Show 247, November 11, 2017: Travel Journalist Robyn Eckhardt, Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring Turkey’s Diverse Cuisines Part One

Robyn EckhardtFood and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt brings dishes from Istanbul and eastern Turkey to the home cook in ISTANBUL AND BEYOND: EXPLORING TURKEY’S DIVERSE CUISINES. With over 125 recipes, stories about places, people and ingredients, and lush on-location photography, ISTANBUL AND BEYOND takes readers on an unforgettable culinary journey from Turkey’s cosmopolitan cultural capital to its lesser known eastern regions.

The culmination of Eckhardt and photographer David Hagerman‘s (Robyn’s husband) two-decade-long passion for Turkey, its people and its food, and the result of over sixteen months of research in Istanbul and eastern Turkey, ISTANBUL AND BEYOND takes readers beyond kebab, doner, and baklava to introduce the dishes of Turkey’s distinct regional cuisines. From the Mediterranean province of Hatay to the Black Sea, and from north-central Anatolia to provinces bordering Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Iraq, Eckhardt has assembled a broad collection of dishes – many of which will be new even to those familiar with Turkish food – that are sure to entice readers into the kitchen.

Robyn Eckhardt is an American food and travel journalist specializing in Asia, Turkey and Europe. Her words and recipes have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Food & Wine, Travel+Leisure and other publications. She is co-publisher, with photographer David Hagerman, of the award-winning food blog EatingAsia. After 20 years in Asia she recently moved to Piemonte, Italy, where she lives with her husband, photographer David Hagerman, and a small menagerie of cats and dogs.

Food and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt is our guest.

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Show 244, October 14, 2017: Food Journalist & Author Cathy Thomas

Andy Harris, Andrew Gruel and Cathy Thomas at the SoCal Restaurant Show 5th AnniversaryFood Journalist Cathy Thomas has been the highly-regarded food columnist for the Orange County Register for over 26 years. Most of that time was as the greatly-admired  Food Editor. In addition to that she is the online columnist for Orange Coast Magazine where you can view many of her entertaining and informative cooking videos featuring area and celebrity chefs.

“My first book was published in 2006, “Melissa’s Great Book of Produce” (Wiley, $29.95, 2006 written for Melissa’s World Variety Produce, the LA-Based company that is the nation’s largest distributor of specialty and organic produce). My second book is “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” (Wiley, $29.95). The book has received fantastic reviews. Emeril plugged the book on Good Morning America, naming it as one of the top ten cookbooks for the season. My third book, “50 Best Plants on the Planet (Chronicle, $29.95) explores the fifty most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables that grow on earth. The recipes are easy and delicious.”

Represented on the buffet today in the Melissa’s Test Kitchen is Cathy’s recipe for Hearts of Romaine Salad with Beets, Apples and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing. It features Melissa’s Steamed Beets and Green Dragon Apples. The recipe is from Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce.

“Because I’ve studied with chefs across America, Europe and Asia, I have a passion for ethnic cuisines. I love to embrace new flavors, new aromas and new techniques. When it comes to cooking and eating, there is always something new to experience.”

We’ll pull Cathy away from the cutting board for a chat.

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Show 196, November 5, 2016: Food Journalist & Author Simran Sethi, Bread, Wine, Chocolate – The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

Simran SethiSimran Sethi is a journalist, author and educator focused on food, sustainability and social change.

Her new book, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love part memoir of a journey to six continents in pursuit of delicious and endangered tastes, part investigation of the loss of biodiversity from soil to plate – tells the story of what we are losing, how we are losing it, and the inspiring people and places that are bringing back the foods we love.

Join award-winning journalist Simran Sethi as she travels from wild coffee forests in Ethiopia to cocoa plantations of Ecuador, from the brewery to the bakery and the temple, to meet scientists, farmers, chefs, wine makers, beer brewers, coffee roasters and chocolate connoisseurs to discuss the reasons for this loss and learn what it means to experience food in a whole new way, tasting foods more deeply through each one of our senses in order to savor – and save – the foods we love.

