantage of the many family-friendly, free activities and exhibits!

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