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Show 104, January 3, 2015: Food and Travel Journalist, Steve Bramucci

Steve BramucciSteve Bramucci is a freelance food and travel writer based in Laguna Beach. For what was the final issue of OC Register Magazine (November 6, 2014) he researched and wrote the provocative piece, “The 20-Mile Meal,” the cover story. This was also picked up by Coast Magazine.

“With the help of The Haven Collective’s (Haven Gastropub and Provisions Market) Executive Chef Greg Daniels, writer Steve Bramucci tests the limits of the “Eat Local” concept by sourcing a multicourse dinner from within 20 miles of his Laguna Beach apartment.” With incredible resourcefulness (read the piece) Steve and Chef Greg were able to source everything locally with the exception of a bit of olive oil! (That was California olive oil used by the way so they were very close…)

With a little navigating the article can be found within the Orange County Register’s Website. On the Home Page of The Register’s Web site click on the “Magazines” tab in the top right corner. Once you’re there click on Coast.” On this subpage you’ll see the cover for the OC Register Magazine with the 20-Mile Meal cover.

Steve Bramucci takes us through that journey.

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Show 79, July 12, 2014: Show 79, July 12, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his YouTube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

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

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July 12: Open Sesame, Brock Radke, Mad Hungry Woman, Seth Makowsky, Roger Paige

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

Open Sesame, serving authentic Lebanese food since 1999, is an incredible success story. They have recently opened a new location in Los Angeles just East of CBS Television City.

Our inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

The Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a commentary on a San Diego restaurant favorite (Rakiraki.) She also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Seth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

Food and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

Our own Jet Tila has just launched his You Tube Channel, “Jet Fuel.” He has a preview of what to expect.

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

Open Sesame GrillOpen Sesame, a contemporary Lebanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine, recently opened its doors at 7458 Beverly Blvd. in the space that was the original Hatfield’s. The original Open Sesame launched in Belmont Shore in 1999 and has expanded three times in that location since then. There are still waits at lunch. It’s a true destination.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu, including Lunch Specials Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. There are Weekend Specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The scratch kitchen features an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes along with beef, lamb and chicken specialties. Beverly Blvd. has a full bar.

Founder and Owner Ali Koblessi is our guest,

Ali Kobeissi of Open Sesame GrillFrom Proprietor Ali Kobeissi

“We’re fanatical about our scratch kitchen and the foods and flavors we produce. Food fills our thoughts between meals. We spend our free time studying the nutritional value of our authentic recipes handed down from our ancient forefathers. We combine spices and herbs, hone our knife skills, dissect wines and spirits, and prepare ourselves for the next time you sit at our table.

For the last 15 years our customers’ word of mouth has been our best advertising.”

The Beverly Blvd. location has a full bar.

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklyOur inside “Man in Las Vegas,” Brock Radke, is back with us with a report on a handful of recent major restaurant openings on The Strip. Brock is the Food Editor for Las Vegas Weekly.

Brock weighs-in on DB Brasserie at The Venetian, Yusho at the Monte Carlo, and Giada at The Cromwell. He’s also excited about the opening of Mercadito, a popular Mexican restaurant from Chicago known for their variations of street tacos located off The Strip at the Red Rock Resort.

Anita Lau of Diary of a Mad Hungry WomanThe Mad Hungry Woman blogger, Anita Lau, returns with a profile of a San Diego restaurant favorite, Rakiraki. “If I had to sum this eatery up in a sentence, it would be “love at first bite.”

“There is no doubt this is my favorite ramen spot in Southern California.”

Anita also shares her experience of being a guest judge on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The episode aired June 19th. She is an unabashed Gordon Ramsay fan.

Seth Makowsky of Makowsky Restaurant GroupSeth Makowsky of the Makowsky Restaurant Group recently relocated to Los Angeles from Orlando. He specializes in restructuring, advancing and creating restaurant companies.

He is also a member of The Culinary Council for three square food bank in Las Vegas.

Along the way he’s been mentored by Robert Earl (Earl of Sandwich and Planet Hollywood) and Andrew Cherng (Panda Express with some 2,000 units.) He started his hospitality career with Coca-Cola in Atlanta and then moved on to Orlando.

Seth shares some valuable insights on what he does for multiple-unit restaurants.

Roger Paige of the Focused TravelerFood and travel journalist Roger Paige is also known as The Focused Traveler. His day job is as Administrative Director of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.

Roger reports on some of his recent road adventures including a visit to the historic Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. Be cautioned that this is anything but the expected tourist trap.

Roger also profiles the iconic Midpoint Café (previously known as the Adrian Café) in Adrian, Texas. It’s at the midpoint between Santa Monica & Chicago on the historic Route 66. It served as the inspiration for Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars.” All the food is scratch cooking…

Jet Fuel with Chef Jet TIlaOur own Chef Jet Tila has launched his YouTube Channel, “JetFuel.” There is a new video posted each Thursday for your viewing pleasure.

It’s the intriguing world of food from the inside out.

There are recipes, food tips, and engaging celebrity chef interviews. It’s all editorial content.

This week is Jet’s recipe for an incredibly delicious potato salad with bacon and egg. It uses no mayo so it’s a bit lighter than the usual mayonnaise-laden version. The secret is the creamy baby Dutch yellow potatoes.

Go to youtube.com and search for “Jet Tila.” You can also subscribe to the JetFuel YouTube Channel.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show
Segment Two: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part One
Segment Three: Ali Koblessi, Founder & Owner of Open Sesame Part Two
Segment Four: Brock Radke, Food Editor, Las Vegas Weekly
Segment Five: Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman blogger
Segment Six: Seth Makowsky, Makowsky Restaurant Group
Segment Seven: Roger Paige, The Focused Traveler & Administrative Director of IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila and the “JetFuel” Channel on YouTube

Show 78, July 5, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show

Jet Tila and Producer Andy preview the show.

Food TV fans know upbeat, Dallas-based Chef Tiffany Derry from Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All–Stars.” She is back as co-host of FYI’s (formerly Bio) new series, “World Food Championships” which launches on July 10th.

Our friend food journalist Josh Lurie is at it again with the 1st Annual Food GPS Rib Festival on Sunday, July 13th in Chinatown. 12 of L.A’s best forward-thinking chefs will be there preparing unique rib preparations and tempting sides. Josh and Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co., Escala, and Houston Hospitality preview the Festival.

The Island Hotel in Newport Beach has a rich history of offering highly regarded destination dining. As part of a major refreshening of the property The Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have just debuted. This is easily the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year in Orange County. You’ll hear why…

One mission of Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Los Angeles is to bring tasty vegetarian fare to patrons who aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. Our own Jet Tila just prepared a Sunday Supper at Crossroads serving plant-based versions of his signature pan Asian dishes.

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

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes proper tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines from the Franciacorta region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. A very limited supply of these sparkling wines eventually find their way to the United States.

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June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

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

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Show 76, June 14, 2014: Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant & Travel Editor, grapecollective.com

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com, is back with us to share some inspired and practical travel tips. Also a mini-profile of dining at Gordon Ramsay in London.

Barbara’s most practical oversees travel tip is to remember other places have real “weather” and always pack a small umbrella.

On the domestic front when your destination is only a couple of hours away by car consider driving. It can be much less of a hassle than negotiating airports and you have your car with you.

Barbara reports that dinner at the flagship Gordon Ramsay in London was everything you’d expect of a Three-Star Michelin Restaurant including the exorbitant tab. She was very impressed with the under 40 executive chef, Clare Smyth from Northern Ireland. The Queen has bestowed upon her the honor of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE.)

Food journalist Barbara Fairchild is an editor, writer, speaker and sought-after consultant. She was the long-time Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine before the publication relocated to New York.

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